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Study Skills Among Students


Submitted By skywh
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Chapter 2: Literature review
2.0 Introduction
Various emphasise has been made when it comes to identifying the main reason behind the deteriorating academic performance among college and university students. Those who lack that knowledge find themselves stuck when it comes to harnessing good time management. Many of these young adults are questioned at some point on how well they know about time management as they often encounter stress related problems which lead to failure in exams.
2.1 Causes 2.1.1 Stress
Based on a survey conducted on the reasons of stress among first year students of Management and Science University (MSU), Shah Alam, Malaysia (2009) it was concluded that the major causes of stress were lack of sleep, academic work loads and social problems. This indirectly shows the lack of time management among students as these problems will be less likely to occur if their time were managed well. However it is not just the time management method the students fail to notice. The groups of students most prone to these problems are first year college students who are new to the environment, therefore more vulnerable to the changes from their high school. In college, students are bound to the illusion whereby there is an abundant source of time due to flexible time-tables, lengthy dead line for assignments and less daunting teachers (Katie Hern,2010).

2.1.2 Procrastination
This causes procrastination which is the main catalyst for their failure in managing time. An analysis was done by York University (2010) which states that 40% of students from any university or college find procrastination a problem where they let important task get in the away with least important ones. Students would rather spend time hanging out with friends or at social networking sites after making short plan of what task they are supposed to do ( Yaakub,2000). Many of the students who fall prey to such habit are unaware of how much time is wasted.
2.1.3 Failure in priorities
Various psychological factors are involved when college students fail to commit themselves with managing their time carefully. According to Ferrari (1995), that there are five cognitive distortions which prevent students from completing their scheduled task. Two of it is that students often overestimate the time left to finish of their work. Unlike high school, the times spent on lectures are limited and the extra time presented is usually plenty but this ends up clouding their perceptions. When they finally brought themselves to the brink of the due date, procrastination still occurs as they de-motivate themselves from doing it.
2.2 Effects 2.2.1 Distracted from objectives
This proves that those who fail in time management knows what they need and must do but the distractions from their environment drains their ability to say ‘No’. Socializing is their biggest weakness where they are easily influenced to go to the movies with friends too often. Their new lifestyle brought a false sense of freedom to them and they slot in activities more than they could even handle (Jacobs & Hyman 2010, p.25). This means their goals are not set or forgotten where many students fail to realise how important time management is in order to avoid failure like 380,000 university students in the U.S who dropped out every year (University of Alabama, 2008). Students in tertiary education do not see the consequences for not prioritizing their task via time management and so they ignore it.
2.2.2 Lack of exposure on time management
Many would find organizing time quite a drag because time management essentially lies in a systematic approach. The undesirable way of organizing time seems to create a sense of dullness which puts students off (York University, 2008). Such manual system ranges from daily planners and time tables where students are supposed to allocate their time for tutorial work, lecture notes reading and assignments which are done with great consistency. Planning involves a great amount of time which reflects robotic like compulsiveness (Ellis, 2008). Since harnessing the ability to manage time is a lifetime asset, many college students still lack the exposure to manage time from any academic institutes. Even if they do, their methods do not approach the ‘right brain’ method where visual and creativity comes into play. Nevertheless, the main reason college students are not aware of time management is they do not take the initiative to ask themselves which time management method best suit their personality (Ellis, 2008).

2.2.3 Lack of motivation in studies
College students fail to appreciate the opportunity that they are given to study and they should manage their time wisely. Students have very little excuse to not excel in their academic performance since 75% of all university and college students are financially aided (Jacobs & Hyman 2010, p.50). Thus, they have all the time they need to divide chores. These young students lack the sense of satisfaction upon completing multiple tasks through efficient use of the time they have. Jacobs & Hyman (2010, p. 100) states that moral strength is absent in many student as they are not willing to sacrifice a relatively short amount of time to achieve a long term satisfaction.
2.3 Conclusion
In conclusion, students under tertiary education are aware how important time management is but they lack the necessary knowledge to control the time they have. Much of these negative patterns reflect their level of discipline which declines due to a part of external factors such as social. Their level of urgency towards the importance of time is alarmingly low and this will have adverse impacts in their future.


Jacobs, L & Hyman, J 2010, The Secrets of College Success, 1st edn, Jossey- Brass, United States of America

York University (2008) Learning Skills: University Time Management (online) Available at: http:// (Accessed 21 June 2011)

Ellis, D 1998, Becoming A Master Student, Houghton Mifflin, Boston

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