What are study skills and why are they important?

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So many of the students we see at the Price Group lack good study skills.  Good study skills provide the structure we need to be both effective and efficient when we study. There is a simple study guide or process that students learned from John Galbary when he taught in Richland School District Two in the TLC program at Dent Middle School:  READ, WRITE, RECITE, and REVIEW.  This was actually an adaptation of a process called SQ3R (Wikipedia link), now known as SQRRR.  To study effectively you should survey first or skim what you are getting ready to read. 

Then ask yourself what are the main things I need to know? Once you are clear on that, you then Read, Recite, and Review.   We see students at The Price Group who struggle with reading comprehension and have poor “working memory.”  Can they improve their working memory and achievement scores through improved study skills?  We think so!

Think about how different the SQ3R process is from our typical quick reading today of such things as an email. We process information so differently today!  Do you find, like me, that you are reading or skimming an email so quickly that you miss important details? If you are studying, do you have the discipline or structure to move information from short term to long term memory? By reading it (visual), then writing it (tactile), then reciting it (verbally, out loud), then reviewing it (putting it down and coming back to it), we are literally creating a structure or what some people call a  “scaffolding” for learning. Many of our students don’t understand the importance of this type of structure for school success.

When May and I go on a school tour, we take LOTS of notes and pictures!  We have a checklist or process for asking questions which has become a habit from using this “structure” for so long.  By listening, taking notes, taking pictures, then going back and putting all of this information into a school summary and folder, editing our information, and comparing our notes we find we really do remember our school visits even three or four years later!

Getting a tutor and taking a study skills class can be a tremendous confidence builder and can help a student get in a better “habit” to make studying both more efficient and effective.  We know local tutors that can help during the school year and we know great summer options for students to improve study skills!  Come see us!

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