Becoming a successful student involves building a strong study skills foundation before gaining, retaining, and ultimately explaining information. Build a base for information and then gain it, retain it, and explain it.
Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life
Students are guided to shift their attention from the problem to a solution. To do so, they specify how they would like to improve the study skill under consideration, including the explicit outcomes and experiences they want to create by mastering the skill.
Even if it’s made from study and resilient materials, a tall tower will still topple if it’s built upon a rickety base. In the same way, the gaining, retaining, and explaining you do in college must rest on a ﬁrm foundation of basic skills. Incidentally, these are skills that will be invaluable at school but should also serve you well at home, in your career, and for the rest of your life. You don’t need to be a student to beneﬁt from knowing how to set goals.
The world is awash with information. It’s out there. You just have to go out and get it. But how? First of all, you need to know how to read. If that sounds obvious or even ridiculous, you may need to rethink what you know about reading. Time is short and not all information is created equal. Therefore, you need to be able to focus on the valuable information. Not all information comes in the form of words. And not all students learn best by using words.
3. Retaining Information.
Your brain’s working memory only has room for roughly seven items at once. You can’t possibly hold on to a semester’s worth of information in the working memory of your brain. What’s more, the things you keep in working memory evaporate, fast. If you can’t quickly ﬁnd a place to store them, they’ll be gone in a matter of minutes. Your primary storage areas will be your long-term memory and your notes.
4. Explaining Information.
You earn your grade based on your ability to explain what you’ve gained and retained.
In an ideal world, retaining information would be its own reward. In college your performance is measured with grades. The grades you receive depend upon how well you can “show what you know,” that is, how successfully you can take the information that you’ve retained during the semester (and often before) and explain it. The most common kind of explaining in college comes in the form of tests and exams. ..