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Succeeding in College Article Review

By:   •  February 11, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  2,023 Words (9 Pages)  •  739 Views

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Tips for College Success

Danielle A. Fernandez

Liberty University


In the article titled “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips from Cognitive Psychology,” Putnam, Sungkhasettee, and Roediger have done research and learned from their own experiences to provide readers with effective strategies to succeed while in college. First the article will be summarized to provide an overview and thorough understanding of the topic. The article will then be evaluated on whether or not it is effective in providing college students with success. The evaluation focuses on the topics of preparing for class, what to do in class, what to do after class, how to study effectively, and how to live your life outside of classes. This article is believed to be effective to succeeding while in college.

Keywords: study skills, succeeding in college, time management, preparing for college

Succeeding: Tips for College Success

Putnam, A., Sungkhasettee, V., and Roediger, H., drew up research on strategies to survive in college and came up with “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips from Cognitive Psychology” (2016).  This article is an all-inclusive guide to getting you through college, whether it be two-years or four. You could even apply some of the tips while still in high school. The original article has been backed up with research and support from studies done from other scholarly journal authors.   The article by Putnam, A., Sungkhasettee, V., and Roediger, H. is believed to be effective for providing tips for the reader to help them succeed in college.

Summary of Article

In “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips from Cognitive Psychology” (2016), Putnam, Sungkhasettee, and Roediger are providing readers with tips and tricks to achieve success while in college. They provide learning techniques, study strategies, tips for test preparation, and other strategies, with research and experiences to support those ideas, to optimize your college experience. The authors are looking at how students are studying, managing their time, and attending class, and how they should be studying, managing their time, and attending class. They explain how to use the strategies they are providing for one course, which you can apply to all courses you may take while enrolled in college. The authors go in order from how you should prepare before the semester, to preparing for each class, how you should be attending class, how you should use your time after class, test preparation, and how you should live your life when you are not in class.

Time management and how-to study are two big areas in which the authors focus. Before the semester begins, the authors advise that you should purchase your books, read all of the syllabi, and pick a study place. For class preparation, they advise that you read over the slides the professor will use and read the chapters that the professors will be teaching on before class. In that reading they encourage you to answer the questions you find at the end of the chapters, or if the book does not provide questions, to formulate your own questions. If time allows it is suggested that you formulate a summary of your pre-class readings, focusing on the big ideas so that when you go to class and there is a discussion you may actively participate in it. Once you are prepared for class, you need to show up to all of your lectures and take notes. They recommend writing your notes by hand rather than typing them on a computer. After class, you should go over your notes, by rewriting them and organizing them. Going over your notes and organizing them helps with studying. The authors suggest that studying a little bit over a long period of time rather than cramming all of your studying into one night helps you retain information better. To study for tests, it is suggested that you go back to the notes you made when you were reading before class and quiz yourself on them; answer the questions that you asked when you were reading the first time. The last point the authors touch on is how you should be prioritizing and managing your time outside of classes. They mention ideas such as putting studying before partying, exercising, and making sure that you are getting enough sleep.

Evaluation of Article

This article is effective in providing research and experience-based tips for college students. Sure, anyone can go to college, but succeeding is where it is difficult. This article provides you with successful tips to survive and succeed while in college. “A high achieving student is usually independent, proactive and possesses the ability to employ learning strategies. Note taking, time management, and ways of cognitive management of material so as to process it is very important” (Eniko & Szamoskozi, 2017).

Time Management

In the article “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips from Cognitive Psychology” (Putnam, Sungkhasettee, & Roediger, 2016), it was suggested to purchase your books ahead of time, read all of the syllabi, and pick a study place. The authors of the original article also suggest going through all of the course calendars and write down the due dates of all assignments you will have.  According to a study done by Alsalem, Alamodi, Hazazi, Jabri, and Albosruor, students who had better time management skills had a better academic performance than that of students who did not have time management skills (2017, p. 3048-3049). The better performance was probably because they managed their time well so that they did not have to stay up late at night to get assignments done or study (Putnam, Sungkhasettee, & Roediger, 2016). It was recommended that you purchase a planner or a calendar to track all of your assignments and due dates. Having all of your due dates written down somewhere that you check regularly helps you stay on top of assignments. You could also download an app on your smartphone and input all of your assignments there. I suggest that for people who are tech savvy and don’t like writing things down. The sooner that you establish good time management skills, the more likely you are to succeed because it would have become a habit. “Student’s habits and skills in learning contribute to their academic performance” (Eniko & Szamoskozi, 2017, 46). Be on top of your assignments and schedule as soon as your professors post the syllabus. In the article, the authors suggest purchasing your books before the semester begins; however, sometimes there are books on the course list that the professors end up telling you that you don’t need. You almost never use your textbooks on the first day of class anyways.

Preparing for Class

        In the article it suggests that you heavily prepare for each class before you attend. Putnam, Sungkhasettee, and Roediger suggest reading the chapters of what the professor will be going over in class, before you go to class. Doing this can help you to be familiar with the lecture material. The authors tell you to answer the comprehension questions before you read the chapter and while you are reading. While you are doing the reading the authors suggest writing down any questions you may encounter during your reading. Once you finish reading, if you did not find your answers, you can either ask about them in class or research them. Doing all of the preparation before class can be extremely beneficial for success. Since it will not be the first time you are hearing about or learning the subject you will be able to comprehend the information the professor is teaching better; therefore, learning and retaining more information (Putnam, Sungkhasettee, & Roediger, 2016).


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