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Academic Coaching for Academic Success

Being a college student can be very difficult, and this is something we know and understand very well at CARs.  The list of demands is high with papers, projects, exams, classes, sports, Greek life, theater, and many more.  Below are a few general tips to help you find success in college but know that we highly encourage you to schedule an appointment with either our Academic Coaches so you can be the best student you can be.  Please email Ron Warnet (ron.warnet@simpson.edu) or Sarah Davitt (sarah.davitt@simpson.edu) today!

General Strategies for Success

The following 10 strategies should be used together like a recipe for success.  The more organized you can be with your time and materials, the less chaotic everything will seem.

  • Get to know your professors and understand they are here to help you succeed.  Don't be afraid to ask them questions and go in for help; this shows them you care.
  • Go to class EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. unless you are extremely ill with something contagious or an emergency comes up, then feel free to stay home.  However, remember you must make-up your missed time by making an appointment with your professor or classmate to see what you missed.
  • Find a planner that works for you that you will actually use.  This will allow you to plan long-term and short-term, as well as keep a master schedule for the entire semester.
  • Do not overload your schedule and become too involved.  Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day; You must have time to eat, sleep, and study.
  • Organize your materials - filing material is not the same thing as piling papers/resources in a folder or notebook.  Binders and notebooks can work great, but so do apps on electronic devices to organize your notes.
  • Find a quiet place to study that is (preferably) not your dorm room.
  • Determine a good note-taking strategy for you to use, organize your notes you take, and keep in mind that if you can't read them later, they are useless.  This may mean you even need to rewrite them after your classes. 
  • Study with a partner - quiz and test each other on terminology, concepts, and problems.  Remember this: if you can't write it and teach it, you don't know it!
  • Make lists and prioritize them; then, work your list one item at a time.  This is actually shown to help reduce anxiety and get things done quicker.
  • Know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.  Sometimes this can include help with content or help with mental health.  Ether way, you are worth it! 

Time Management

Many students think that time management is something that should be innate and come naturally.  That, however, is not true!  Time management is a skill that needs to be learned and intentionally practiced until new habits are created.  With your professors expecting approximately 1-2 hours of work outside of class for each hour you spend in class, it is very important that you learn to manage your time wisely.  Otherwise, you will constantly feel as though your time is managing you.  Please click here to discover more about time management strategies you can use!

Note Taking

One of your greatest resources for studying is the notes you take in class.  Not only do they explain concepts covered in class, but they also express what the professor feels is important.  So, it is essential that your notes are legible, organized, and complete.  How often do you go to study your notes (usually the night before a quiz/test) and you do not understand anything you write down?  Click here to find out more information about note taking!

Reading Textbooks

Reading textbooks can be very intimidating, especially if you really have never had to read them in the past.  Since the information is so dense, it is often a mistake to just start reading, but it is also a mistake to just skip it.  You must have a purpose and a plan before you begin  your reading assignment, and you must not read passively.  Please click here to learn more about how you can read your textbook actively!

Studying for Assessments

Studying for assessments is something that every single person can work on.  Most of the students that walk into our offices state that they have never had to study before coming to college.  The biggest piece of advice we give students is the following: if you can't teach it, you don't know it!  Although this seems like a very daunting task, it shifts the goal from just studying for a grade to actually learning the material.  With the right strategies, this can be achieved by anyone.  Please click here to learn more about study strategies!