Study Tools and Tips for Electrical and Computer Engineering Students

College is very different from high school.  Learning at the college level requires more time outside of class and a different approach to preparing and studying for your courses. To do well in college, you must develop good study strategies and habits. Students who make good grades in college read before classes, review their course material/notes after every class, and study throughout the entire 15 weeks of the semester - not just before the exam. Review the resources below to learn how you can establish the college-level study strategies and habits needed to be successful [1].

Motivational Videos

Study Skills and Habits

  • Life Skills for College and Beyond - Tips and strategies for how to be successful in college.
  • Mobile Apps – A list of useful mobile apps for assignment, note taking, etc .
  • The Study Cycle – A six-phase process for learning throughout the semester.
  • SQ3R Reading System - A systematic way to approach reading with the goal of increased focus, comprehension, and memory.
  • Learning (Your First Job) – An article by Dr. Robert Leamnson instructing you on what exactly it takes to succeed in college.
  • Study Group Checklist - A guide for increasing deep-level learning through study groups. Helpful tips for creating and sustaining a successful study group are also included.

Time Management

Managing time effectively is an essential skill for academic success. Good students learn to prioritize academic responsibilities and involvement opportunities as well as plan out their time accordingly to meet the demands of both. Consistently using a time management tool, such as a paper planner or a calendar app on your smartphone, can aid in a successful college experience. See the time management tools listed below to take control of your time and maximize every minute [1].

  • Assignment Calendar– A guide to organizing your assignments, exams, and projects for the entire semester.
  • One-Week Log – A resource to help you evaluate how your time is spent throughout the week and ways to reallocate your time in order to meet your commitments and accomplish your goals (one- week blank template included).
  • Module Schedule – A guide for creating a weekly schedule that includes time for studying, essentials like sleeping and eating, and social activities (one-week blank template included).
  • Project “To-Do” List – A resource to aid in taking larger assignments/projects and breaking them down into smaller manageable tasks (an example and blank template included).
  • Time Management Video – A video presentation highlighting ways to manage your time.

Note Making

One of the first steps to academic excellence is making good notes and reviewing them regularly to maximize your learning. You cannot rely solely on teacher-provided PowerPoint slides or lecture outlines. Making effective notes is about making meaning of the material in a way that is personal and individualized. It is part of the learning process! You must take the time to learn key components of strong academic notes and establish your own effective note making style. Listed below are a few resources to help you get started.

  • Cornell Note Making System - A guide for creating organized, comprehensive notes.
  • Math Note Making System – A resource for making math related notes.
  • Shorthand and Abbreviations – A list of shorthand and abbreviation notations/symbols you can use to cut down on note making time.

Learning and Test Preparation

As a college student you will be required to spend additional time outside of class studying, completing papers/projects, and preparing for exams. The learning process begins with your first week of classes and discovering your most effective and efficient study strategies for each class. Use the academic resources below to identify appropriate study strategies and to develop a study plan that will help you ACE your exam!

  • Five-Day Study Plan – An example for building an organized exam study schedule (5-day blank study schedule template included).
  • Study Strategies by Learning Style- A list of study strategies categorized by learning styles. Incorporate additional study strategies from other learning styles for deep-level learning.
  • The Six-Hour D – An article by Dr. Russ Dewey explaining why students who put in six hours of study time for an exam can still end up with a low grade on the test. The article also instructs you on how to correct that situation.

Monitoring Your Learning and Goals

You are in charge of monitoring your academic standing in all of your courses. Your grades may be given to you in class or posted on eCourse. It is important that you take the time to check each grade you receive and monitor your overall grade in the course as it progresses. If at any point you are unsure about your grade, please contact your professor or visit his/her office hours. Listed below are a few resources to help you monitor your overall academic standing (GPA) at PVAMU.

  • How Grades Work – A guide to learning how GPA is calculated and how PVAMU uses GPA to determine your academic standing (written and pictorial tutorials on how to use the two GPA calculators listed below are included).
  • GPA Calculator – A resource to calculate how your current GPA will be affected by each final course grade you receive within a given semester and beyond.
  • What GPA do I need? – A second resource for calculating the semester GPA you need to earn in order to move from your current GPA to your desired GPA.