College Study Habits and Time Management (page 3)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Don't Miss Classes

If you attend the average college or university in this country and take the average course load, you are paying somewhere around $65 per lecture for your college education. If you're attending a top private university, the number is closer to $85 per lecture.

Do you routinely go out in the street throwing away fistfuls of twenties? Because that's exactly what you're doing if you skip your class lectures.

I don't care what anyone else tells you. You are always - and I mean always - better off going to your classes than you are skipping them. It doesn't matter how hung over you are or how dreadfully bad a lecturer your professor is. It doesn't matter that you haven't started or finished the reading for the class, and it doesn't matter that you might be embarrassed by the professor if you get called on to participate and cannot. It doesn't matter that the class is small and you won't be able to hide the fact that you are unprepared.

You must not skip classes unless you are really sick. There are so many good reasons for this, we'll have trouble covering them all in this section. But we'll try. The corollary to this rule is that you must also show up for class on time and not leave class early - and the reasons for the corollary are the same as the ones for the general rule.

Put It All Together

The last trick about preparedness is finding the time to put everything together before the pressure of an exam strikes. Once you've completed a section of the syllabus, using your lecture notes as the guide, go back and backfill into your class notes relevant details from the readings, including any margin notes, underlines, or highlights"and if applicable, any particularly vexing problems highlighting difficult concepts from your problem sets. What you're looking to do is pull the readings and the lecture notes together into a single, cohesive outline.

Once you've completed this consolidation, studying for tests, midterms, and finals is as simple as mastering this outline.

A Word About Study Groups

Although everyone masters material in different ways, it was our collective experience that college study groups frequently devolved into inefficient social or gossip sessions, rather than effective study sessions. As you have seen, our approach has been to make room for study and room for a rich and vibrant life in college. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule - but to us, effective study in college is best done either in isolation or with a single study partner.

Additional Resource

Robbins, Anthony. RPM Planner Kit  (time management system).

Campus Confidential Mentors and Uber-Mentors:

Campus Confidential contains the collective advice of a a diverse group of people who have traveled the road to college. Some are recent college graduates who can counsel you on the college experience as it is today. Other are a few years removed from their college days and can provide a longer view of the decisions you will need to make before, during, and after college. Here is a little bit about the mentors and uber-mentors in these articles.

Dan Bissell – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Portland, Oregon

B.A. Middlebury College cum laude, 1993. Major: Geology

M. D. University of Colorado School of Medicine, Adler Scholar, 2002


Tom Teh Chiu – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Brooklyn, New York

B. A. Yale University, 1993. Major: double major in Chemistry and Music

M. M. Juilliard School, 1995

M Juilliard School, 2001

Jim Bright – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

B. A. Duke University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1997. Major: History


Amanda Cramer – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Paso Robles, California

B.A. Cornell University Phi Beta Kappa, 1993. Major: Mathematics

Graduate study in food science – Enology, University of California at Davis 1997-2000


Zoe Robbins – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Gouldsboro, Maine

B.A. (1) Wellesley College magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1997. Major: Economics

B.A. (2) University of Pennsylvania, 2001. Major: Nursing


Carolyn Koegler – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Hopkinton, New Hampshire

B. A. Tufts University, cum laude, 1993. Double major: History and Spanish


Erik Norton – Campus Confidential Uber-Mentor

Boston, Massachusetts

B. A. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993. Major: Mathematics


Lyndsee Dickson – Campus Confidential Mentor

Concord, New Hampshire

B.A. New York University, cum laude, 2004. Major: East Asian studies


Kevin Donovan – Campus Confidential Mentor

Somerville, Massachusetts

B.A. Boston College, honors in the major, 1993. Major: English, Minor: Creative Writing


Tiffany Chan – Campus Confidential Mentor

Concord, New Hampshire

B.S. New York University, 2005. Major: Communication Science


Erica Eubanks – Campus Confidential Mentor

Memphis, Tennessee

B.A. Tennessee State University, National Deans List, 2003. Major: Criminal Justice


Dave Irwin – Campus Confidential Mentor

Carlisle, Massachusetts

B.A. Middlebury College departmental honors, 2004. Major: American Civilization, Minor: Education


Chase Johnson – Campus Confidential Mentor

London, England

B. A. Duke University, with Phi Alpha Theta distinction in history, 2005. Major: History


Aaron Paskalis – Campus Confidential Mentor

Magnolia, Massachusetts

West Point Military Academy, then transferred to UMass Amherst

B. A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2005. Major: Legal studies  

View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.