At university, no one tells you how to study


Montreal Gazette, Wednesday, August 13, 2003

The transition from high school to post-secondary education can be difficult for some students. No one is taking attendance, or pressuring you to make a better effort.

You are on your own.

To give students a head start, learning skills specialist Terry Small offers these 10 study tips to make first year a success.

  1. Turn off the TV. It's time to unhook yourself - you can't afford to waste the time.
  2. Become smarter. Read the newspaper to increase your vocabulary, improve your spelling and grammar and learn about world affairs. Buy your textbooks early and become familiar with them before the first day of class.
  3. Attend every class. Nobody is keeping track, but the professors notice. Being in class will help you learn the material. Review the textbook pages that will be covered the night before so you're not coming in cold.
  4. Participate in class -- even the big ones. Get to class early and get a good seat. Get involved in the discussion. And ask for help when you need it.
  5. Get interested. College gives you a chance to take the courses you want. Approach each subject as something you want to know about - it will help you learn.
  6. Learn to think critically. You will need to develop and higher standards of evidence when making an argument.
  7. Get to know the library. Spend time there, get to know the librarians - it will make you feel scholarly.
  8. Don't postpone learning until the night before an exam. Prepare for exams from the first day of class. Schedule time to study and don't let other things get in the way.
  9. Establish new standards for yourself. College life gives you the chance to work at your full capacity, to test boundaries.
  10. Take your education seriously. Think about your studies, not your grades.

To register for Terry's Study Skills go to