CVC logo banner

Study Strategies

by Cathy Schmidt of College of the Alameda and Marti Atkinson of the Bay Area CVC
Not everyone succeeds in college. In fact, even geniuses have failed. Surprisingly, very intelligent students often have to struggle before succeeding. Some argue that success in college has more to do with motivation, organization and plain old determination than sheer intelligence. This module is designed to provide you with the skills and strategies needed for success. You'll find these skills helpful not only with your studies, but with life in general.
I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau


Study Strategies is divided into the following sections:

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Clarify your career goals, choose a major and map out a class schedule.
  • Manage your time and marshal your resources.
  • Optimize your performance by managing stress and anxiety.
  • Participate in your classes by asking questions, taking notes and joining discussions.
  • Study effectively by yourself and in groups.
  • Maximize points while taking tests and exams.


What is Study?

Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.
Robert Anthony

What does it mean to study? It means to learn new information, formulate it into knowledge and apply it in order to develop new skills. In short, education should:

  • Organize your thinking
  • Enhance your ability to understand
  • Help you think critically
  • Make you more powerful

One of the most valuable abilities you can develop is the ability to study, which is not something you do the night before an exam.
Kornhauser, 1993.

Learning to learn (study) is more important than just mastering a particular subject. In most fields, information quickly becomes obsolete. However, knowing how to analyze and approach a problem, gather information and interpret it are skills you can use throughout your lifetime. In study, as in most everything, practice makes perfect. You can start by using the suggestions in this module.


Online Resources Overall Study Strategies: