One Small Handout for Students, One Giant Leap for their Academic Success

“Using effective learning strategies during self-study is crucial for positive long-term learning outcomes and academic achievement. However, most students rely on ineffective strategies, such as rereading. Students are easily fooled by metacognitive illusions and mistakenly interpret short-term performance or ease-of-processing as reliable indicator [sic] for long-term learning.” (Biwer, oude Egbrink, Aalten, & de Bruin, 2020).

To help students identify which study strategies are effective and to suggest ways in which students can increase their chances of being academically successful, we created a study tips handout called, “Achieving Greater Academic Success with Less Stress.” The one-page handout, which can be downloaded here, lists eight evidence-based study tips, each of which includes a brief description, written for an undergraduate student audience. The tips include:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Skim, Listen, Read, Repeat
  3. Study a Little, a Lot
  4. Don’t Rote Memorize
  5. Quiz Yourself
  6. Take Care of Yourself
  7. It Is Never Too Early
  8. If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Something Else

We distribute this list to students in our courses as well as to incoming first-year students across the university, as they make the transition between the academic demands of high school and those of a college-level education.


An extensive list of references that support the study tips included in our handout can be viewed and downloaded here.

To follow up on any of these ideas, please contact me at This Weekly Teaching Note was adapted from a contribution to the Teaching and Learning Writing Consortium hosted at Western Kentucky University.

Amanda C. G. Hall (
Tara T. Lineweaver (
Butler University
Department of Psychology