Success in college courses requires study skills that are different from high school, and studying new disciplines can demand new approaches. You’ll need to be independent, focused, and use your time in efficient and productive ways. With dedication, you can become a stronger writer and a more sophisticated problem-solver. You can learn new ways to analyze research and hone your note-taking and testing skills. Study skills, like many skills, need to be practiced and can always be improved.
We’re ready to help you build your study skills.
Students are assigned substantial independent reading and need to develop routines to keep on track and revisit topics that inspire questions. Get the Success@UMass Guide to Reading Strategies.
Independent review and a productive study cycle are skills you can master now. How do you give a class the time it requires to master the materials? Get the Success@UMass Guide to The Study Cycle.
Note Taking Strategies
Need to up your game on taking effective notes? Get the Success@UMass Guide to Note Taking Strategies.
Time management is a fundamental study skill and a skill you will rely on for your entire adulthood. Successful students stay focused on priorities and often make tough choices, since there are only 24 hours in each day. For starters, use your syllabi to keep track of all your upcoming due dates, quizzes, and exams, and note them on a calendar or planner. Pay attention to overlapping deadlines. If you know you have two different papers due the same day for two different courses, start your writing process early.
What should I do if I’m struggling in a course?
Instructors and teaching assistants are the first stop to get support for a particular course. The syllabus for any class can give you details about seeking academic help or meeting individually to discuss your progress.
Where can I get tutoring?
Many courses at UMass offer academic support beyond the classroom, called Supplemental Instruction. The Learning Resource Center (LRC) has a team of tutors, supplemental instruction leaders, and ExSEL (group tutoring) leaders, who are model students trained to assist you in facing academic challenges. See the LRC's assistance options.
How do I get help in a math or statistics class?
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers tutoring for many of their courses. Find a tutoring center.
I need to improve my writing. Where do I go for help?
The Writing Center is here to help. Writing Center tutors work with students at any point in the writing process. They help writers develop a draft, clarify an argument, reflect on sentence structure, reorganize a text, and build productive writing practices. Visit the Writing Center.
I’m supposed to pick a research topic and write a paper. How do I get started?
UMass students can schedule a consultation with a reference librarian or specialist in a subject area to develop a research question or get started with a paper. They will also help you make the best possible use of UMass library and internet resources. Schedule a research consultation.