My Concerns

In this chapter you will explore

Confessions of a




Wofford College

comprehending, and remembering are essential to getting the most out of your college experience. Although many students think that the only reason for studying is to do well on exams, a far more important reason is to learn and understand course information. If you study to increase your understanding, you are more likely to remember and apply what you learn not only to tests, but also to future courses and to life beyond college. You might have learned to study effectively while you were in high school, or you might be finding that you need to learn more about how to study. In college you will need to spend time out of class reviewing course material, doing assigned reading, and keeping up with your homework. Occasionally, you will also want to go the extra mile by doing additional (unassigned) reading and investigating particular topics that interest you. This chapter offers you a number of strategies for making the best use of your study time. It also addresses the important topic of memory. There’s no getting around it: If you can’t remember what you have read or heard, you won’t do well on course exams.


Studying will help you accomplish two goals: understanding and remembering. While memory is a necessary tool for learning, what’s most important is that you study to develop a deep understanding of course information. When you truly comprehend what you are learning, you will be able to place names, dates, and specific facts in context. You will also be able to exercise your critical thinking abilities. The human mind has discovered ingenious ways to understand and remember information. Here are some methods that might be useful to you as you’re trying to nail down the causes of World War I, remember the steps in a chemistry problem, or absorb a...