CASA promotes studying for success

Jennifer Kunka, Associate Provost for advising, hosted the first Spring Webinar for CASA, Center for Academic Success and Achievement, called “Studying Effectively for College Classes.” on Feb. 7 at 3:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Kunka started by comparing studying in high school to studying in college. She talked about how studying in high school is focused more on homework. In high school, you learn from the assigned homework, and your grades are more based on the assessments that you receive. When studying in college, it is focused on more than just homework. Studying in college focuses more on you knowing the material with fewer assessments

“The goal of studying is to become a professional who can apply acquired knowledge and skills to career activities,” Kunka said.

Kunka continued the Webinar by asking students what it means to study. She talked about how reading and reviewing textbooks, reviewing lecture notes, completing homework, practicing math problems/equations, and writing papers are all ways of studying. Reading your textbook and reviewing lecture notes helps the student gather the material and understand it for their next class. 

More ways of studying are creating a reading log, reviewing flashcards, practicing activities required for class assessments, meeting with a tutor and discussing work with professors during office hours. Professors have office hours open for students because they want to help as much as they can. If the student discusses work with their professors during their office hours, rather than through email; Zoom; or in-person, it shows the professor what the student is having trouble with, and they can help them one-on-one.

“Studying is not a passive activity, it’s an activity that you need to engage and work with,” Kunka said.

When studying you should give yourself study goals. For example, you could “make it stick”, according to Kunka. When she says “make it stick” she is referring to having six engagements with information for the information to enter your long-term memory. 

According to the Francis Marion University Catalog 2021-2022, page 51, “One semester hour for the lecture is defined as one class hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction per week and an expectation of at least two hours of out-of-class student work each week.” 

For example, if you were a full-time student taking 15 credit hours you would need to study for 45 hours per week and that includes the class meetings. 

Studying for 45 hours per week can make being a college student a full-time job, which is why you should prioritize your responsibilities and activities. If you work another job while also being a full-time student, it is recommended that you work no more than 20 hours per week. Also, creating a schedule that lays out your activities for every day, including study time, could be very helpful to make sure that you study and have enough time for all your other activities throughout the day. 

“Studying starts when you’re taking notes because taking notes teaches your brain what’s important and what’s not,” Kunka said.

When you’re taking notes on a lecture do not write down every word the professor says, and do not look at PowerPoint slides instead of taking notes, instead be an active listener. When you’re an active listener you must identify major points, minor points, and details. Identifying these points is a process of sorting information as you hear it from the professor.

“Don’t give up! Everyone faces challenges different from others, just keep trying. Ask for help when you need it, that’s what professors are here for,” Kunka said.