New Site Coming Soon!

OK, I’ll admit it – this site needs a change.  A new one is coming in time for the next school year.  It will be better organized, with more content, with a bright, clean new look.  Stay tuned.

My daughter will be a senior at Boston University and my son will be a freshman at Baylor.  My youngest will be a senior in high school and he’s starting to look at colleges now too. 

I’ll need to be ready to annoy them with copious amounts of unwanted advice.  Sorry kids, but I’m going to be ruthless about your college success. 


72 thoughts on “New Site Coming Soon!

  1. I have a son entering college in the fall and the reasons you created this site is the exact reason I was searching the web. You have another test case taking place starting in the fall at the University of Kentucky.

    This summer, my son will read your through this information and provide us (his parents) with an overview of his Plan For Success. We will then give him a mock schedule for him to block his time for a semester. We will give him a series of simulated weeks to plan out. He will be given a lecture and reading assignment from a college professor we know for him to take notes and practice writing test questions, followed by studying his notes.

    Our theory is that it’s best to practice these techniques before he is in a position where he is to rely on them.

    Thank you so much for caring enough for others to share your wisdom.

    • Hi Geary, Thanks for your comments. It’s these that will definitely keep me motivated. I’ll be learning myself as I go. When my son and I were touring colleges, one parent raised their hand and asked what the key to success was. Time management is the most critical factor. The good news is that if kids just make use of even the smallest blocks of time throughout the day, it will make a huge difference in their stress and success. But just the simple things – show up, sit up front, turn off the cell phone, stay away from your dorm. All small things in themselves, but when added together make up that 10% difference. The Cornell note method, which is basically drawing a line down the page is critical too. Ditto with highlighting textbooks which most high school kids have not experience with. Practice highlighting textbook pages in a way that when he reads just the highlighted text it flows as smoothly as possible so that it sounds like it is a summary of the key concepts of that page. With practice, he can learn to cull out the salient points and highlight them in a readable way. In my new site, I’ll be doing a lot of screencast examples of both note taking and textbook highlighting.

    • Hello Jim,
      I am student reexamining my study skills and habits. I am doing some physics reading before the semster starts and notice every chapter takes more than six hours to complete. Can you give any more tips on highlighting textbooks more efficiently? Thanks.

      • Hi Ricardo, Check back in the next 60 days. I’ll have a new site with a new look and will be updating content in all of the areas on a more frequent basis.

  2. I will indeed cover that as well. I also appreciate hearing from you about your challenges with working and trying to find time to study too. Not an easy task.

  3. Hey author of this site! I am entering the University of Toronto this fall and while searching “how to study in college” i came by this article. I’ve spent my time reading through all your blog and I have to say this has been great advice! I will for sure be using your advice heading into University in a few months!

  4. I will be starting college in a few days and came upon your site. I love all the advice and will be using it for my classes. I do have one question. I am going to a community college for two years to save money before transferring to a four year university. Since I will not have other students bothering me can I plan my study time at home or should I still study in the library?

    • I would always try to make a clear distinction between home and school. Flip the switch – time to study or time to relax. If you live near college, make it your study place. When you are at home, you are surrounded by familiarity and distractions. Go straight to the library after class or come home and then head back if you can. A library just creates a mindset – here to study. You’ll be more focused and get it done faster. Obviously if you can’t you can’t, but try to make it a priority. Besides, the more you are out of your house the better chance to meet new people, new experiences and new opportunity. Go where the students are. Home isn’t it.

      • Thank you for the advice. I only live a five minute drive from the campus so it is easy for me to go back and forth. Given my class schedule I will just stay at school and try to do most of my studying after class. I will let you know how your system works for me so that you have yet another test case. Also I am a “non traditional” student (27 years old) so it will give the perspective of someone who has not attended school in ten years.

      • Thank you for the advice I was a struggling student in college (27 years old and still not finished I’m ashamed) and I am going to try this coming up with the last few semesters I had left. I never did any studying and now that you broke it down for me and have it make sense I am going to try and raise my GPA(3.2) and let you know how I do. I have already subscribed to your news letter and can’t wait to hear from you. I know I can do better.

      • Thanks much and glad to hear it is helpful. I will have the site up with a new look in the next 60 days.

  5. Love all the advice and can’t wait for the new website. I read your blogs a couple of weeks ago, but it seems that the study time weekly calendar link domain has expired. Do you happen to have the calendar saved? If so, please post a link or email me

    • Thanks much and sorry. I just have an example page in there but will have some useful downloads coming soon. I really am going to get a great update done to the site and I have some designers working on it now. It’s been neglected, but the new version will be good.

  6. Hi Jim, you know I found this site tonight because my freshman year of college is not going very well. I currently go to Denison University, a small Liberal Arts college in Granville, OH. I am double-majoring in Economics and Political Science and I am very passionate about going to law school. Do you have an email I can reach you at instead of this site? After reading all the tips you list, I am very interested in talking with a lawyer who struggled as I do now and how I can perfect my flaws to succeed in school.

  7. Greetings,

    I really enjoyed reading your site and have bookedmarked it. I noticed your last blog entry was in May of 2013, and was in regards to a new site. Is there another site?

    Thanks, and have a great day!

    • I have to admit I have neglected the site. I had a couple of new businesses that I am involved in that have taken a lot of my time. However, I have something new coming that will really be a help to college students so I’ll be getting site updated and have more fresh content on a regular basis. Thanks for your support and patience.

  8. Thanks for the great advice. I graduated from college over 10 years ago, and got mostly As, by blocking out time in my schedule and making use of the library. With daily review, I did not need to cram and was able to have fun as well.

  9. Any news on when the new site will be going up? I start college in August so I can’t wait to start suitm this advice.

  10. Thank you so much for this information! Lately I’ve been on a ‘C’ train and I’ve finally hunkered down and begun to study harder. I recently got a ‘B’ in a rigorous anatomy class that I decided to take in 6 weeks as opposed to the normal 15-week semester. I really wanted an ‘A’ but after reading this I realized that even though I was studying harder than I usually did, I still wasn’t planning my time wisely and utilizing it effectively. Hopefully by the end of this next 6 week semester I’ll have an ‘A’ in the class that I’m beginning tomorrow! Again, thanks for the info 🙂

    • Not yet, but it will be in the next 60 days. Keep checking back. I’ve got something new that I think will really be useful for college students.

    • The URL will be the same, but the new site is not up yet. It will be soon so keep checking back. Good things to come. I appreciate your interest.

  11. I love your website and it is encourage me to have the confidence to go back to school. After 10 years of being out of college and working too hard I have now decided an A is possible for me. Thank you for all the advice and help planning. One question, what advice would you give to someone who is going to take online classes only?

    • I’m not familiar with the format of online classes, but I suspect the same principles apply. Its really about self discipline, breaking things into small bites, and knowing exactly what you need to do on a daily basis and never getting behind. The site will be updated in the next couple of months so please check back again. I promise I’ll be more involved in keeping it fresh.

  12. Hi Jim, how I can subscribe for your e-mail list? I’m 46 years old and I’m going back to College. I love all your tips! Thanks, Valeria.

  13. Hi Jim. I love your site and have sent it off to my college junior who was commenting this summer that she STILL feels like she is learning to study. What is the estimated time arrival for the new site? Thanks for everything (this should be taught in high school…)! Lisa

  14. I attend a community college and have found your advise really helpful. Thank you! I was wondering if you had advice for online students, as I have a few classes online. Do you think I could apply the same advice to those classes as well?

  15. Hello Jim! I recently came across your site because I am starting to fall behind in school already (not even 1 month in) and I read your entire website! I want to implement these into my life and see the change happen right away! I have class all week M-F 8:00AM-8:50AM and then I don’t have a single class until 4:00PM-5:50PM every day. My time gap is 7 hours of time between each class! I was thinking about setting up my schedule like the one below and would love your feedback on it!

    8:00-8:50 – Class
    9:00-11:00 – Study material from 8:00AM class, do assignments and homework.
    11:00-12:00 – Relax, have lunch and take a break
    12:00-2:00 – Study material for my 4:00 class

    I got stuck at this point. Personally, I am wiped out after my 4:00 class because it ends at 6:00 every day. I really want to just be able to leave class and be done for the day. I know this breaks your rule of reviewing material after class but it’s a long day and I think that If I can study from 12:00-2:00 for the class I had the day before and then go into the next lecture in 2 hours, I think that can work. Thoughts?

    Thank you so much for your help! It’s a serious struggle for me and I am 100% going to start using your ideas and habits to be successful!

  16. From a Dad of struggling college student (Based on your photo, I suspect I’m almost exactly your age)… you have perfectly encapsulated everything I’ve been advising my son. Maybe I can get him to listen to you, since you’re not me. Through the lens of experience, it’s a brilliant flash of the obvious. I wouldn’t change a thing on this site — it’s perfect just the way it is (especially the URL). If this changes the life of even one student, you are making a very valuable contribution to the world.

  17. These tips are really good. I am in my last year of highschool and I started using all your tips and not only do I feel better about my grades but I also know that the material I learn will stay with me for a longer period of time. I just have this question : how do you know what is important to highlight? I sometimes end highlighting the whole page…

  18. Awhile ago during the summer before my freshman year I was searching “how to study in college”. Unfortunately I had saved it on my old phone and got a new one. Needless to say my first semester didn’t go as planned. But I wanted to make my second semester even better. So I began searching multiple keywords until I finally found you again. I’m definitely gonna use a lot of these skills toake sure I get better grades for next semester which is starting soon. Thanks 🙂

  19. I think your tips about the textbook highlighting ,and where to study in those small time slots when you cant really afford to waste half of that time by trouncing back to the library were helpful. As a junior at Michigan State University, Transferring from a community college, the loss in those small time slots for the purpose of simply getting around campus is a challenge, and in those hours your burning each day you will be stressing about how your wasting time just trying to get from point a to point b.

    I assume that even though the cost is higher, your advice would be that you should buy only new textbooks when possible? Also, as a science major, how would you advise anticipating test questions. Would it be alright to pull them from the questions in the textbook which overlap with the topic?

    • Sorry for the late reply. I agree that the library is certainly not always best. Use small time blocks wherever you can use them. As for textbooks, I think new is always better unless you can find one that hasn’t been marked up by someone else. That said, a well highlighted used textbook can save you a lot of time. Take a look at some of the pages and see if their highlighting makes sense and is consistent with what you might have done. If they used a highlighter, you can use a pen when you do your own. Not sure about your question on anticipating test questions. The key point is to test yourself on any / every topic that you can expect would logically appear on the exam. If there are already questions in the book, you can certainly expect that your exam will follow the same format. Hopefully you will be cheering for Wisconsin while you are studying.

  20. I am very sure this blog will help me in my studies. I am taking a nursing course and my schedule is always from 8Am to 6PM (sometimes it is up to 10PM because of our duty). Sometimes I am having a hard time finding ways on how to manage my energy and all the tasks I have to do. Would you consider giving me advice on how to conserve energy and how to focus when studying? Because when I study, I always fell a sleep and sometimes I can’t focus so my time is really wasted doing nothing. Thank you!:D I really love your blog. I can’t wait to apply it this semester:D

    • Hi Camille,

      Not sure I can give you much advice on that. Success in college is all about time management. If you don’t have any time to manage, it’s always going to be tough. As I mention in the site, don’t underestimate the power of using minutes wherever you can find them. 30 minutes here and there can add up quickly. My daughter works at a hospital and often has four 12 hour days but then has 3 days off. She often has to just make the best of those days even though she would rather be out having fun. This site has been around for a while, so it isn’t new, but I really haven’t posted to it regularly. I am having the site re-done more professionally and hope to spend more time on it in the coming year.

      • Thank you very much :). I will just discipline myself:). Anyways, I am looking forward to the changes in this site:D

        God bless!

  21. I keep promising soon, but you know how this stuff goes. Always longer than expected. Let’s just say it’s actively in progress now rather than just thinking about it all the time.

  22. Thank you for making this site! I’m a Sophomore with ADHD on the pre-grad school track at a HUGE university with multiple campuses and a big bus system. The first three semesters were rough, but I’m finally figuring out how to better time manage. Your site has been a huge help! Is there a place I can sign up to be notified of when the new site goes live?

    • The site is being assembled but won’t launch until both the app and study guide are ready. The good news is that the app is finally in programming. We are shooting for a January 1 launch.

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