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The Advantages & Disadvantages of Study Skills for College Students

by Stacy Alleyne, studioD

College can be intense. It’s a major transition for most students and requires balance, time-management and the right study skills. The only disadvantage of study skills in college is not having any or having ineffective ones. While study habits are something that students should have learned in high school, many students get to college with ineffective study habits, or worse, no study habits at all.


Studying helps to improve retention. Although some students claim that they can pass a college course without studying, that doesn’t mean that they can successfully retain what they have learned beyond the course. Effective study skills help to lock information into long-term memory, while merely cramming information before a big test allows only for short-term retention of the information learned in class.

Better Grades

Studying helps students achieve higher grades in college than students who don’t study. While students can pass and graduate from college with minimal study skills, these aren’t the students that will be graduating with honors. The students earning the highest praise of summa cum laude are those students who spent quality time studying. To achieve better grades in college, studying is required. The degree or time that each student studies will be different because students grasp information at different rates.

All Nighters

Pulling an all-nighter, while a tradition in college life, isn’t an effective study skill. The disadvantage of this method of “study” is that it’s a form of cramming that stores all the knowledge and information for the test in your short-term memory, but there is little long term retention. Many students ascribe to this method of "studying" because they gain results quickly, but the most successful students are the ones who study for short periods throughout a course rather than cram for a final at the end.

Time Management

Studying helps with time management. Setting aside time to study with all the other demands on your time teaches you to organize and manage your time. This is a skill that has great advantages. The advantages of having effective study skills in college far outweigh the disadvantages. There is no way to do well and succeed in college without a set of effective study skills that work for you. Find a study method and schedule that works and stick to it. It will help you focus your mental energy, achieve better grades and be a more successful college student.

About the Author

Stacy Alleyne is a certified English teacher with a BA in English and graduate work in English, education, journalism and law. She has written numerous articles and her own dining column for the "Gazette."

Photo Credits

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