The study strategies you’ve been using have gotten you this far. Why change?
You may not need to.
If you have no plans to continue your education after high school or college you may not need to improve your study skills. Cramming and all-nighters, to put information in your short-term memory, can help you squeeze by most of your classes. You may not get scholarships, grants or top grades, but you’ll probably get a diploma at the end.
If you plan to do graduate work or professional studies after college, however, the game is about to change. At first, it looks the same on the outside; going to classes, having assignments. But most students quickly discover that the rapid pace and enormous volume of information they are expected to learn is beyond anything they have ever imagined.
This is where having already learned an efficient and effective study system can make all the difference. Those who have not mastered a study system that will equip them for advanced work will struggle desperately for the first semester or the first year. The fortunate ones will figure out what to do. The less fortunate ones will continue to struggle and may not be invited to return.
Researchers who study learning and memory have discovered a few core skills that make the most difference. Those skills include: managing your time well; previewing material before attending class; making structured notes in your own words and self-testing using practice questions and full-length exams.
So, why should smart people learn study skills?
Because smart people want to prepare themselves for the challenges that are ahead. They want to face those challenges with confidence, instead of scrambling and hoping. Doesn’t being prepared seem like a smart thing to do?