Lesson 4: Study Skills

Student Learning Outcome:

1) Students will identify 1-2 study skills strategies that will facilitate student learning and success.

These tips may seem obvious but can take focus and determination to persevere when you become stressed or overwhelmed with obligations and assignments.

Please check the Student Success Center for support with Study Skills, workshops, classes & tutorial help.

  • Attendance:
    • Some instructors spell out their attendance requirements in the class syllabus and strictly adhere to the policy (e.g., more than 5 absences and you fail the course). Some instructors use attendance as part of your grade for the course (e.g., attendance is 25% of your grade). Find out the grading policy at the beginning of the quarter for each course you take.
    • Attend all class sessions!
    • Be on time, instructors find it disturbs the learning environment when students come late to class and it can be disruptive.
    • Schedule time between your classes to study and to arrive on time to your next class.
    • Inform your instructors in advance or as soon as an emergency comes up.
  • In Class:
    • Sit where you can see and hear well.
    • Be an active learner in class. Easily distracted? Are you a day-dreamer? Does your mind wander?
      • Learn to concentrate on the class topics and decrease distractions.
      • Try writing a "to do" list before class so that you can concentrate in class knowing you have a list to refer to later.
    • Speak up and ask questions, be assertive!
    • Learn how to take good notes.
  • After class:
    • Connect with other students and instructors.
    • Review your class notes and requirements immediately after class (remember, you have scheduled some time between classes).
    • Communicate with your instructors, they want to hear from you! The course syllabus for each of your classes will have instructor phone numbers, email, and web site information. This information is also available on the De Anza website.
    • Attend instructor office hours when you have questions or need extra help.
    • Call or email instructors if you will be absent (Keep green sheets of all your classes for reference and contact information.)
    • Make up missed work.
    • Seek out academic support programs
  • Time Management:
    • Allow at least 2 hours study time for each unit taken; 3 hrs. for math and science or any courses you feel are difficult.
    • Trade time, don't steal it! When unexpected events arise that takes up study time, decide immediately when you will get your work done.
    • Set your priorities, make being successful in your classes your top priority.
    • Make daily and weekly plans and stick to them.
    • Create a class schedule with breaks between classes. This will allow extra time for review, eating, napping, printing papers, and reviewing material before and after class.
    • Identify at least one strategy you will use to avoid procrastination.
    • Attend one of the Skills Center workshops on Time Management:
  • Study Habits:
    • Learn to balance personal commitments with work and school.
    • Sign up for study groups or linked classes
    • Get some "study buddies" and regularly meet to study together. The library has rooms available by reservation for small study groups.
    • Sign up for skills classes for extra help:
    • Have a regular study time and location:
      • Negotiate with family or housemates for time and space.
  • Work and school
    • How many hours per week do you work?
    • Work is an important part of your future career development. You can gain skills and knowledge about occupations by working. However, depending on the work setting, you should limit the number of units you take each quarter:
      • We recommend 2 hours study time for each unit taken.
      • If a student enrolls in 12 units, total time to budget is 36 hours per week for school work (12 hours in class plus 24 hours study time = 36 hours). More time may be needed for math, science, and other lab classes.


1) What specific Study Skills strategies (e.g. time management, homework) have worked well for you in the past? What new strategies do you plan to develop? Using the information in this lesson, fill in your worksheet with this information.

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Last Updated: 2/9/12