Module 5: Study Skills


"Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."   Abigail Adams

Tutors are students who are successful learners. They have learned how to learn. As a tutor, it is your responsibility to communicate the principles of effective learning to your students. A good majority of the students who seek tutoring do not have good study skills. If these students took a course on study skills, it would probably cover a broad spectrum of subjects including time management, memory skills, test taking skills, listening skills, notetaking skills, how to read a textbook, and learning styles.

Encouraging students to develop good study skills requires you to assess the areas where students need help. Usually, students will not be able to accurately identify the areas where they need help. For instance, students who are always late for a tutoring appointment might need some time management techniques. You might ask them to describe the activities in their average day.

Some students have never learned how to take notes in class. You might ask the students you tutor if you can look at their notes. If you see they do not know how to take notes, you could recommend they look over the different notetaking systems. Or, you can ask them to tell you how they prepare to take notes for a lecture class. If they are lacking positive notetaking skills, you might share with them some ideas on how to take good notes .

Many students do not realize that there are techniques for taking a test, or more importantly, how to overcome test anxiety. You can give the student ideas on how to prepare for tests. As a tutor, it is always helpful to go over returned tests  with your student. You can also share with the student the benefits of looking at a returned test.

As a tutor, you are a resource for your students. If you find some of your students have poor reading skills, you can provide them with handouts whichcould improve their reading skills. Tutors can also teach students how to use memorization techniques . Improved reading skills and improved memorization skills can be a big step toward being a successful student.

Students seeking tutoring have often experienced poor grades; this could be the direct result of their personal study habits. You can provide a valuable service to them by giving them direction and encouragement to develop good study skills.