Identifying Effective Study Strategies And Their Relationship With Academic Performance

Identifying Effective Study Strategies And Their Relationship With Academic Performance

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An important question to address when attempting to identify effective study strategies and their relationship with academic performance is, “What are study skills?” The term “study skills” can be defined as proficiency in identifying, organizing, memorizing, and using information in order to succeed academically (Proctor, Prevatt, Adams, Hurst, & Petscher, 2006). Activities identified as study skills include “time management, setting appropriate goals, selecting an appropriate study environment, employing appropriate note-taking strategies, concentrating, selecting main ideas, self-testing, organization, and managing anxiety,” (Proctor et al., 2006). When studying, college students employ a variety of these study strategies that they believe contribute to academic success, but it is not entirely clear how effective their study methods are. One study asserts that the LASSI, an instrument used to measure study skills, is positively correlated with GPA and can accurately predict academic performance, which suggests that study skills proficiency is positively correlated with academic success (Proctor et al., 2006). However, Hartiwig and Dunlosky found that although study skills are significant, they are not strongly predictive of GPA (2012). In that study, the researchers identified certain study methods as being more predictive of GPA than others are, which is in alignment with studies that claim some study methods are more effective than others (Hartwig & Dunlosky, 2012).
Students employ many different study strategies in various environments. Retrieval, the method of self-testing after learning, and re-reading are two such strategies (Clark & Svinicki, 2014). Retrieval was shown to enhance long-term memory, where re-reading does n...


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...med better after attending the study skills program than an academically prepared comparison group who had not received study skills training. The researchers found that the study skills program improved the participants’ academic self-efficacy as well as their study skills. Their finding indicate that receiving academic support services focused on study skills is associated with students feeling more capable of success and with improved academic performance (Wernersbach et al., 2014).
Ultimately, students become strategic learners when they realize that their successes or failures are a product of the strategies they used. Flexibility in strategy choice is important for students to become successful learners (Cukras, 2006). Study skill courses can be highly beneficial to students, especially those who have not yet found strategies that arrange for the most success.

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