Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Student

Good study tips and habits can make a tremendous difference in understanding academic subject matter, and improving test scores. Some students inherently understand these concepts, while others take a bit more time to adapt to these practices.

Many successful students create their own personal methods to absorbing classroom material by tweaking already established methods of learning. Regardless of the different types of students there may be, understanding how to absorb and articulate subject matter is a necessity for all people involved in the learning process; in and outside of the classroom.

Participating in Class

  • Student Participation: Learning About Active Learning: This article outlines the importance of participating in class in order to absorb and learn the information being presented. It provides insight into classroom participation and a book suggestion on the subject.
  • Class Participation: The Gustavus Adophus' College website outlines the importance of class participation; including when to participate, and when not to participate.
  • Participate in Every Class: Western Carolina Universities guide to participating in class through open student- professor communication, being an active listener, and taking good notes.
  • Class Participation: More Than Just Raising Your Hand: San Francisco State University Teachers and Staff devised a multiple choice survey to assess a student's current level of participation. The survey is followed by an explanation of the results and suggestions on how to improve various student skills.
  • Academic Adjustments: This webpage suggests the use of note takers, or classroom mentors to take the pressure and anxiety off of being in class; helping the student to focus on participating. Many schools have programs like these for students in need of extra accommodations.
  • Teaching Tips: Student Participation/Active Learning: This site is a resource targeted at teachers on the importance of class participation and how to solicit it. Through perusing this site students can better understand what it is that teachers are looking for when it comes to class participation, and how to get more involved.


  • Where To Study/How To Study: Provides basic tips on the types of settings appropriate to studying and tips on how to concentrate and memorize subject matter. This site also provides links to resources students may use to better their learning skills.
  • Study Tips: Resource Page: Eastern Illinois Academic Success Center provides links to several other informative pages on how to study properly.
  • Tips For Effective Study: A bulleted/numbered outline on techniques used to improve studying; including note taking, class participation, and highlighting.
  • Study Tips: Oregon State’s Academic Success Center provides a comprehensive resource page about how to study properly; including a PDF file of the informative article “Zero to Success in 77 Days.”
  • Study Strategies: In addition to providing basic study strategies this site also outlines how and why to use flashcards, and when to mnemonic devices.

Improving Reading Skills

  • Rapid Reading: A detailed guide on how to decrease the time in takes to read, and increase the amount absorbed.
  • ASAP Reading Skills: The University of Chicago’s Student Counseling and Resource site provides an article and links to information regarding how to improve speed and comprehension while reading through using selective and speed reading methods.
  • Improving Your Reading in All School Subjects: This page provides general tips on how to improve reading skills while explaining how to adapt reading skills for all the various subjects in school. It shows how reading for math class may differ from reading for literature class, and how to absorb both subject matters differently but effectively.
  • Reading and Study Skills: This article provides a bulleted list of tips on how to improve reading skills, while stressing the importance of time management.
  • Reading Comprehension: The University of Connecticut provides an extensive resource page on vocabulary instruction and text comprehension instruction, for both students and teachers.
  • Can You Improve Your Reading Skills?: This is a test on how fast you can read and absorb material. After reading the article provided, you may answer the following questions on it. When you have completed that there is a time table that will show how much reading each person can do within a given week based off of their test results. This is a jumping off point to understand, assess, and improve reading skills.

Prepping for Tests

  • How To Prepare For Test: Guide on how to effectively prepare for multiple choice, objective, and essay exams through the use of time management skills, and anxiety management.
  • Testing Dos and Don’ts: University of Alaska provides lists of what to do and what not to do before, and during the exam.
  • Taking Tests: General Tips: University of Berkeley’s guide to test taking strategies. This guide discusses tips for the preparing for, taking, and analyzing the results of the returned exam.
  • How To Prepare For Exams: North Seattle Community Colleges Counseling Center provides information on how to emotionally prepare for an exam in addition to academic preparation.
  • Exam Preperation: A brief but effective outline on the very basic breakdown of preparing for exam. This outline looks at the exam process from the get go: the classroom. Understanding that there are stages of exam preparation that take place even before an exam date is given could be the single most important factor in learning the material and being fully prepared for the exam.
  • Overcoming Test Anxiety: This handy guide helps students to understand and overcome anxiety surrounding taking examinations.
  • How To Prepare For An Exam: Plattsburgh State University’s site provides a list of ways to mentally and physically prepare oneself for exams, and provides links to other helpful sites on test preparation.

Taking Tests

  • Test-Taking Strategies: Outline on how to the before, during, and after stages of test taking; this site includes incredibly detailed instructions on what exactly to do while taking the actual exam.
  • During the Test: This article examines how to interpret the actual exam; how to follow the directions carefully, and stay on course.
  • How to Keep Calm During Test: This article addresses what students can do before and during a test to relax and avoid anxiety interference in their test performance.
  • Test Taking Strategy Assessment: This multiple choice survey is available to anyone who wishes to asses their test taking skills. It addresses issues such as reading test directions fully, and identifying and understanding the purpose of key words.

Writing Essays

  • Essay Writing: This article describes what an essay is, what different types of essays there are, and how to write them.
  • Essay Writing Tips: This article specifically addresses how to write a personal essay for acceptance into college.
  • A Brief Guide To Writing Argumentative Essays: This article stresses the importance of becoming an expert on the issue before writing an argumentative essay. It also provides a detailed outline on what an argumentative essay should be formatted like.
  • Tips for Writing Essay Exams: This article deals with essay writings specifically for exams. The unique nature of a timed essay requires the writer to have excellent organizational skills; examples of these are outlined in this article.
  • How to Write and Cite: This website covers the academic honesty aspect of writing for an institution such as a school. This page provides links to various resources that show the proper way to address borrowed intellectual ideas and how to give credit for someone else’s work.