Research Paper on Strategies for Academic Success

Published: 2023-01-15
Research Paper on Strategies for Academic Success
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories: Learning
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1763 words
15 min read


Most students struggle with implementing effective academic strategies that ensure their success and create a work-life balance due to trying to use strategies that work for others without realizing that students are different and each learns in different ways as per capabilities. Some learn by seeing, hearing, reflecting, modeling, and drawing (Felder & Silvermann, 1998). Academic strategies call for a student to have practical time management skills and career goals with the development of strategies for academic success in the areas of the organization, test taking, study skills, note taking, reading, writing and advanced thinking. Pressure for the implementation of academic strategies may cause adverse effects on the students such as depression, anxiety, and self-critic, which may lead to poor academic performance in the long run. While there are obvious disadvantages to some educational success strategies, there is a sound practice to having students learn and master them for successful studies as well as lives.

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Time Management

The most paramount strategy for all students in the achievement of life and academic success is time management. To read assigned chapters and books, meet deadlines and actively participate in extracurricular activities, students may find themselves overwhelmed with the notion that there is no time to complete all their responsibilities without a possibility of failure. It is particularly true for students who are working full time or part time jobs to meet their financial needs which results in last minute cramming for their exams and becomes a source of stress and poor academic performance (Macan, Shahani & Phillips, 1990).

Conceptually time management can be defined as a set of behaviors that can be achieved through training and aim at effective use of time to achieve goals while performing specific goal-oriented tasks (Eerde, Rutte & Roe, 2007). Time management plays a pivotal role in the academic as well as the personal success of an individual, and it is a skill that a student can use in real life situations. With key benefits such as reducing stress levels, gaining more control on activities, reducing procrastination, and completing more tasks, time management is imperative in a student's life.

Time management has a positive impact on the academic performance of a student, and it forms the crux of advice from teachers and mentors to a failing student. Studies done to show the consequential correlation between time management and academic performance by Macan Shahani, Dipboye & Phillips (1990) led to the findings that students who were observed to be infrequent control of their schedules and exhibited time management skills depicted higher academic scores and fewer symptoms of stress such as headaches and appeared to experience a greater satisfaction in work and life. Conclusions drawn from the environment of the students, also showed that working students were more likely to demonstrate time management skills compared to the others. In generals, studies exert that time management has a positive influence on student learning outcomes. For the academic and life success of students, they should ensure their activities are organized and take up the setting of goals, meeting deadlines and using time management aids such as list making to organize one's time and ensure success effectively.

Study Skills and Strategies

Study skills are intrinsic to academic savvy and are associated with many positive outcomes across educational content. Study skills are generally defined as approaches applied to learn and are fundamental in the good academic performance of a student. Study skills and strategies are essential to a student to maintain success in life as well as studies.

Proper academic performance is affiliated with the ability to apply practical study skills which translate to better understanding and hence performance. Performance discrepancies over the years between students who seem to employ effective study skills and those who use study tactics that do not correspond effectively with their schedules and method of learning have been studied leading to the conclusion that students need to learn to employ practical study skills. A study strategy can only be successfully applied if the student is willing to learn and commits the time to explore different tactics and making decisions on which tactics are better suited for academic performance. Study skills are, therefore viewed as academic enablers and hold a position to perform as critical tools for learning.

Hoover and Patton, (1995) asserted study skills to include competencies in acquiring, recording, organizing, remembering and use of information, implying that the skills are to be applied in the areas of organization of work, test taking, note taking and basic learning activities such as reading and writing. To have well-developed study skills and strategies as a student helps in retaining information, adequate studying while enhancing effective time management, which translates to higher academic performance. Study strategies are not only essential to academic achievement and competence but also have a positive outcome on life success by inducing critical life skills such as prioritization and planning. The skills and strategies also produce an increase in confidence in an individual, which leads to reduced anxiety. An individual with advanced study skills can retain more information, feel more worthwhile about their efforts, and generally seem more motivated to work to attain goals leading to life success. In managing their time, life, and studies, possessing adequate and effective study strategies are crucial for a student who wants to attain success in various fields.

Metacognition, Cognitive Learning Strategies, and Self-Regulation

Cognitive learning strategies can be defined as using the reflective thinking process to improve the ability to plan, monitor, and change their learning behaviors. Therefore cognitive learning asserts that students engage their education by becoming aware of their thinking. Cognitive strategies involve the use of the mind to complete tasks and is advantageous in that it allows students to build on previous concepts, skills, and ideas leading to the building of knowledge and faster performing of duties which leads to success in academic and personal life.

Harris, Graham, Brindle & Sandmel (2003) posits that metacognition is concerned with guiding the learning process itself and so includes strategies for planning, monitoring, and evaluating both language use and language learning. Metacognitive learning strategies establishes the development of autonomy in learners, which is paramount to their success in academic performance. Metacognitive education has various advantages to an individual; such as enhancing learning experiences, development of problem-solving skills, and development of self-regulation.

Self-regulation is compatible with both metacognitive and cognitive learning strategies, as Wolters (2003) defines a self-regulated learner as autonomous, reflective, and efficient with the cognitive and metacognitive abilities needed to direct their learning. A student with cognitive and metacognitive strategies of learning attains a level of self-regulation by becoming an active participant in their learning processing achieve a level of self-efficacy for the accomplishment of not only academic but life goals, motivation, and satisfaction in their efforts. Metacognitive, cognitive and self-regulation strategies prove to be essential in the life of an individual as one who attains the skills and strategies has learned how to increase performance skills and the procedures are therefore vital to the time management, life, and studies of a student. The strategies discussed as essential for students in the control of their time and studies above are all conclusive and are beyond question the most plausible tools for success.

Strategic Plan

Academic strategies are an integral part of a college student's life to ensure success in studies as well as their lives, an assessment of respective students' academic performance and academic strategies of time management, study strategies and self-regulation to show how they are affected by applying the strategies in their lives at the same time analyze how to meet their emotional, spiritual and psychological needs.

Students apply academic strategies to ensure their academic and personal success in college, and some can experience the transition as a challenge to personal growth while others are bombarded with issues that affect them emotionally, physically and spiritually. Studies have shown that psychological problems are prevalent among college students with issues such as depression and anxiety manifesting themselves through a change in appetite, weight, or sleeping patterns leading to difficulty in concentration. Spirituality also has an impact on a college student's mental health as it includes self-perceptions and beliefs in the propriety of the meaning of life. Mental, spiritual, and emotional issues have an indisputable impact on college students and interfere with academic, social interaction and self-involvement hence the need to meet the needs of college students mentally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Creation of coping mechanisms to deal with the academic, social and parental pressure on college students to meet their emotional, spiritual and psychological needs seems to be the most effective way to reduce adverse effects on the young minds. Coping mechanisms can be generated through physical activity and non-physical activities. Studies show that college students and youth, generally from the age of 18, have the lowest rate of physical activity lower than the recommended thirty minutes of exercise daily. Establishing mandatory physical activity programs for college students could prove to be helpful in the coping with the stress as the mind is momentarily distracted from the pressures one is facing and reduces the high risk of depression and anxiety in college students. Generation of coping mechanisms through non-physical methods such as meditation where one is taught to relax and relieve the stress also proves to be helpful for some students.

Mental health on campus can affect the interpersonal level, institutional and individual level of a student leading to a feeling of being overwhelmed; hence, students seek counseling services. To meet the needs of the students counseling services should always be available to reduce incidences of depression, eating disorders or the entertainment of suicidal thoughts, by providing the services, mental health needs of college students can be met. Offering spiritual guidance on an existential level and a spiritual level for students who may be mentally affected by their spirituality can also be a coping, mechanism to meet the needs of college students emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.

A strategic plan with the aspirations of meeting the needs of students in a holistic way that is from academics to meeting the emotional, spiritual and psychological needs is sufficient to induce better performance of the student as an individual and for the school in general. It is imperative to pay close attention to the emotional needs of students as stress has proven to be salient among college students. The implementation of academic strategies for life and academic success benefits the individual, but the mental health of the student is just as, and the institution should make sure measures are taken where the needs are met.

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