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Effective Study Skills and Academic Performance

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Effective study skills are necessary for a college student to excel academically. The student must develop these skills in order to retain information learned in the present for their future benefit. Study skills can be a combination of several techniques, including time management, note-taking, self-testing, and test-wiseness, to name a few. There is no one best way to study, therefore, techniques can be tailored to the needs of the student to achieve the most optimal result. However, diagnostic testing is also available to assist students in assessing their weaknesses in their learning behaviors and study habits. Research has shown that effective study skills lead to improved academic performance. The habits that students develop during their college years will remain with them long after graduation and will be reflected in their performance in the workforce. This paper will provide insight into the different techniques that improve study skills, and in turn, improve academic performance.

The Merriam – Webster Dictionary defines the word study as "the application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge, which can be in a particular field or to a specific subject." The dictionary then defines skill as "the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance." A rather general combination of the two terms would yield, "learning and motivational strategies considered essential in being successful in college" (Tuckman, 2003 page). A more in depth conceptualization of the term is the "competence in acquiring, recording, organizing, synthesizing, remembering, and using information and ideas, and are among the skills that can be modified for learners of all ages" (Harvey, 1995 page). In other words, study skills are systemized approaches to learning and retaining knowledge to apply to academic and non-academic progression…...

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