Developing Good Study Habits

Two College Students Study In Library

Starting college or returning to school as an adult can be daunting, but when you're a servicemember or military spouse, it can seem overwhelming. The idea of taking statistics or chemistry may make you hesitate, but don't let doubts stand in your way. Opportunities for both military and civilian education are virtually everywhere. Developing solid study habits will help your personal success as a student. It will also give you ideas to help your children develop lifelong skills that they can begin refining long before they send out college applications.

Getting Started


Having a routine and a regular place to study is a good start in developing strong study skills. Some people study more effectively in the morning, others at night. Discover your best time and develop a schedule that allows for your peak study time.

Getting Organized

Whether you're in middle school or graduate school, you'll find that lack of organization is the main cause of low academic performance. With multiple teachers to answer to and different class schedules and assignments to track, unorganized students find themselves quickly falling behind in their grade point average (GPA).

  • Keep a separate notebook for each class. The type of notebook will depend on the teacher and the assignments. Color-code classes if necessary.
  • Keep good notes. Class notes, assignments, tape recordings (if the teacher allows it), and personal reminders help you keep up and not be surprised by that Friday afternoon quiz.
  • Pens, pencils, computer ink, and other supplies should be on hand and convenient to your study area.
  • Backpacks keep everything together and available. Make sure you routinely check the supplies in your backpack or organizer bag if you're often on the road or in different locations to study.

Balancing Family, Fun, Work, and School

If you are returning to school and have a family and/or career, setting priorities is the first step toward time management and that's the first step toward success. Yes, you might have to put favorite activities or social interests on hold for a while, but in the long run you'll find that any sacrifices were well worth the time invested in your education. (You can always go bar-hopping or tinker with cars later.)

Study guides help you find what works best for you or your child. Good study habits can make the difference between just passing and making the dean's list.

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