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University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, California 95211
209.946.2011

Student Study Skills Checklist

It is common that students will excel in certain academic skills, but struggle in other areas. This checklist looks to help you identify where your areas of need are, provide you with resources, or help connect you to someone who can help. We have compiled a list of common student needs  to help you. Click the links below to find immediate resources or campus resources that can help you, and if your need is not listed, feel free to call us at 209.946.2177 or email us.

I'm not sure how to read my syllabus.

I have difficulty organizing the syllabi from my different classes and know when my assignments are.

I have difficulty managing my time effectively and efficiently.

I need help setting goals.

I'm really good at studying for tests, but I really struggle taking tests.

When I get out of class lectures, I don't understand my notes or I can't use them to study.

I find myself procrastinating assignments until the last minute.

I struggle to get the motivation to go to class and finish assignments.

I have difficulty memorizing material in preparation for tests and exams.

I study differently than others in my study group, and I need to find ways to study more efficiently and effectively.

I need help specific to certain classes I am taking, from understanding the material to preparing for exams.

I understand the course material, but I need help writing essays and papers for my classes.

I am not sure if the major I am in is the right fit, or if the career path I am on is right for me.

I feel really overwhelmed with academic and/or social life.

Study Skills Checklist

I'm not sure how to read my syllabus. | Return to Top

Being able to sort through information and align multiple syllabi with each other is crucial to succeed in college. The syllabus is where a professor's thoughts and expectations of a course shine through and where deadlines and policies, course grading, additional resources, and more can be found. It is helpful as you go through the syllabus to consider the workload, deadlines, and policies so you can prepare ahead of time.. For example, ask yourself, "what type of course is this?" and "is it mainly exam or paper based" to better assess the class. To receive additional support, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us


I have difficulty organizing the syllabi from my different classes and know when my assignments are.  | Return to Top

Two resources that you may find useful are Semester on a Page and the weekly time management worksheet. You can use these resources to help you organize your assignments, locate when light and heavy weeks are, or get a big picture view of your semester. To receive additional support, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us

I have difficulty managing my time effectively and efficiently.  | Return to Top

Time management is a common issue that many students face. Most often, visualizing one's time in a day to day schedule, or visualizing how your priorities balance with how you spend your time can be crucial to your success. Two resources that can help you in managing time are the time management worksheet and the 168 hours worksheet. Filling both of these out will help you recognize where you have free time, how you can maximize your time, and whether your priorities match how you spend your time. To receive additional support, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us

I need help setting goals.  | Return to Top

Goal setting is crucial--it allows you to gauge progress you make, to keep your focus on your mission/purpose, and lets you dictate what your personal goals are instead of having others dictate it for you. One way to set goals effectively is to use the SMART method, found in the following sheet. To receive additional support, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us

I'm really good at studying for tests, but I really struggle taking tests. | Return to Top

A lot of students struggle with similar issues--they know how to study for tests, but they aren't sure how to take them. Student Academic Support Services has strategies for before, after, and during tests, as well as tips on how to take certain kinds of tests (essay, multiple choice, short answer, etc.) and can walk you through taking a mock test to learn how to improve on what you already do while taking tests. You can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us

When I get out of class lectures, I don't understand my notes or I can't use them to study. | Return to Top

There are multiple strategies to effective note taking. Different types of learners can benefit from taking notes differently, and, in general, one can use certain strategies on how to take notes depending on the class you are in, including the Outline method, the Cornell method, and the Chart method, as well as programs and applications to support you even more. To receive additional support, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us

I find myself procrastinating assignments until the last minute.  | Return to Top

The majority of college students actually struggle with procrastination, so you are definitely not alone. Overcoming procrastination has to do with everything from your work environment to who you study with and how you study. Often, the strategies to stop procrastinating have to do with how you prepare yourself to start studying. Meeting with a staff member from Student Academic Support Services can help you work through and select strategies to beat procrastination. To receive additional support, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us

I struggle to get the motivation to go to class and finish assignments.  | Return to Top

There are multiple strategies to getting motivated to accomplish your academic goals, including identifying the goals you have, identifying how classes you are taking meet those goals, or reflecting on how much you have learned so far. Identifying what strategy to use is often difficult, and certain strategies work better in specific situations than others. To receive support in the area of motivation and discover strategies to support you, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us.

I have difficulty memorizing material in preparation for tests and exams. | Return to Top

Depending on a student's learning style, the subject that they are studying for, and the kind of test you are preparing for, the key to memorizing material is to actually understand it. Most people use flash cards as a go-to, but there are different ways to use flash cards to maximize how much you gain from it. In addition, certain apps and programs on your phone and computer can be a huge help in memorizing material. To receive support in the area of memorization and discover strategies to support you, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us.

I study differently than others in my study group, and I need to find ways to study more efficiently and effectively. | Return to Top

Students have different learning styles that allow them to process information more effectively and efficiently. Some students rely on visuals such as charts and graphs, some students prefer listening to reading, and some students learn by reteaching information to others. Student Academic Support Services has assessments to find what your learning style is and how to study given these unique styles. To receive support in this area, you can contact Student Academic Support Services to set up a one on one meeting by calling 209.946.2177 or emailing us.

I need help specific to certain classes I am taking, from understanding the material to preparing for exams. | Return to Top

One common resource that students use is the General Academic Tutoring Center. Tutoring is a completely free service; tutors have been recommended by their professors, have succeeded academically in the class they are tutoring, and have completed a tutor training program. Sign up for a tutor by calling (209) 946-2437 or by emailing them here. Additional information can be found at this site.

I understand the course material, but I need help writing essays and papers for my classes. | Return to Top

Students who need help in writing can visit the campus Writing Center. Many students have found this resource to be extremely useful. This service is completely free for students, and Writing Center staff can help with writing projects at any stage. More information about the Writing Center can be found at this site.

I am not sure if the major I am in is the right fit, or if the career path I am on is right for me. | Return to Top

Students who feel unsure of their major or career path can find support by meeting with a career counselor at the Career Resource Center. Their counselors are equipped to help you learn more about exploring majors and careers, administering career assessments, and helping with skills such as interviewing, writing resumes, and networking. You can schedule an appointment with the Career Resource Center by calling 209.946.2361, and you can find more information at their site.

I feel really overwhelmed with academic and/or social life. | Return to Top

Many of our students have felt overwhelmed at some point with academic or social life. It's important to know that there is always someone to talk to about these challenges. The Counseling and Psychological Services staff is trained to talk through these situations as well as other difficulties that students may face while at college, including depression, anxiety, adjustment problems, and/or emotional distress. You can make an appointment by calling 209.946.2315 option 2, or in person at the Cowell Wellness Center. More information about Counseling and Psychological Services can be found at their site.