It’s my pleasure to have the opportunity to provide suggestions and tools for students that help them grow and succeed academically. These suggestions are very easy to implement and for many of you will be validation for those skills you are already utilizing.

In Part I and Part II of this series, we offered information that we hope you will carry with you throughout your educational journey and beyond. In this article I am going to outline some of the standard advice I recommend to students as they navigate through our courses.

To begin, I want to let you know that we offer a course called "Study Skills," which after reading this article you may consider beneficial for you. This course is intended to help you improve your study habits and attitudes by learning new study procedures and methods.

Study Skill Tips

  • Use a calendar. Create a personal calendar or use the prepared calendar for goal setting. Each semester course covers 18 weeks, and you can plan to spend one hour studying for each course five days a week to complete the course in 18 weeks.
  • Read the introduction. When beginning a new course, always read the Course Introduction.
  • Complete all activities within the syllabus. Even though some assignments are not graded they will help you expand your knowledge and ability to answer questions of higher-order thinking.
  • E-mail Connect with a teacher to ask questions and get advice when you need it.
  • Use resources. Get help with various subjects by referring to and
  • Use reading strategies. When reading materials, I suggest finding the main concept discussed within each paragraph. Make a notation of the main idea in 1-3 words in the margin by each paragraph. This will help you stay focused on the importance of each paragraph and results in a map that you can refer to as you prepare for unit evaluations and projects.  This will also help you determine the meaning and purpose of the passage.
  • Print a copy of the unit evaluation. Printing the evaluation will allow you to complete the test on paper and make it easier for you to make notes.
  • Use testing strategies. For unit evaluations, you should practice using testing strategies as this will help you prepare for college entrance exams. Some strategies include:
    • Identifying an answer prior to reviewing the answer choices
    • Eliminating wrong answer choices to narrow down to the two best options
    • When choosing a final answer you should know why it is the best answer—ask yourself if the answer correctly responds to the main idea of the question
    • Complete the easiest questions first, then those that require more thinking and finish with the most difficult questions
  • Always review missed answers. To provide a better understanding of the concept, it’s always a good idea to review incorrect answers and recognize why a different answer was deemed more appropriate for the question asked.