Cuesta College San Luis Obispo County Community College District
  Mark D. Turner, Mathematics
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Study Skills


Here is a collection of study skills that I have gathered over the years. All of these suggestions extend from three basic assumptions (what I call the "RAD" theory of learning):

  1. You are willing to take personal RESPONSIBILITY for learning
  2. You are motivated to ACHIEVE and be successful academically
  3. You have the DESIRE to learn and understand new ideas
Another important factor in student success is commitment. If you are not fully committed to a class, then you will tend to give less than your full effort. Consider this quote from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe's Faust:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Basically, strive to be an independent learner. Each of us is unique, and what works for one person may not work so well for another. Try out the different techniques and find which of them are most effective for you.

PDF icon; the following link is to a pdf file. The Ten Commandments for Success in a Mathematics Course
PDF icon; the following link is to a pdf file. How to Use a Student Solutions Manual Correctly
PDF icon; the following link is to a pdf file. Transitioning to College Mathematics
PDF icon; the following link is to a pdf file. Math Study Skills
PDF icon; the following link is to a pdf file. Focus on Learning

The Academic Support Center also offers a number of Student Success Workshops on topics such as time management, memory strategies, textbook reading, note-taking, test taking, math anxiety, and how to be a college student.

There are also a number of resources on the internet that provide study skills videos and tips specific to learning mathematics. See my Links page for a few worth exploring.