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California State University, Long Beach
Dean of Students
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Academic Success Tips

We all want students to succeed. Learning, personal development, and graduation are goals we share with parents and students. Making the academic transition to the university is a major task, so here are some quick tips you as a parent can consider and share in a productive manner with your daughter or son.

Tips for Academic Success

  1. Time management is crucial. Research shows new students are surprised by the sheer amount of study they must do at the university. Here is a formula for students to have as a study standard. Looking at a week as a unit of time, for every hour they spend in class they should study three hours during the week. So if they are taking 15 units (hours) of class, they should assume 15 units X 3 hours of study = 45 hours of study a week. This would include reading, writing, researching, etc.
  2. Study skills to get through the university are the second key to success. Students must be in class and must take notes every class. The notes should capture all the important points of the lecture, and become the most important resource to studying for and passing tests.
    Reading text books successfully is an acquired skill. Since the text book is an intellectual challenge (it isn’t a novel) it must be consumed with a method. I recommend the SQ2R method of reading a text:
    • Survey-glance over the assigned reading first to prepare the mind for the task. It is like warming up before exercise.
    • Question-read the material to answer questions. For example, make questions of the headings or of the chapter titles
    • Read-underline the most important points as you read, answer questions by writing in the book margins or on study sheets
    • Review-periodically review the underlining and questions as a study guide for tests
  3. Students need to take advantage of the help the university provides. Computer labs, tutoring, assistance with writing and math and other services are available, and can make a great impact on student success.