Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith Student Success Center

College Success Tips

Jullien Gorden: 101 Things to Do Before Leaving College

Time Management

  • Take time to set up a schedule for yourself. Allot time for studying, working, and even playing. When you have a sense of control over your day, you can get more things accomplished.
  • Be honest with yourself about wasting time. Set priorities based on your short-term and long-term goals.
  • Organize your activities based on importance.
  • Organize your activities to allow yourself control over the flow of things.

Effective Study Strategies

  • Become familiar with new information by reviewing it daily for a short period.
  • Have a special place to study that is conducive for learning.
  • Allot time in your schedule to read the lessons and review the work prior to class. You will understand the lecture and be able to ask important questions in class because you are prepared.
  • Do not cram for a test. Spread out your study time. It will help you to retain the information and make your study time stress free
  • Study in groups, get a tutor, and attend your professor's office hours
  • Review 30 minutes before sleep.
  • Completing exercises and quizzes at the end of the chapter will help you learn the information.
  • Make custom flash cards based on your own study notes at quizlet.com


  • Read in sections, and then take notes. Sometimes, it is easier to retain information if you take it a little at a time.
  • Re-word reading material in your own words to ensure you comprehend the information.
  • Read actively by highlighting the important key information.
  • Make your own table of contents before reading any material.
  • Use the glossary for future reference and for technical resources.
  • Have a dictionary or thesaurus available to assist with the meaning of words.
  • SQ3R Method- Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review


  • Learning is not a spectator sport. Participate by writing information. However, be selective. You do not have to write everything your professor says.
  • If your instructor writes information on the board or emphasizes a concept, you should take note of it.
  • Organize your notes so the information is easy to review.
  • Pay attention! The instructor will let you know if they give you information that is really important.
  • Cornell System- Record, Reduce, Recite, Reflect, and Review (download PDF).


  • Plan your daily activities and complete tasks in the schedule to avoid procrastination.
  • Spread out your tasks. Set small goals. Once you reach the first goal, go to the next goal as planned. Before you know it, you would have completed a task.
  • Do not overwhelm yourself with completing big tasks. Make time to take your time. Give yourself enough time to complete large projects. Work on the project a little each day.
  • Periodic Assessment –check your progress on a project and evaluate the result.
  • Set SMART goals - set short- or long-term goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound

Watch the Prezi presentation of Procrastination and Learning Styles

Test Preparation

  • Make sure you know what material is going to be covered on the exam
  • Try forming a study group with your classmates. You may have information that someone else missed.
  • Try using flash cards to help you retain some key words, and definitions. Don't miss the review; this is when the instructor will share what they will cover on the exam.
  • Create practice questions.
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Reduce Test Anxiety and PASS Exams

    • Practice. The more you practice or rehearse something, the more you become familiar with it.
    • Act. Take actions to combat your test anxiety by being proactive.
    • Study. If you study smart, you won't have to study so hard.
    • Strategize. Create a checklist of things to do for the test.


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