45 Minutes of Study Skills Transforms This College Student’s Life!

Can you completely transform your abilities as a student in only 45 minutes? Keep reading to learn about one college student’s experience.

Last week, our new intern, Jessie, shared vivid details about the struggles she faced transitioning into college. (See part 1 here.) Jessie graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA, but college was a whole new ball game. So, my husband suggested that Jessie read my book, SOAR® Study Skills: A Simple and Efficient System for Earning Better Grades in Less Time.

Today, Jesse shares what study skills can do for her as she begins her most challenging year of college yet. The following words are 100% authentic. She followed the chapter on “How to Write Papers” to construct an outline. Then, she punched out the article below…

soar student testimonial

Meet Jessie, our new summer intern! She’s pictured here with her two favorite high school teachers (“Ms. D,” and my husband, Brian), after winning the State Championship for DECA, a student marketing association. April, 2011.

By Jessie Smude:

As I shared last week, my first semester of college was brutal! Slowly, I figured a few things out and pumped up my grades quite a bit. But now, I’m heading into my hardest year of schooling, my Junior year. So, I knew something had to change.

Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to be completing an internship at SOAR® Learning Inc. My employers have graciously offered to help fix my study woes, specifically:

  • Determining “what” is important to focus on for upcoming tests
  • Keeping up with reading from textbooks
  • How to write research papers
  • Taking notes in a lecture
  • Determining “when” to start studying for upcoming tests

The solutions came in the form of their best-selling book, SOAR® Study Skills. They specifically told me to focus on chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11.

I read these chapters over the weekend in about 45 minutes. The reading itself was light and easy, but the information was very powerful.

While reading all the ideas I kept thinking to myself, “Why has no one told me to do this before?! It would have made ‘this paper,’ ‘that project,’ ‘that test’ and so on so much easier!”

In chapter 8, I learned a lot of information on how to work with teachers, and how teachers can help me. It was very interesting to read information written by a former teacher because, it is not typical information you receive every day and in most cases may never get. From guiding me on where to sit in a classroom and what types of questions to ask, I learned tips that will help me interact with my teacher in order to get the best assistance possible from them.

Chapter 9 brought more great information about how to handle all those lengthy text books. The directions on how to approach them without sitting there for hours on hours staring at the words will help me tremendously in my upcoming school year. The method in the book is one that I have never heard before but already makes sense. Did you know that it’s not necessary to read EVERY word in the chapter to accomplish the goal of “reading” the chapter? It’s really just a matter of reading the “right” words and Susan certainly directs you through this easy process.

Then, I moved on to chapter 10 where I learned how to write a paper in the most organized way possible. I was taught proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure and all the basics in school. Those are all very important things to know, but if you don’t know what to even write or how to get your ideas started, then those things mean virtually nothing.

The 3-D Research Report Organizer that the book instructs you how to make is one of the most simple, yet potentially effective things I have ever seen. The steps it tells me to take while writing a paper will help me organize my thoughts and facts in a way that I haven’t yet figured out how to do. I know that this will help me become a greater writer in the next year.

Also, after I read this section, Susan was sharing a story of how she just taught this same organizing method for writing to entrepreneurs and executives that earn millions of dollars per year. If this process can work both them and middle school students then it must be both powerful AND simple. I’m excited to use the organizer for the first paper I’m assigned in the next semester.

Lastly, chapter 11 helped with what I needed to learn most, taking and studying notes. The book provided me with an actual example, with formatting and everything, of what my notes should look like and include. Not only does it tell me what to do, it tells me why. This really helped me understand the logic behind the parts of notes and why it is most beneficial to take my notes that way.

Studying the notes that I took was the biggest struggle for me when starting college. The book provided me with step by step directions on how and when to study the notes I take. That is an answer I have been looking for the past 2 years and an answer that was never given to me while in high school.

Reading the SOAR® Study Skills book was one of the most beneficial things I have read in the past 6 years (not to be biased). It provided me with answers to questions I had been looking for since I started college. I know that if I would have had this resource prior to starting, my GPA and overall academic experience would be much better. However, I cannot change the past so I am looking forward to implementing my newly learned study skills during my Junior year. Now that I know how to take notes, study, and write better, I know my grades will continue to improve… and I can actually improve them in less time!

Can 45 minutes make such a powerful difference for your child? Do you want them have this information now, or continue to scramble through school? Get the SOAR® Study Skills book here.

If 45 minutes were so powerful, imagine what specific, focused study skills instruction can do for your students! Learn about our efficient, effective, and student-friendly study skills curriculum here.

This article is part 2 of a 2-part series. See part 1 here.

-Susan Kruger


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