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The Development of a Successful Study Plan

Every new student must create a study approach that is reflective of their personal, family and work commitments in order that substantial time is allotted for concentrated reading, study and review.

1. Each person should devise a written schedule of all time commitments during the week and create a visual chart that can be easily studied.

2. This project allows the student to understand the blocks of time available for adequate class preparation. The successful student should try to study at designated times every week when one can complete assignments in a timely fashion. Marathon study sessions lasting 4 or 5 hours are usually detrimental to the student since the fatigue of mind and body clearly affect retention of concepts. A student who reads effectively and completes homework in a timely fashion does not need to engage in a marathon session. Effective learning occurs over an extended period of time. The anxiety level for such a student is kept to a minimum as this person does not procrastinate and completes the work ascribed in the syllabus. A study session should not last more than 2 1/2 hours at any one time, but more than one session may be scheduled in the same day.

3. A study atmosphere should include a quiet and well-ventilated room with an appropriate desk and chair that encourages concentration and reflection.

4. All study materials should be available to the student, and the room should be free from distractions of radio, television,
headphones, or phones. Access to the computer should be limited to academic pursuits during study time.

5. The most difficult course work should be completed first as fatigue encountered later in the day diminishes accuracy and amount of work completed in a session.

6. Any assignment not completed on time may diminish the learning process in the class and cause the student to be unsuccessful in their work. Each person should seek assistance if they encounter difficulty in completion of assignments. The instructor serves an immediate resource for the individual to clarify information and make specific suggestions towards improvement. The tutor and Counselors can also offer instruction on enhancing study approaches and identification of potential weaknesses.

7. A student should start a term project or research paper early in the semester. Extra spans of time that are specifically scheduled allow topic exploration in the library and substantial time for composing and editing written drafts of the project.

8. Exams that are scheduled in a course usually require increased study time to review and adequately prepare for the test. Every person must allow time in their schedule to prepare as most exams can be a substantial percentage of the grade for the class. A student who misses an exam must follow the guidelines for this occurrence as outlined in the syllabus. A make -up test may be more difficult, and thus, it is a wise policy to take examinations at the time they are scheduled during the semester.

9. A student needs to recognize procrastination as practice that does not allow for learning to take place in a creative and positive atmosphere. A student who is chronically late completing assignments or meeting deadlines can create a negative self-image for themselves and allows the college experience to become a source of great discomfort and anxiety.

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