Skip to main content

Study Skills

Suggestions for finishing strong

  • Email your instructor(s) now and ask what you can do to get ready for the final exam/project/paper.
  • If you’re not sure you see a path to passing, but think you’ll be close, talk to your instructor about an Incomplete in the class. This gives you more time to get all of the work finished and complete the course
  • Make use of the support that is already available to you like Gurus in the Student Success Center, Consultants in the Noel Studio, and more
  • Message classmates and talk together about the best way to finish class strong. Each member of the group might have a new strategy to share that will work for others.
  • Prioritize the final projects that you can still do well on – and then do your best on those. That doesn’t mean give up on another class, but first focus on the work that will make the biggest impact
  • Break big projects into manageable chunks. This helps improve motivation by showing progress. Think: “make coffee, drink coffee, make pancakes, eat pancakes” versus “eat breakfast.” Let your brain know that you are getting things done.
  • Make a detailed schedule to plan out when you will work on each assignment, study for each class, and work with an online study group or tutor. Include time to take breaks and include self-care. You are less likely to get distracted online if you schedule downtime.

Find a specific place that you can use for studying/completing assignments

  • Do not complete assignments or study in your bed.
  • If possible, dedicate a place solely to your learning and keep all necessary materials in that place.
  • Ideally, this place should have strong, reliable internet access and good lighting.

Limit distractions

  • Try your best to avoid getting distracted while on your computer (I know it’s easier said than done, but you can do it!)
  • Close out unneeded browser windows. 
  • Turn off notifications on your phone/smart watch/laptop and let those that may contact you know that you’re “in class” or busy working on your assignments during certain times.

Do not take your responsibilities as an online student lightly

  • You are still just as much a student as always and are responsible for learning the material in your courses, so looking up the answers online—though certainly tempting—should be avoided.
  • Maintain your academic integrity.

Avoid multitasking

  • Why? Assignments will take longer to complete. You’re more likely to make mistakes. You’ll retain less information!
  • Instead, try to focus on one thing at a time and take breaks between tasks.
  • Consider the “pomodoro method” to help you focus for 25- or 50-minute periods and then reward yourself with 5- or 10-minute breaks

Make the most of your online lectures

  • Follow a schedule as much as possible to avoid getting behind.
  • Find out how to ask questions (email, discussion board, chat forums, etc.).
  • Take notes as you normally would.
    Writing things down and putting concepts in your own words can help you retain information.
  • Watch recordings at normal speed.
    Research shows that playback speed of 1.5x can lower your retention and can result in lower scores on assessments.
Open /*deleted href=#openmobile*/