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This item originally appeared in the Fall-2004 Bulldog Survival Guide issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

When Samantha Luttrell made the transition from high school to college, she did not expect the increase in studying that would be required to maintain the grades she wanted or the distractions that would sometimes make it a challenge for her.

"College classes require so much more time spent studying than your average high school class," Luttrell, a senior animal science major, said. "It's usually difficult to study in the dorms because of everything that's going on, so I like to go to the library or go outside."

Linda Griffin, director of counseling services, said the academic performance of many students is impaired because they do not know how to cope with the challenges of studying, such as those Luttrell has faced, in a college setting.

"I think one of the biggest transition challenges is time management because freshmen are used to a high school schedule that had their time accounted for every hour of the day," Griffin said. "In college you have blocks of time when you are not in class, and I think a lot of students don't know how to manage that time and use it wisely."

Griffin said many students do not dedicate enough time each day to studying, and much of the time they are studying is not productive. She said students should make studying a daily task and one they take seriously.

"I think it's helpful for an individual to read through the notes he has taken for any class before the end of that day," Griffin said. "It helps to review what he has done, clear up some things that might have been confusing while he was in the middle of class, and it also helps carry over for the next class day."

Griffin also said the locations students choose for studying can influence the effectiveness of their sessions.

"I believe you need to have one certain place where you can keep all of your things together, where you can concentrate, where you can open the mind to the [setting] that you need to learn," Griffin said.

Peggy Schenk, an assistant professor at Prescott Memorial Library, said there are many good places for studying in the library that students may not know about.

"I think when some students come to the library they assume that the only places to sit down and study are here on the main floor," Schenk said. "The main floor has a lot of things happening. We have elevators, we have people who are printing, and we have people whose cell phones are going off."

Schenk said there are many other areas in the library that are more suitable for studying. Individual study tables are available on the first through ninth floors, Schenk said, and the large tables near the government documents on the first floor are good for students working in groups.

Schenk also said there are individual study rooms available that groups of three or more students can utilize. By leaving their student IDs at the front desk, Schenk said students will receive a key to a study room for as long as they need.

Instead of working in groups, Luttrell said she prefers to work with someone who has different study habits, which helps her retain more of the information.

"My best friend is a visual learner, so she can read something and understand it, whereas I need to hear it," Luttrell said. "She'll read it to me or ask me questions. If you can find somebody whose studying manners are complementary to yours, it will be good for both of you."

Regardless of which study methods students use, Griffin said, most importantly students should make studying a part of their regular schedule.

"I encourage individuals to determine at least some amount of time in every day that they are going to study," Griffin said. "One rule of thumb is that you need to be setting aside two hours of study time for every hour that you are in class, and that's a minimum. Some classes are going to take more than that."

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