New Site FINALLY Coming By Fall

Yes, I finally have a great creative firm that will totally redo this website.  It will be better organized, broken down into small sections and will have a great flow from start to finish. I think you’ll like it and I don’t even know what they are going to design yet! Looking forward to a great 2016.

97 thoughts on “New Site FINALLY Coming By Fall

  1. Hi sir! I am an upcoming college freshman myself and over the past few weeks I have been feeling extreme pressure, anxiety/panic attack. And so to calm my nerves, I have started to study a little bit of my major/course which is Information Technology and I used to fear programming by a whole LOT. And my anxiety issue didn’t help and so, I panicked-advance-study without any real direction and started studying begginer tutorials of programming languages everywhere and so on and so forth. However I decided to just chill out and leave the teaching to my professors in my future University( since that’s the point right?) And just focus on mastering time management, study tips and etc.

    And I really wanted to belong in the first block (blocks where the smart kids belong) and so I decided to research up techniques on how to study specifically by an honor graduate-

    And wow sir! Your studying style helped me tremendously to have a bigger chunk of idea as to how I would make my parents proud. In high school I was pretty passive and a lazy bum but in college, I just want to do my very best! Thank you sooo much for this. And if yiy would allow me to know your email address sir, I would love to email you and ask for more specific advices and other tips if that would not bother you. Thank you for this very helpful blog and articles!

  2. Wonderful tips! I am an incoming college freshman and will definitely be using this website to help me schedule my time and study efficiently.

  3. thanks so much for this info! it is so helpful and has a great structure! structure is what we need in college..
    Would you mind talking about eating habits? did you leave time to cook food or did you always eat out? this affects so much how I study, the healthier the better, but if my behind at school, no time to eat healthy, subsequently not a great performance when studying.

    All of the info in this website is very appreciated!

    • I never cooked on my own. I always had a meal plan. Cooking takes too much time and you then don’t eat properly. I was a fanatic about exercise too. I became a runner. I found that it helped reduce stress a lot. Definitely build exercise into your plan.

  4. Came upon your website today, just what I needed to fix my habits starting my sophomore year in college. I’ve already made my weekly schedule, and plan to refer to your advice very often. Thanks!

  5. Hello! I am on my second year of college (undergraduate) education. I have failed 2 classes, and I’m at the verge of getting kicked out of school. The fall semester just started, and I have been using your blog as a guideline on how to pick my grades back up. I have a schedule made for myself, and will use it starting this week.

    I just wanted to say that everything on here is truly helpful. I have been studying better, and understanding the material. What I don’t quite understand is how to “write your own test questions”. I just don’t know how I can come up with questions, lets say for math.

    • Writing sample test questions is just that – based on the notes you have taken, what test question would most likely be given on that content? I realize that math will involve some kind of complicated problem with multiple steps. It isn’t always feasible to write such a question in a notebook. You may need to do use a workbook or other problem set and just practice them enough that you are confident that you can deal with anything. If in doubt, ask the professor what the format of the test is likely to be. Show them your specific notes and ask how you might be tested on it. Ask what you should be doing to be best prepared. Find previous exams and see what they look like. Every class and possible exam content is different. The method is always the same – pre test yourself. Ask yourself what is the most likely exam question that would follow that content and practice it early and often. Gather intelligence – ask, find previous exams, talk to other students who may have taken the class.

      • Hello, sir.

        I have followed your advice, and just wanted to inform you that I have done so well last semester. I was forced to take only 2 classes, but I spent the rest of my time studying. I went to the library right after each lecture. Had taken notes, focused (by sitting in the front), and I got an A and a B-.

        I want to thank you for doing this website. I was nearly kicked out, but I fixed my grades. Hopefully, I do even better this semester. I am really grateful. I can’t express how much I respect you, sir.

        To whoever is going through what I did: definitely follow everything on here, and maybe put your little twist in it. You can do it, and by the end of the semester you’ll be glad you worked hard.

        Thank you again, sir.

      • Thanks for your kind words and congrats on your good grades. I’m working feverishly on this project and hope to have a new site and other materials up soon.

  6. Hello. Currently I’m living at home and unfortunately have a busy home life, sick relatives I take care while at school for engineering. Last semester I pulled a 2.5 gpa, B+ in one class, C+ in another, C and C in the most important two, calculus 2 and programming c++. Now the calculus I studied for fine, just I’m horrible at trig, once I decided to study it I got an 89 on my exam :). We had 5 exams, no curving, my first test ever in college was calc and I got a 66, next one was 72 then an 89. Unfortunately the next test I lost 20 points on one question for reading it incorrectly, that brought my grade down extremely because there was a tiny amount of questions. The programming, well as I said I have a busy home life and its hard to find the time to practice it, programming is just sitting there hours thinking how to create a program, then actually make it, bug test etc and I had to get a tutor. In summer, I got an A- in the one class I had, that’s because I was able to find time for it :). Hopefully I will get much better grades this semester with your guide on how to study! I’ll report back in December =D

  7. Hi Jim.
    I have followed most of your steps already. I created a calendar that incorporates meals, classes, exercise, library time, and travel time for everything. However, I still have some difficulty with focusing on the study material and it takes so long just to read one chapter (of science textbooks). Do you have any advice on how to “understand” material thoroughly while you’re reading? Should we take notes on every paragraph? Etc.

    Also, how can one make sure they’re staying on track and completing their tasks/goals every week? Should we have a mentor to keep us on track? A student advisor?

    I’ve realized that I really need straight As this quarter if I want to go into healthcare (I’m taking Organic Chemistry this year and had a rough transition into college).

    • It is hard to say exactly because I don’t know what you are seeing, but let’s face it, Organic Chemistry is brutal, and I didn’t even take it. I think it is the standard of measure for torture in college. Science textbooks often have so much detail and can be just plain hard to grasp. It can also be very difficult to highlight the most relevant points because everything is important. There are a mountain of details. It’s just going to move.

      Understanding is so subjective. I had to work my ass off for good grades while other people I knew did it without putting a mark in their book. My main point is to make sure you don’t skip over anything that is confusing to you. I used to put a ‘?’ next to the paragraph and then use the back inside cover of the textbook to put a list of page numbers where I had questions. I would cross them off as I got them answered. This is a good chance for you to go visit the professor. As I have mentioned, that has a lot of ancillary benefits as well. The most important thing is to make sure you do understand it. So often people say ‘I don’t get it, but I’ll figure it out later’ and then they never do because they just have too much to do already. All the more reason to study during the day so when things pop up you have time to deal with them well before the exam or letting them pile up so much that they get overwhelming.

      In the sciences more than any other classes, it’s so important to do things in very small bites – even just a few pages at a time, and do them as early as you can. You want plenty of time to figure things out, ask the professor, research the concept using other sources that might help you understand it in different ways, and mainly just to make sure you never get behind. Honestly, time is the one thing you can’t make up. Literally, if you have only 10 minutes, just read a page or two. It makes such a huge difference when you discover something you don’t understand as early in the day as you can.

      When you ask if you should take notes on every paragraph, I’ll assume you mean write a text question. As I read a textbook, I would just figure out what block of content represented the opportunity for a test question. That might be one paragraph or it might be 10. Whenever there was a logical break to the next concept, I would stop and ask myself – If I were to be tested on this concept as it was just explained to me, what would be the most likely question and how would it be presented? I would then either write it in the margin if it made sense, or have a notebook next to me where I would reference the page in the book and write the question. Obviously depending on the class, there might be some kind of complex problem that you might be expected to solve. In that case, you want to make sure you practice some specific examples, or just create a question and write it ‘what are steps for solving XXXX’ using the xxx method’ or whatever it is. My point is, no matter what the content, make sure you know it by heart. That’s why self testing is so much more effective than just paging through a book reviewing the content What if another student didn’t didn’t understand it and you had to explain to them yourself? Could you do that? If you can’t do it before the exam, you certainly won’t on the exam.

      Sorry, I’m on a roll!

      • Hey Jim. Your blog has really helped me with time management and organization. One thing I’ve noticed though that’s holding me back is it’s rough for me to get up in the morning. I normally go to bed at 11 and wake up at 6:30. In the morning, I keep hitting the snooze alarm, and before I know it, an hour has passed. Any tips?

      • Hi Elizabeth. Hard to help you on that one. I’m a big believer in getting up early so at least you are trying to do that. I had a guy in the dorm room next to me who used to hit his snooze button 20 times. I got so sick of it one morning that I shut off his power! (I was an RA and had access to the breaker box for all of the rooms!)

  8. This site is great! Thank you very much!

    I was one of the worst students in my high school and I somehow managed to enter faculty of civil engineering in Belgrade. It was hell for me ‘couse I didn’t even know how to study. Thanks to you, Jim, i passed all my theory subjects and i have a great chance to pass this year! But the problem is that your guide is for theory subjects only. I would love to see more excercise subjects covered, like maths, mechanics… If you can put guide for them, how to organise, when you know that you really KNOW not just recognise the problem etc.

    Sorry for my bad english. And thank you again, with your help I’m on a way that I always dreamed about!

    • I will work on giving more specific examples and methods when the new site is up. I agree that the site needs more on math and sciences. The site is a big general now and I hope to give more specifics in the future. There are so many different courses and so many variations of concepts and sample questions that it is difficult to illustrate them without knowledge of each subject. My goal is to work with professors in a variety of topics and get advice and specific examples on how to do what you suggest. Thanks for your input and your English is perfect and certainly way better than my Serbian.

  9. Hi, I have really enjoyed your website and am really looking forward to your new website. I just wanted to ask you for advice on preparing for my second year at college. I managed a good grade in my first year but I want to do even better in the following year. Would you have any advice on whether I should be revising old material or start working on new material that I will be covering in class next year to be better prepared for next year?
    Also would you have any additional advice for people who stress out easily? I find myself loosing focus easily as I often get stressed that I’m not doing enough etc.
    Thanks in advance

    • Sorry for the late reply. If you have time time to review in advance, I would focus on the new material. You can get ahead or have more time to focus on the things you don’t understand. As for stress – run! Seriously. Make some form of strenuous exercise part of your college plan. I started running in college and did a marathon within about 9 months and I’ve been running ever since. The main cause of stress is getting behind. If you do the things I mention in here, you should keep stress away. Regardless, get a good workout in. Run, lift weights, ride a bike. Set an athletic goal just like an academic goal and do something every day.

  10. You mentioned in the section on textbooks and highlighting that ‘There is an art to pulling the most from the least words and still making it readable’ and to sign up for your mailing list to understand how. Can you pass on that information please?
    Thanks so much!

    • I get asked that a lot. I intend to have both graphic and video examples of how I move through a textbook. Obviously they are all so different. Technical / scientific subjects are the worst and often it’s near impossible to highlight as you would in others. I hope to show some examples using a variety of different types of classes. The point of highlighting is just to try to summarize the content that will most likely be on the exam to speed review. If you can do that by writing a text question or something to trigger your memory, do that instead. The main thing is to continually break things down into small bites – a page, a paragraph and ask yourself – what content is most likely to be on the exam and what format would it logically take? Highlight it, but more importantly, write a question – ‘explain the concept of…’ ‘what are the 3 things that…’ ‘Explain the interaction of XXX with YYY and…’ Whatever you think that is, write it down in the margin of the notebook. Be able to self test by heart. Highlighting just helps speed that review and provides the shortest possible memory trigger to be able to recite the full answer.

  11. I saw that you mentioned that you worked in college but didn’t notice it on the “Study Time” schedule example. For instance, I work 24 hours a week, Monday through Friday, and take 12 hours of class during those days as well. My commute to school is 45 minutes both ways and I never do anything social during the week. Should I study all weekend? Sleep less? I feel like working less hours or taking less classes aren’t options for me but I’m often depressed and feel I’m behind on something, be it study time, work focus, or relationships.

    Thanks for your time in reading this and for your wonderful website 🙂

    • OUCH! I would not want to have your schedule. You are to be commended for your commitment to getting it done. I guess the answer in your case is you are going to have to use time wherever you can find it. If you aren’t getting sleep or don’t have a life then something will have to give. I like to say minutes matter and in your case more than ever. You’re going to have to take small bites wherever you can find them. Even a single page read during some point in the day makes a difference on what you have to do later. Have a sense of urgency to get things done early and often and use weekends for sure. Just make sure you aren’t cutting corners, which is the biggest problem when you are short on time. Highlight your textbooks, don’t skip classes, and make sure you write test questions and review continuously. The extra time that you spend now will save you more when reviewing for exams. It may be that you are just going to have to suffer time torture until you finish school. It will pay off.

      • Thanks for your reply, Nice Guy! I’m glad you didn’t say it’s impossible, that’s what I was afraid of! Your reassurance and advice is truly meaningful to me. Just one more year of this and I’ll be done! Thanks again for your help 🙂

  12. Great website! I will definitely refer back to this site during my studies. Do you recommend any study techniques for studying sciences such as Anatomy & Physiology where you have to remember the names of numerous parts of the body, where they’re located and their function? Identifying and remembering where they are located seems to be where I have the mostly difficulty. Thank you for your feedback and wonderful site!

    • I’ll be working on more specific examples in the near future. The sciences are always tough as there is so much detail. Back at you soon.

  13. Hi great website i loved it ! I am a freshmen in college aspiring to become a physical therapist. Do you have any tips on how to do well in the complex science classes such as biology, chemistry, physics , anatomy, and. physiology ?

    • I’ve been asked that a few times. Sciences are much harder to highlight and outline than your typical theory class. I do plan to do specific examples in the coming months. Seeing is better than explaining. I also hope to do some interviews with science professors to get their suggestions as well.

  14. I agree, you give a lot of nice information, and I’ve learned quite a lot since stumbling upon this website. Any idea as to when the new website will be launching?


    • I’ve given up predicting an exact date. I do have site content pretty much ready, but just need to get a designer on it. Hopefully in the next couple of months.

  15. Thank you for takin ur time and doing this website..tomorrow will be a a new day for me and a new start and I’m thankful I found this because I didn’t know what to do to change they way I was doin but now I do

  16. Thank you for takin ur time and doing this website..tomorrow will be a a new day for me and a new start and I’m thankful I found this because I didn’t know what to do to change the way I was going but now I do

  17. Hi, Jim.

    I’m currently a senior in high school and I came across this website the past summer because I plan on acquiring AT LEAST a 3.85+ college GPA (higher than my HS GPA) so I can transfer to a certain school. First of all, I have been using your methods my senior year because I have 3 AP classes this semester and so far your time blocking method has worked perfectly; I currently have all 97’s, 98’s, and 99’s and I haven’t gotten grades that high since middle school! I’m assuming they will work once I go to college given that my AP classes are very demanding. My only question is how many extracurricular activities do you recommend participating in before it will become an overload?

    • Thanks so much for your comments and great to hear you are doing so well. Sorry for the late reply. As for extracurricular activities, I say do as many as you can, but always with time in mind. When you get to college, do a very detailed time plan and know the time it takes to get things done. You’ll be surprised to find that you have more time left than you think. With lots of activities that you love to do, you also won’t waste time just hanging out doing nothing. You’ll be focused on getting your work done early so you have time to do the other things. I like to say that time does not have equal value. Students waste too much time during the day which forces them to study at night when they’d rather be doing other things. Get stuff done early and often and you can load up on lots of activities. The new site will be up and running by the first of the year so check back soon.

  18. Hello Jim,
    You have great advice! Regarding taking notes, I typically outline my textbook but my peers say that is arduous and not working smart. On your site you say to simply highlight and annotate the textbook itself. Should I stop outlining massive amounts of reading and just stick with taking notes only in class and only highlighting and annotating the margins for when I read outside class?

    • Not sure exactly what you are doing when outlining your textbook, but probably best to just highlight as best as you can. If you are going to spend time writing, write test questions based on your highlighted material. That will be more useful to you than an outline. If you can read a test question and say the answer by heart, you will remember it much better than constantly reviewing an outline.

  19. Thank you so much for all of the effort you have put into this site! I have never seen such a comprehensive guide. Every other resource I’ve ever seen on the web is so incredibly vague and useless. I love the step by step nature of this site. When you said to “put down our phones and dedicate 30 minutes to you” I didn’t think I would, but I ended up spending 2 and a half hours reading your site, taking notes, and building a schedule. I know what I need to do next semester now. I was wondering if you had any tips on holding ourselves accountable? Obviously integrity and self-accountability is an incredibly personal matter, but for some reason no matter how much planning I do, no matter if I know exactly what it takes to get an A, I still end up forgetting to do it, or sometimes blatantly putting it off.

    • I am going to be doing just that early next year. There are so many different subjects and ways that they are presented and tested on. It’s hard to cover them all. My goal next year is to pick a pretty wide cross section of classes and see what techniques will give the best results. Remember though that time management is really the main thing. My mother used to tell me that I was just as smart as all of those other kids. She lied to me. There are some really smart kids out there and I wasn’t one of them. However, I do believe anyone can do just as well as anyone else can, it may just take a bit longer. I appreciate the suggestion and more will follow.

  20. Hello! John reporting back from my last comment! So I ended the semester with an A- in English, a B in Discrete Mathematics (I would of Had A- or B+ but I made a silly mistake on every problem of my second test which got me a 5/100! There’s only 4 problems, long story short I was using the wrong symbol for the questions and he gives no partial credit), Unfortunately in my Physics class I struggled really hard, but I pulled a C which is the minimum for my school for the sciences (Min. as the lowest grade you can get otherwise its automatic fail). The last class is Engineer Design, the professor was disorganized, rude and a jerk! He would show up 40 mins late, leave 10 mins later so people were confused, we had to buy our own parts because he was too lazy to go ask the department to fill up his lab! We were doing group work on a digital clock, the final consisted of presenting it in his office privately. I told my group members the reason he’s doing that is so he can ask us questions! Of course my group members didn’t believe me, so they got asked questions, couldn’t answer it, so I know we probably didn’t get a good mark. (I knew most of the answers I’m not the type to blame others but this is seriously why I can’t stand group work). That class ended 3 weeks early and we got a new professor for the second half, learning the programming language python. Super easy. The professor was very nice, but she doesn’t know how to give out a final! Basically in our last class, 30 students in it right, she assigns you a number, she’s going to call on you and ask you to program whatever she says by word of mouth. -_-. That’s not how you go about programming, in my last programming class you were given paper to write out your programs! She got through 3 people by the time class was almost done, so she started panicking, people had to leave to catch their next class! I stood and told someone sign me into Physics, I want to get this over with. She finally starts pairing people up, we get an easy problem, done in 3 minutes, she says okay you are done. ??? She wasn’t even marking anyones name down or giving them a grade. Like WTH? AND THERE’S STILL NO GRADE FROM THAT CLASS YET >_>. The deadline for submitting grades was yesterday :/ Like really, 4 weeks and nothing? When we were in that professor’s office, it was a mess, it stunk, he had his shoes and socks off with his nasty feet out. He would get mad if you asked a question. I didn’t like him. As for Physics, the professsor was nice but as again I’m not the type to blame professors but he’s a lecturer, not a teacher. I have sick parents that I take care of at home so its hard to balance trying to practice physics and discrete math between that. Its ironic though, math is so easy for me, yet physics the math is even easier, but its breaking down the word problem that’s hard for me! Anyways sorry for the rant, hopefully I get the grade for engr design soon to tell you! Thanks for your wonderful blog, It helped alot in the physics and discrete math! I will hopefully learn from this semester and do much better next. I went from a 2.4 gpa to a 2.83, hopefully reaching above a 3 next semester =D

    • Awesome! Best rant ever by far. No question that it is super frustrating to have professors and others in charge of teaching not being prepared and having a well organized lesson and testing plan. I hear that a lot. You really should document all of this stuff with other classmates who feel the same way and present this to the administration. College costs a ton of money and you expect it to be challenging and learn as much as you can. You also expect your professors to be accessible and helpful in every way that they can. This is another good lesson and will make a good blog post. Learn as much as you can about specific classes and professors before you sign up for classes and even before you pick a school. If you know you are going to pursue a specific major at a certain school you owe it to yourself to look at the course catalog, look at both your required classes and electives and then see if you can find some reviews on the class and the professors. There seems to be a lot of professor review sites out there, but I don’t know which of them are the most popular and most useful. Sounds like a good project and a future blog post.

      Unfortunately the idiocy of tenure often keeps buffoons like this in their positions for life and there is little you can do about it. Expect excellence from everyone at the college. If you don’t think you’ll get it, then pick another school. Anyway, loved those stories and I wish you success in dealing with the frustration. Always strive to be your best and learn as much as you can even if you are surrounded by incompetence. Throw them under the bus as long as you don’t think it will bite you. Sadly, colleges can be pathetically political organizations too.

      All of that said, I do think that professors like this are in the minority. Most colleges are packed with the most amazing people who are passionate about what they teach and bend over backwards to help their students. They’re out there in droves. If you don’t have them, go where they are. You won’t have to look far.

  21. Hi,
    This website has been of great help to me and has helped me improved my grades a lot. Would you have any advice on note making and analysis for research papers and articles?

    • Not sure exactly how to reply on this. Research papers are certainly very important and probably need a page or post just for that alone. I am working to quickly pull this site together and I’ll file that away as a suggestion for future content. Thanks for your comment.

  22. Hi. I am a parent of two teenagers. Both have different study habits. The youngest is more like you are describing a college student should be. I am constantly trying to lead the older one to a more productive way of studying. I see incredible time waste. When I went away to school, 25 years ago, I was nervous and didn’t entirely manage time as well as I could. But then eventually pretty much did what you are saying. Especially when I went on (and completed two graduate degrees, 1991 and 2005). As you get older, you have less and less time and have to manage more and more. I still budget all my time, to study and do work. (I am in the Education field). Back in undergrad, I even planned my free time and NEVER studied in the dorm…for obvious reasons. The library or the nearby university hospital were good study places. I went to parties on the weekends, for sure. I studied in between. My friends at home thought I was nuts to plan so much…but that was the only way I could actually relax and not be overwhelmed. Very good advice!!! I read whenever I could. I didn’t fall behind in reading.
    Also, I marked all my books and took notes. That’s how I survived with no cramming!!

    Thanks for the advice. I hope my son will read….

    • Success in college is definitely about time. Doing too much too late causes a cascade of problems and frustration. I think the most important things students can do is to just do small amounts every day as far before it is due as possible. Putting things off to the point where you have to read too much at one time just makes things worse. Students continually wait until the night before and then read assignments. The problem is that if you don’t understand something, you have no time to get it clarified before class. It’s also best to only be confused by one thing at a time and not many. That stuff you don’t understand on page 20 is the foundation for the stuff on page 21 and beyond. You never want to be forced to go keep reading on before you fully understand the material you are on. That happens way too often. Always give yourself time to stop and figure it out. Students get out of class on Thursday and say ‘I don’t have that class again until next Tuesday, I’ll do it Monday.’ Actually, do it right now – or at least a piece of it. By Monday, you shouldn’t be reading it and finding out you are confused. You should be done with it, totally understand it, and you had time to visit the professor if you don’t. Use that Monday for getting even further ahead. Kids avoid doing that, but when they do, they are always glad they got it out of the way. Always have time ahead of you. It makes a world of difference.

  23. Hello,
    Your website is definitely helping me prepare for college! I was, however, wondering about the homework? Is homework time used in the study time? Or is there a specific time slow allotted for homework only? Basically, do I keep homework separate from study time?
    Thank you,

    • Homework is study time. As you do it, make note of how long it takes to read, do problem sets, or anything else you have to do. The better you read, highlight, and write test questions, the less time you’ll need for studying for exams. Spend the extra time up front and you’ll need much less time later. Exams will be a non-event.

  24. This website truly turned my entire life around, in high school I was a truly mediocre student. However just before college began I disproved this page and read every bit of it and decided to follow exactly what you laid out and nothing could’ve helped more. I am now one of the top students in my major (biology) and am on track to a dream career that I believe fits me perfectly. Without this sit I don’t know what I would be doing with my life because without the tools I learned I certainly wouldn’t be cut out to reach my goals. So again thank you SO much you helped me more with my goals than any other single thing I can think of.

  25. Is the new site almost done? I am anxiously waiting! My grades dramatically improved after I found your site. Thank you so much Jim 🙂

      • Laughing that an entire site about time management has post poned the release of it’s new site by like 3 years. Can’t wait for it to come out though. Your tips have helped me a lot.

      • Ha! And well deserved! I appreciate the kick in the pants. Trust me it is being worked on and the result will be worth the wait. Appreciate the comments.

  26. Hi Jim, I came across your blog a few semesters ago. I had my highest semester GPA last semester (3.67). I didn’t follow your precise steps so closely, but I definitely took your advice about creating practice exams. I found out that creating practice tests was one of, if not, the most effective study strategy for me. What I do is make a quizlet set whilst simultaneously using these questions to create a practice test. I try to mimic the test format, but the questions are usually open-ended or true or false. But I still find myself falling into the same poor time management mindset. I am always “behind,” and some of my course grades reflect this. I also watch a lot of videos on self-actualization, etc. and have heard that 80% of success is psychology, and only 20% is physical. What are your thoughts on that, and what do you think a college student can do to effectively “change their mindset?” I find that I have a rather self-deprecating mindset which leads to intense procrastination. Any tips on that? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the great comments and congrats on your GPA. Use whatever tools help you focus and get things done. The mindset I want students to focus on is time. You always have to have a sense of urgency to get things done. The easiest way to kill procrastination is taking small bites more often and not waiting until you have lots to do. People avoid pain and too much to do too quickly is pain. We’ll be launching a time planner app soon that will help you see exactly how much time you have and need to get things done.

  27. Hej Jim,
    I am a second year student studying in a non-native language. The first one and a half years were really hard for me and I could only get B´s and C´s eventhough I studied a lot. I came across your blog in December and promised myself that I will come back to you if your methods are working. And here I am, I just received two A`s in my last exams. Thank you so much!!!

  28. Hello Jim!
    First of all, thank you very much for this site. It really helped me better my grades. But still I have to study more in order to get the grades I want. When I was studying, I thought I should study several subjects in a day due to the fact that I have to read exactly a certain number of pages per day in every subject. The thing that really confused me was that I could not finish reading the pages for all subjects in a day. When I study a subject for two weeks, I feel that I can fully concentrate on it. But then I get behind other subjects. Should I finish one subject in two weeks first but still attend lectures, tutorials for the other subjects parallel? Or should I study several subjects in a week but one subject in a day?
    Next time I hope I can do it better. I hope that you can give me some tips on this.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I guess my answer is focus on what needs to get done. College ultimately about time management. You need to know what is coming up, how much there is to do and how long it is going to take. Get it done as far in advance as you can possible do it. It is underestimating the time required and waiting too long that bites most students. There is nothing wrong with doing many different things each day. Just focus on the task at hand and get as much done as you can. Not sure what you are saying with regard to attending lectures in parallel. Never miss a class for any reason, regardless of anything else you have going on. By August I’ll have something that will help you manage your time in a very unique way. I think students will really find it useful.

  29. Good Day Jim
    I also came across your website whilst researcging effective study methods and this has been by far, the best advice I have received, in so much detail.
    Time Management is certainly key, especially when you’re a full time employee, on the road and a wife.
    So I will be studying through full time correspondence.
    Although we all get the same hours in the day…I hoping you can share some light on perfecting a time schedule towards studying, gym and social.
    I know you’re occupied but I look forward to your insights and expertise on this.
    Thank you, always and in advance.

    • Hi Rose. I wish I could give you more specific advice on languages. You most certainly picked a tough one! I suspect that studying languages will make for a good series of blog posts in the coming school year. There are so many variations in the types of classes and homework. My goal is to reach out to Professors and college advisors in various majors and get their counsel on what they think works best in their respective courses.

  30. Hi Jim,

    I just wanted to completely endorse all of your ideas in this guide as I personally know they are true and beneficial! I’m a senior in high school taking 4 AP’s, working 2 part time jobs, and involved in other extracurriculars. In my early high school career, I suffered from apathy which resulted in poor grades. Since last year, I’ve been able to get straight A’s. Many of the things I changed in my life are things you discuss in the article. For example, taking notes in class FEVERISHLY is crucial to doing well. I believe the reason I get straight A’s is largely due to that one step. I’m literally at the point where I don’t stop writing the entire class period. (It pays off because as long as I do the homework assignments, I DON’T STUDY FOR THE TESTS except for a review the night before.) Now, I believe my next step is to reach the next level of productivity by planning out my daily schedule and taking advantage of my little blocks of time. I want to prepare myself for college now!

    Thank you again for sharing all of your amazing ideas! Your kids should be proud of their father!

    Do you have any recommendation on software to use as a calendar? I currently use a planner that’s for the whole year but I want to find something that I can use to schedule my day around.

    • Thanks so much for your comments! I will have a recommendation for you soon regarding software. We are actually in the process of doing one that I think you’ll like and we should have it up and running by August.

    • It is always hard to answer a question like this. Everyone has different schedules, time constraints and workloads that affect the amount of work they can get done in any day. We’ll have a new app launching soon that will help you address this problem in a really cool way. We’ll let you know.

  31. Hi, I will be starting college soon and I just wanted to say that I love your site and I plan on using it a lot! I’m very excited to be going to college and I hope I can get straight A’s with these study habits and skills that I’ve learned here.

    I also have a part time job as an attendant and supervisor, so I’m hoping I can squeeze in some studying during slow moments, maybe by making flash cards with test questions and answers. That way I won’t have to lug around my giant textbooks.

    I’m very grateful for your website and all of the info here. Thank you so much!

  32. I just finished bingeing your study tips and I can’t thank you enough. I feel motivated and much more prepared to tackle my first semester of college.

  33. Hey Jim! I think your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to create this. I’m sure you’ve helped out many students around the world. You sure helped me out (A second year med student from New Zealand :D). Just a question, you suggest having a number of time in your head about the amount of time that one should spend on a certain course. I find that a bit difficult because every week is so different. Some weeks one of my courses will have a huge assignment due and the other course will have little to no workload. Do I still spend the same amount of time that I calculated at the start of the semester?

    • I’m a big believer in trying to estimate the time things take. We’ll have an app out soon that will help you do just that. I realize that in many cases that is hard to do. Readings are easier as you can time yourself as you read your textbook, PDFs or other materials and get a pretty good idea of how long things take. Ditto with problem sets or other recurring assignments. Papers and projects are harder but you can guestimate based on experience. Doing some estimate is always better than doing nothing. So many students look at their syllabus and see ‘Chapters 3 and 4’ and they have no idea how many pages that is or how long it’s likely to take. Then they wonder why they start too late, get behind and start cutting corners. Always be looking ahead at what’s coming up. How much material is there? What is the level of difficulty? How long might it take based on past experience? The goal is really to eliminate surprises. It isn’t procrastination that is the problem, it’s underestimation of the time needed to get things done. Start early and always have time ahead of you and not behind you.

  34. Hi Jim, I really need your advise on something. What is your recommendation on the optimum amount of time one should study before taking a break and what should be the duration of our study breaks(5, 10 or 15 mins)?

    • One of the more common break methods is called the Pomodoro technique, which is basically working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5 minute or so break.

      I say just wing it. So much depends on how you feel. If I am deep into something and feeling good, I just want to stay focused and get it done. To me a break should be based on a logical finishing point and not on how much time has gone by on a clock. I don’t think it makes sense to try to follow some hard rule. Stop at a certain paragraph or chapter whenever you feel like it. Sometimes I would just look out the window or a few minutes or be looking at some girl who walked into the library. Other times I’d go read the paper for 20 minutes. Just make yourself take some breaks even if you don’t really feel like it. It’s easy to get so into something that you forget about it and then you find yourself getting burned out. Get up, look around, walk around, go outside. Just get yourself back into it as soon as you can. It’s easy to use breaks to avoid doing things you don’t like. Avoid that.

      • Hi Jim,
        I’m thoroughly enjoying and agreeing with your content. This is a really good tool to implement in college. But I’m currently a sophomore in high school, and it might seem odd, but I really want to implement this. The high school method of education is different from college and I’m not sure how to schedule it because of how the workload differs. The commited time in highschool is constant with it being a set number of hours each day, and you have the same amount of time each day to work on your assignments. I just find it really hard to estimate the workload as well. Basically, I’m having trouble scheduling because I’m not sure of the estimates.

      • HiBrady. Thanks for your comments. One thing for sure is that just thinking about it now is going to have you way ahead of the game when you get to college. With regard to estimating time you have and the time you need, we’ll have something to help you do just that soon. Stay tuned. Estimating time is always difficult and you will never know exactly how long it takes to get things done. However, you can do estimates and still be pretty close. When a student reads a syllabus and it says ‘Read Chapters 3 and 4″, that isn’t going to help you much. I see it all the time – they have no idea what that really means EXACTLY. How much is that and how long is it going to take?

        For readings, it’s usually pretty simple to make a good estimate of time. Open the table of contents and see how many pages you have.Scan the material and assess the level of difficulty. Read and time yourself. How long do things take? It will only take you a few times to get a pretty good idea of the time you’ll need going forward. I know that sounds simplistic, but it is amazing that nobody does it. They just wait, start, and then wonder why it is taking so long. Papers and projects are harder, but track time there too. You’ll start to get a feel for how long things take that will serve you well in college. My point is really that students underestimate time and wait too long to get things done. You never really know how long something will take, but one thing you do know is if you wait too long to start you can’t use time you don’t have. Always have time ahead of you. Start on things as soon as you can and take small bites whenever you can. Reading 10 pages during the day will give you time to deal with confusing issues and better yet, let you go have fun at night when you really want to anyway. Take the time to know your time. What is your ‘typical’ week with everything you have to do at home and at school? How many hours do you have left? Look at the assignments you have coming up and don’t just guess. Try to know the amount of material and the amount of time each represents. Anyway, it’s hard to know exactly what your specific issues are. Just know that you are way ahead of everyone already just thinking about it. If you develop a time mindset in high school, you’ll be ready for college when you get there. Again, stay tuned for something that will cover this in more detail soon.

    • Is it possible to use this technique in highscool, despite the different circumstances? I also have trouble estimating the time it takes to do tasks in a class because the tasks can vary week to week.

      • Not sure what specific technique you are referring to, but certainly the more you create good habits in high school the easier it will be in college. You’re already ahead of most by even asking the question. We’ll be coming out with a very specific plan and an app to help you manage your time and work. When you get to college, you’ll be ready. Stay tuned.

  35. Hi Jim! Great content, I love it. Can’t wait to see the new web, I’m defenetly using your advices this year in college.
    Cheers froms Spain!

  36. Any advice for a double degree? I want good marks without missing my social life, so I guess it might be some way to do that, right? Well, I hope so. Thank you!

    • OUCH! Double degree! I admire your ambition. Not sure I can suggest anything to you, but you’ll soon have the tool to help you figure it out. Back at you beginning of next year. Check back.

  37. Just wanted to say that your website helped me a lot. I’m an Economics major at Stanford that was struggling with the bridge from high school to college since I came from a school that was weak in its academics. I realized upon reaching college that I didn’t know how to study, since I never really had to do so in high school. I didn’t understand how to use my time effectively, instead logging pointless hours where I truly wasn’t studying correctly. I ended freshman fall quarter with a 2.8 GPA, and after reviewing your site and truly following your tips and suggestions, I ended freshman year with a 3.34 GPA. As I sharpen my study skills and learn what works best for me, I hope to get over a 3.5 GPA this coming fall quarter sophomore year. Thanks so much for your help! Incredible website.

    • Thanks for your comments. I was the worst high school student ever. I didn’t even graduate with my class as I had to stay an extra semester to pick up missing credits. I figured it out but it took me a while. Congrats on getting your GPS up there and keep at it. We’ll have a great tool for you to use next semester so stay tuned.

  38. Hey Jim,
    I hope the app and new website are coming soon?! (do you have a launch date) I am a senior in HS and can’t wait to see the new website – I have been waiting for it since the end of sophomore year lol. I sure hope it was worth the wait xD.

    • Also underway. We could have had a new site up very quickly, but now with an app and study guide coming with it, we are holding off until it is all done. I think you are going to love the result.

    • Soon, soon, soon! I know I keep saying it, but building a useful app is harder than I thought. The screens are being done and development is about to start. January for sure, but then again, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  39. Hello again, John here again from my last 2 comments. Just wanted to tell you whats going on and have a question.

    So in the Spring time I really messed up badly, was disorganized, one big screw up was confusing 2 exams dates which really finished my grade in Calculus 3, I had to “eat,breathe and drink” Calculus 3 like my professor told me to do since I was on the verge of failing, My grades were around 50s. On my final, I believe I got a 74, he said if I got a 75 he would pass me, and for science and math you need a C to pass, which is 75. I got a D somehow. I have no idea. I couldn’t get in contact with the professor, my other classes went okay, struggled a bit in data structures. Writing for Engineers was horrendous, I was put into a group with people who would never show up to do work until last minute, literally at 1-2 am the day before class, infact not day, just hours before class is gonna start. (Show up as in meet in skype or facebook chat). I talked the professor privately and she had to grade us separately, I got an A-. In my mathematical programming class, I believe I got a B+ or A-. Data Structures unfortunately a C. And as I stated Calculus 3, I failed. I had plans to take Physics 2 during the summer which goes much faster, but now I had to take Calculus 3 with it which gave me a very bus schedule, 9-6 Mon-Thursday, plus 1 hr traveling going and 1 traveling back by the subway (NYC). I was upset cause Physics is not my strong subject, had it my first semester with a professor who was more a lecturer then a teacher, the class average would always be in the 30s, so he always had to curve which is why I passed it. My school is notorious for its horrendous physics department. Well during the summer I caught a lucky break, we had a professor from NYU teaching cause he wanted to try teaching during the summer at another school. This guy was amazing, was clear, made lots of examples, not too difficult, partial credit, etc. Then with my Calc 3 professor, much better then my last professor. My last calc 3 professor wasn’t really approachable and gave sort of snotty remarks if you asked for help or any question. I remember the first day with him I did what you said, ask him the format of the test, he yells at me infront of the class saying “DOES IT MATTER?”. On the day of the final, after I handed it in, I asked when will the grades be posted,he goes “Well I have to grade them first don’t I?” -_-. I needed to know in case I failed the class. So my Calc 3 professor in the summer was great, taught things well, very knowledgeable and obviously loved the field, class was pretty small, I got a B+, unfortunately in Physics a C, but I pulled that off without the curve and it was a bit difficult for me since I did poorly in Physics 1. I could of done better imo, just glad I was able to take both of the classes.

    So Now I’m in my Fall Semester and im doing everything I can. I am in the library currently, my schedule is Mon-Wed only, 11am-8pm. Only gap is lunch, others are 10-15 min during class. Perfect for reviewing after class like you said. The other days, I dont wish to spend money or waste time taking the train to school to get to the library, plus the school library apparently has bedbugs -_- A security guard told me shes been there over 20 years and they havent vacuumed the rug since shes been there. So I go to the public library near my house, but it has unfortunately closed for renovations, it was suppose to reopen by the end of Summer 2016, but now it says sometime in Fall 2016, so now I ride my bike to one thats further. But the good thing is I get some exercise on my bike.

    Now Im taking 5 classes instead of 4, but I believe i Can do it with the right time management and just following your guide and I’m confident I can pull this off. I really wanna shoot for all A’s :). It will be hard but I know I can do it.
    My first day of class was horrible. At Columbus Circle in Manhattan, a pipe broke and caused water to flood the train tracks. Caused massive delays, so I had to take an alternative train, then run through times square once I got to Manhattan to get onto another train, it was hectic and I wasn’t feeling well. I got to my first class 1 minute before it started, so now I have a horrible seat in the back :(. I had to run out of the class twice, 2nd time permanently as, well I just found out I might be lactose intolerant, so you can imagine what was happening. I went to apologize later and the professor gave me a dead fish hand shaking only a minute after I offered to shake his hand greeting him. The professor just seems he hates what hes doing or is always tired. He sighs every 5 seconds, taking attendance he even sighed. My second class I really enjoy but I was warned it has mentally draining HW. I have done 2 assignments so far and imo its not draining but very long. The professor is wonderful, 2 PH.Ds from China and a masters, use to work at IBM as a researcher but now is a professor. Spent all day in the library yesterday doing one of her HWs and didnt finish until today! My third professor for programming, well, lets say his ratings on rate myprofessor is 1.6/5. Hes a new professor, programming professor for learning Java. I didnt take the reviews that seriously as it seemed all the students were in intro classes and intro to programming is hard for beginners. Welp, I should of dropped the class when I did, the second class a lot of people dropped. This professor just writes code on the board. That is not how you program. You do it on the computer and practice, I really miss my other professor I had programming with, I had that guy twice, he was extremely hard but amazing. The current one knows students do so bad in his class he gives a free 20+ points to your grade. My economics professor is great, nothing else to say about him.

    As for my question, sorry for the long rant. My mathematics class. I have never been bored in Math, ever, and in this class, I am. First this professor has great reviews but it just seems its cause you get free A’s and B’s in his class. He curves which no other math professor does. In that class, first its very hard to understand him, accent and talks very fast. But I have gotten the hang of it. Now the problem is, so Im in the front of this big lecture hall, like in the picture in your guide :D, but he doesn’t have any notes. All he has done is literally copy the textbook word by word and put it written onto a pdf document with his tablet. Its so much to copy! And its so boring, hardly any practice or anything, hes just reading what the textbook says, I could do that on my own and not pay for the class! If he didnt take attendance, I would skip the class and go to the library and just study it on my own. So I wanted to ask what do you think is the best way to take notes for this class?Its way too much to copy, its literally word from word from the textbook. I have a pdf for the textbook on my tablet, I was thinking maybe I should open that during his lectures, and circle the stuff he takes from the textbook. Then in the class or in the library or both, highlight like you said the important stuff and write questions in the pdf. Does this sound like a good idea?I am really lost how to take notes in that class!

    Anyways sorry for such a long post, just wanted to tell you what happened and my question. I really love your guide, I sent it to my friend and hes using it with me!

    Edit: Not sure if I double posted this, sorry.

    • Ha, that is the craziest bunch of stories I have ever heard! What an endless horror story. It would be funny if it weren’t so serious. You are to be commended for taking such difficult classes and putting up with that kind of insanity on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to fire college professors or many would, and shoulds, be gone. As for your specific question, it doesn’t sound like there are any notes to take. If it’s all from the textbook, treat it as such and highlight and write test questions accordingly. Sadly your experience is all too common at many college campuses. The good news is that most professors are passionate about their subjects and care about their students. The lesson for everyone is to really research the class and the professors as much as possible before taking them. Sometimes you have no choice, but avoid them like the plague if you can. It sounds like you have almost no time but do everything you can to get as far ahead as possible. Utilize outside resources like Khan Academy and other sites that let you learn at your own pace. In January we’ll have a new app out that will help you manage your time and workload in a simple way.

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