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There are so many ways to prepare for a college test and every student is unique with their own way of studying that works best for them. Here at the Office of First Year Experience at the University of Kansas there are certain tools and strategies that lead to making the most out of college as a freshman and higher. These tools consist of being highly motivated, being able to set goals, and an important one: having good study habits. In college, students need to be masters at setting goals and also need to have high levels of hope for themselves and their dreams. This literature review will discuss how a student’s study habits, strategies, and motivation levels affect their success in college.
As a new college student, it’s all about what strategies work for you the best. Some strategies the Office of First Year Experience believes are the most effective for students range from setting goals, being motivated, having high hopes as a student, and of course, hard work. Sarah Sparks posted an article on the database Professional Development Collection and said that “Disciplined effort directed at specific learning goals in some appreciable degree determines college outcomes, and student effort also likely interacts with specific learning skills and strategies as it expresses goal-directed behavior” (Sparks, 1). Students with more effective learning skills may profit more from a given effort, and future research might explore the interrelations among motives and goals, skills and learning strategies, and the engagement behaviors students’ exhibit over a semester” (Svanum 129). In this statement the author states that depending on where students focus their effort and their degree it can really have an impact on the successes they will have in college. Also, some students may have more of an advantage over others because they naturally have more efficient learning skills, so with more effort, they can have massive gains.
Motivation is a key aspects to surviving in college. A piece written in the Journal of College Student Development by Soren Svanum and Silvia M. Bigatti states that “Student motivation that translates into more engagement can tangibly improve college success, encourage self-sufficiency, and allow students to exert greater control of their college destiny” (Svanum 131). As mentioned by the author in this quote, being motivated and being able to execute it properly can open copious amounts of doors for students. Being able to be self-sufficient is extremely important as one is growing up because the parents are not there anymore to hold your hand. On another note improving one’s college success and have that amount of control over their own destiny is just as major.
Every student who has ever been successful in college and after has had high hopes for him/her and worked harder than ever just to get there. Having the ability to work hard should be a common skill between everyone. From the article called Even Geniuses Work Hard by Carol S. Dweck, “Students with a fixed mindset do not like effort. They believe that if you have ability, everything should come naturally. They tell us that when they have to work hard, they feel dumb. Students with a growth mindset, in contrast, value effort; they realize that even geniuses have to work hard to develop their abilities and make their contributions” (Dweck 17). This statement holds some truth to it whereas everybody has to work hard but the students who stated that everything should come naturally should not have to feel dumb and maybe should just be given a different environment to learn in. that is one way that would be extremely beneficial for a college student who is trying to be successful.
An article written by Soren Svanum and Silvia M. Bugatti from the Journal of College Student Development discusses some future research “future research might explore the interrelations among motives and goals, skills and learning strategies, and the engagement behaviors students’ exhibit over a semester” (Svanum 129). The two categories that probably need the most research done to help enhance would be skills and learning strategies and also the student’s behavior to see if it has an impact on study habits and overall successfulness. If sufficient data is found from this research, then the lives of college students everywhere would be easier tenfold.
However, there are always of disagreement on what sort of study habits can be best for a college student and also what is the best teaching method, or way to stay motivated. Possible solutions for having to decide what is best for the majority of the students is to vote and pick a preferred way of dealing with their schoolwork. A second possible solution would be to evaluate students in different age groups to see if the change in time and educational curriculums across the years had any effect on their performance. there also may be some potential disagreements as to different age group testing because it’s depending on if the curriculum did change that year or not.
As a recommendation to the Office of First Year Experience to improve the student experience here at the University of Kansas, there are a few suggestions to be made. The first suggestion is that, the University should try to make a student’s study habits their number 1 priority to make sure that the information is actually being absorbed and processed so such student can be successful. In some situations, the opportunities a student has to study are not always the best. Some solutions would be to make sure every floor of every dorm building has a proper social area, so that rooms can be a quiet place, of sorts, for studying. Another idea for students to make their college time more worth their buck would be to add some sort of very small incentive as a cause for motivation. An example of this would be simply giving one extra credit point every-time that specific student shows up to class and it would apply to all students. If possible, add one or two extra credit points on to the end of an exam just for the ability to be able to regain some points and motivate them to study more because they know they could get extra points and it becomes worth it.
In conclusion, all students are unique on how they define success and on how the achieve it but here at FYE the main focus should be students’ motivation and educational background and how to improve one’s status as a student depending on their background and skills. Secondly, students need to set their goals high and have their hopes be even higher and they should be aware of the fact that college is a lot more work to do and they may not be used to the larger work load coming out of high school. Future research is being done as this is being written in the fields of motivation and learning strategies/skills. There is still plenty of room for improvement in ensuring the success of our students here at the University of Kansas and please take these points into consideration for our future students.
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