Palomar College Learning For Success

Counseling Department

Student Success, Equity and Counseling Services Division

7 Steps for Success in College

by Glyn Bongolan, Ed.D.

Study Cycle and Intense Study Session handout
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning handout

The suggestion for the number of hours to study per week in college is 2 hours for every hour you are in class per week.  So, for a 12 unit course load, you want to study 24 hours a week.  But, have you ever wondered what you would do for those 24 hours?  Here are some suggestions below:

  1. Read the text before class
    Preparing before you hear the material in class will reinforce what you hear in the lecture.  You’ll also expose yourself to new terms and will be more familiar with them when the professor refers to those terms.  At least skim the material if you don’t have time to thoroughly read before class.
  2. Attend every lecture
    Miss class, miss out.  After missing a lecture, you can get easily lost in the material covered after the missed lecture.  Try not to allow yourself to ditch a class unless you have a valid reason.  When you miss a class, it is your responsibility to obtain the information from someone in the class.
  3. Take notes – always
    Take notes even if you think you understand the material or even if that material is easy.  Forgetting material is easy, so write things down.  If you don’t take notes, then you will have nothing to study for steps 4 and 7.
  4. Review your notes ASAP
    During the first 5 – 10 minutes after class, review your notes.  Write out your abbreviations or add more detail to make your notes more clear.    Take note of the main points or themes in class as revealed through your notes.  Also, take note of what you did not understand or what your were confused about.    This will help you in step 5.
  5. Read the text again
    This time read thoroughly.  Now that you have been through lecture, you will know which areas are more important to focus on.  Read up on the areas you found confusing in your notes.  Reading the text a second time around is similar to watching a movie a second time around.  You always notice different things the second time around.
  6. Complete your homework or lab hours
    Utilize study groups, labs, and tutors.  See handout on the Study Cycle and Intense Study Session.  Also go to the Student Resource page for more support options.
  7. Review the material
    Redo your notes, outline the chapter, or read again aloud.  Reviewing the material helps to make recall faster.

See more Advice from Counselors


Last modified on September 26, 2021