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Do I Really Need This Stuff - M01_PISC6576_01_SE_C01.QXD...

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1 CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 1 SETTING THE STAGE What’s on your mind? SPOTLIGHT ON CLASSROOM SKILLS When I got to college, I thought I was prepared. After all, I had fin- ished high school without much difficulty and with fairly good grades. So you can imagine that I was a bit “put off” when my adviser told me I had to enroll in a study skills course. “Why do I need that?” was my first thought. “That’s a course for students with problems—not me!” Well, I quickly discovered that I did not know what I did not know! That is, I was unaware that college success would require a new kind of approach to study skills—effective and efficient strategies to learn. Study skills are necessary for serious students who want to mas- ter their academic work. Find a book, find a course, or find a person who can help you evaluate your current level of skills and build a series of success strategies that apply to all of your courses. Improved study skills not only will help you master your course work, but they also will make you feel better about yourself as a student. Study skills are for all students. They help students develop strategies and techniques to focus their energies on efficient and effective studying. And sound study skills contribute to positive self-esteem. A student who can achieve in the classroom will feel better about his or her capabilities. In other words, competence will foster esteem. PREVIEW By the time you finish reading this chapter and completing its activities you will be able to: Identify at least two study skill challenges that you have. Identify at least two study skill strengths that you have. Explain how you might be able to use your study skill strengths to work on one of your study skill challenges. List at least five study skill topics covered in this book that you can immediately use. Explain how a study skills course can help you experience more success as a student. KEY TERMS Academic challenge Academic strength Critical thinking Locus of control Study skills M01_PISC6576_01_SE_C01.QXD 1/25/08 3:57 PM Page 1
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2 CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER INTRODUCTION WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU HEAR THE TERM STUDY SKILLS? Most students approach a study skills course (or book) with little or no enthusiasm. It’s not one of the most popular topics in the course catalog. Typical responses include: I am too smart for this course! Why do I need this course? I do my homework every night. Isn’t that studying? What makes smart students smart? They must do nothing but home- work—bunch of nerds! My adviser made me take this course. Sounds like an easy A! If you break the term study skills into its two parts you have: Study: This is your personal effort to learn something. It could be aca- demic (learn how to speak a foreign language), athletic (learn how to play tennis), occupational (learn how to do a particular job), or emotional (learn how to control anxiety or a temper). You have “studied” your entire life—even before you ever set foot in a school. That is, you have
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