Compare and contrast strong and weak study skills.

Expert Answers
carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Study skills have to be acquired.  Why look at poor skills when they come naturally. It is more profitable to analyze how to be a better student.

For most people, study skills are not an innate.  Without them, the student cannot achieve his maximum potential.  When a person goes to college, sometimes his first priority is freedom and fun. These aspects of college are an important to the college experience; however, they are not why the person is there spending his parents' money. Learning is the number one priority in college.

How does that occur--through going to class, paying attention, managing time, and good study skills.

Good study skills must be learned and practiced.  Use the acronym CIM which equals Consistency, Immediacy, and Maximum.

Here is how this helps:

  • Consistency requires these things from the student. 

Be on time for everything: class, meetings, assignments, dates...

Have a special place for studying with everything needed at hand. Same place and same time and same stuff. 

No distractions.  No music. No pills. No alcohol.  No television. No cell phones. No ipads.

Leave the cell phone in the dorm during classes.  Do not allow anything to distract attention. In addition, it is irritating to the teacher.

Do something with each class every day: Organize, read, re-do notes.

Keep a daily journal of what was accomplished each day. 

  • Immediacy promotes efficiency in retention of facts. In other words, do it now. Procrastination cannot be a part of good study skills.

As soon as possible, go over what was done in class each day.

Review the notes on the same day.  Listen to the tape of the class on that day. 

Complete assignments as soon as they are given. 

Do not use the old, trite, ridiculous adage: "I work better under pressure." Sorry, it does not compute.

Get things done ahead so that if necessary they can be enhanced or tweeked. 

  • Maximum effort contributes to everything in life. 

The only attitude is a positive attitude. Life is good; yes, there is pressure.  It will pass.  Everything is happening for a reason.  Take a breathe and one step at a time.

Be healthy. Get enough sleep.  Eat well and not fast foods.  Take vitamins. Do whatever it takes to maximize what God has given.

Feed the brain.  Eat breakfast.  If the person wants maximum usage of the grey cells, take care of it--No pills, no alcohol, no steroids--  nothing except those natural things that enhance brain power.

Work on the hardest tasks first.  The brain needs to be fresh for challenging work. 

Do not try to work when sleepy.  Nothing will be retained when the body is saying: "I need rest."

Do not read in bed. You will wake up with slobber all over the textbook. Right now, it is your instruction manual.  Get the most out of it.  Read in a comfortable, well-lit place with complete silence.

Get up early.  Get with it.  If a person gets enough sleep, he can get up and do his work whenever he needs to...

Remember what Albert Einstein stated: "Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence and the possibilities of your spirit and to profit the community to which your work will later belong."

The time in college is not just for short term goals.  This is the long haul for the future of the individual.  Each class, each test, each study time--these are the small steps that will take the person to where he wants to go.


clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because you placed this question in the "teachers" Q&A, I assume you are looking at it from the perspective of a teacher rather than a student.  In order to best answer this very broad question, I suggest you further define your terms.  There are many different ways you could compare and contrast strong versus weak study skills.  If this is for an essay, I encourage you to find one avenue or perspective through which to filter your answers so that you have thematic consistency in your final response.

Here are a few questions that should help you get started:

  1. What are some common behavioral practices of students with strong study habits?  What are some common behavioral practices of students with weak study habits?  Students with strong study habits manage time efficiently, work independently, and are highly organized.  Students with weak study habits spend little to no time "studying," often rely on short term memory over long term memory, and lack organization in time and materials.
  2. What are the consequences/effects of having strong study habits over weak ones?  Strong study habits set students up for academic success now, and life success later.  Strong study habits often result in retaining knowledge and skills long term, and application.  Weak study study habits often result in students getting behind, having lower achievement, and retaining less knowledge and skills over time.
  3. How can teachers provide opportunities for students to build strong study habits? What are some practical skills that help develop strong study habits or what are some expectations that promote weak study habits?  Current teaching theory suggests that simply assigning homework or penalizing grades for low achievement is no longer enough.  Today's teacher must overcome the lack of parent involvement in children's education, the lack of time available at home for skill-building, the enormous range (and diversity) of student skill-level within one classroom, and maximization of time spent in class.