Freshman Year Study Skills: Are You Stuck?

Many students can relate to the frustration of dedicating time and effort to studying, only to fall short on papers and tests. If you find yourself in this situation, understanding that most study challenges can be traced back to three primary factors might provide some clarity.


Difficulty Grasping Core Concepts


If comprehending fundamental academic concepts proves challenging, one-on-one support is highly effective. Consider approaching teachers after school or forming study groups with more advanced students. Should these strategies fall short, connecting with a tutor provides personalized attention to master the basics of challenging subjects.


Distracting or Disorganized Study Environment


Your study environment significantly influences academic success. 

Evaluate your study space and materials by asking essential questions:

  • Is my space free from distractions?
  • Is my space comfortable and inviting?
  • Is my space organized?


There’s no one right way to study, but if retention is a struggle and your study space is filled with distractions and clutter, it may hinder your ability to absorb information. External distractions like television or conversations can divide your focus, impacting information retention. An uncomfortable space may lead to rushed study sessions, while disorganization wastes valuable time searching for materials.


Difficulty Cultivating a Productive Study Mindset


Recognizing your unique learning style is crucial for tailored support. Your specific preferences may vary, but these universal strategies will still be helpful. 


Begin by asking key questions:

  • Can I read and understand my notes?
  • Do I have a clear understanding of what will be tested?
  • Am I an active and careful reader?
  • Am I organized, with a clear plan in place?

If reflecting on these questions uncovers areas for improvement, adjust your approach accordingly.  Maybe you need to review your syllabus and class materials.  Try prioritizing major topics highlighted by your teacher and textbook. Craft a focused study plan for thorough preparation. Utilize tools like planners or apps. 


Making these adjustments not only boosts study skills but also nurtures a mindset conducive to effective learning, paving the way for a more successful and satisfying study experience. Check out Signet’s Guide to Strategic Organization and Signet’s Guide to Studying for Finals for more insights.


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