Helpful Handouts

Below, you'll find sections dedicated to topics related to academic success and improvement, each of which contains handouts and links to external websites and applications which discuss the topics presented. New resources will be posted to these pages as they become available. If you have any links that you think would also be beneficial, we'd love to know. Email the link to us at [email protected].

You can do these handouts on your own or with a coach! To make a success coaching appointment, please contact [email protected].

Collaborative Learning

Want to give group study a try? Check out these helpful hints and tips.

Helpful Handouts

  • Tips for Study Groups: Learn the benefits of studying in a study group and how it can improve your learning. Read some Tips and tricks on how to study with a partner or a study group!

Exam and Test-Taking Strategies

Ace your next test with a wide variety of methods.

Helpful Handouts

  • Five-Step Strategy for Test Preparation: Read this 5 step test strategy plan and learn about the PORPE steps: —PLAN, ORGANIZE, REHEARSE, PRACTICE, AND EVALUATE.
  • Exam Error Monitoring: Ever wonder why you got that question wrong on a test? Use this exam monitoring chart to help you understand and remember the reasons behind getting different questions wrong.
  • Test Preparation: Tips on how to gather information to prepare in advance for an upcoming test.
  • Test Taking Tips: Test taking strategies that will help you right before taking a test as well as during the test.
  • Worksheet for Final Exam Preparation: Fill out this Final Exam Preparation worksheet to organize study time between each of your finals. Tips on how to decide if you have to spend more study time in one class and how to prepare for them.

External Resources

  • Exam Strategies (Idaho State University): Hints to remember while you're taking an exam. Read the different strategies for Objective Tests, Problem Solving Tests, Essay Tests or Themes Written in Class.
  • Exam Prep Tips (SUNY - University of Albany): Nervous about your upcoming test or exam? Read these tips on how to get rid of that test anxiety and turn your attitude into one that will help you succeed!
  • Test Taking Strategies (Saint Mary's College of California): Read what you should do before you begin your test and how to survive the test once it's started!
  • Test Taking Tips (North Carolina State University): Strategies that will help you prepare for your exam and what to do during your exam.
  • Quizlet (flash cards): is a handy studying website that allows you to take practice tests, quizzes, games, and review flashcards created by other students or teachers in almost every subject. You can study the information already provided or even create your own tests, quizzes, games and flashcards!

General Resources and Applications

This list contains a variety of external websites, applications for smartphones and tablets, and external websites that offer free online courses.

Helpful Handouts

  • How to Use Your Course Syllabi: Helpful advice on how to use your course syllabi, creating a calendar for the semester, a link to a course chart to help you create an overview of each class, and a weekly time-management schedule.
  • Learning Style Questionnaire: This link opens a document with a questionnaire to help you determine which learning style most applies to you and how that affects your academic performance.

External Resources and Applications

  • Understanding Assignments (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill): Use this handout to learn how to decode what your professor wants from an assignment. Most professors follow a similar format for each assignment, and this sheet can help you understand it and then get started!
  • How To Study ( This website will be split into different categories. This website has many great links to information on a variety of subjects including organizational tips, study environment, how to get motivated, researching, concentration, and information on how to study based on the subject.
  • SelfControl (concentration): App that blocks computer access to websites that could be a source of distraction.
  • Scribd (document sharing): Website that allows for document sharing and gives you access to e-books and written publications.
  • Dropbox (cloud storage): This site provides document storage that can be accessed from devices anywhere. It also allows you to share documents with other people.
  • Science Dictionary: App that defines science terms and provides biographical information about scientists.

Open Courseware

  • Coursera: Allows people to sign up for college classes hosted by many universities online for free.
  • Open Yale Courses: Allows people to take free online classes offered by Yale.
  • Open Culture: Access to 1000 free online classes offered by many universities.
  • Khan Academy: App that allows people to watch academic videos and read articles for free.

Memory and Memorization

Forget what that word means? Want help remembering every important battle of the Civil War? These tips will help solve all of those issues.

Helpful Handouts

  • 10 Memory Principles: 10 Memory Principles that will help you change your mindset and study habits to remember material more accurately.
  • Memory Tips: Tips on ways to successfully memorize information for long term use and application in everyday life.
  • Learning Style Tips: Specific tips on how to best learn and memorize information based on your specific learning style.

External Resources

  • Memory Improvement Techniques ( Helpful website with information on using mnemonics, a specific technique to help with memorization.
  • Lumosity (memory training): App with different games to train your brain for better memorization skills and to improve your ability to pay attention.

Note-Taking Strategies

Never miss another important point in a lecture or chapter of reading with this wide variety of note taking techniques.

Helpful Handouts

  • Note-taking Tips: 12 General Tips for taking notes that are a great starting point for note-taking techniques.
  • Things to Write in Your Notes: Tips on what to include in your notes ranging from tips you may already know to some unexpected insider tips.
  • The Cornell Note Taking System: Helpful handout that teaches you how to use the Cornell Note Taking System. Learn about the 5 Rs of note taking (Record, Reduce, Recite, Reflect and Review) as well as common abbreviations for note taking.

External Resources

  • Note Taking Tips ( Helpful website with tips on note taking such as “Keeping Your Notes Organized” and “How to take Notes on a Difficult Subject”. The website also has subcategories like “What Do I Do to Prepare for Class” and “What Do I Do with My Notes after Class” to help you take full advantage of great note taking strategies.
  • Note Taking (Dartmouth College): The Dartmouth Academic Skills page has both handouts and useful videos on note taking. There is also informative links for note taking, listening, and participation.
  • Mind Mapping with MindMeister: -MindMeister is a helpful organizational note-taking app that you can use on your computer as well as a tablet or phone. For video tutorials check out or
  • Evernote (note-taking): An advanced note-taking utility, Evernote allows you to sync your notes across multiple platforms so your notes are always within reach. Evernote also gives you the power to better organize your notes and to share them with other members to help you succeed. For a video tutorial of Evernote, please watch either or

Reading and Writing

For everything from homework assignments to senior theses, check out these handouts and websites for reading and writing tips.

Helpful Handouts

  • General Reading Strategies: Helpful suggestions of things to do as you prepare to read and also while reading to get the most out of your time.
  • A Reading Study Strategy: Information on SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite, review), a strategy to help you comprehend and retain what you are reading.
  • Skimming & Scanning: Overview of the three types of skim reading that can be done and the best situations to use all three. Also explains scanning while reading and how it can be successfully used.
  • Reading Different Sources: Information on how different types of sources (magazines, newspapers, articles, etc.) are organized and the best way to read them to understand the content.
  • Tips for Taking Essay Tests: Useful suggestions to follow when writing answers for an essay test. Has information on what order to answer questions, how long to spend on each section, and how to space the information on your paper.
  • Tips for Writing: Tips on how to begin the writing process and what information to have available before you start.
  • Writing Transitional Words & Phrases: Lists a variety of strong transition words and phrases to help your writing flow logically.

External Resources

  • Reading Strategies (Dartmouth College): List of resources to help you become more efficient in your reading and retain more information. Also includes a video on reading improvement and links for taking notes while you read.
  • Essay Writing Tips: Includes links for how to write different types of essays, help with the stages of the writing process, formatting for citations, ideas for topics by subject, and common mistakes made while writing.
  • Tips for Essay Writing (Harvard University): Helpful website with information on how the process of writing can flow successfully, how to research, how to structure the essay, and questions to ask while proofreading.
  • Written? Kitten! (writing/productivity): Link that motivates you to write by providing a picture of a cat (or puppy or bunny) after you type a predetermined amount of words 
  • Write or Die (writing/productivity): Website that provides many options for a reward or a punishment for procrastination or not writing enough words in the amount of time selected.

Stress and Anxiety Management

Practical hints and tips to help reduce stress throughout the semester.

Helpful Handouts

  • Practical Ways to Reduce Stress: List with 14 suggestions of practical and easy ways to reduce stress in your daily life.
  • Relaxation Techniques: This site has 3 helpful ways (count-of-3 method, controlled breathing, and progressive relaxation) to reduce anxiety in the moment and get focused and ready to work again.
  • Test Anxiety Strategies: Suggestions of ways to be prepared before a test to avoid having anxiety and an emergency plan for calming down in case you do get anxious during a test.

External Resources

  • Reading on Stress Management ( List with many resources on what stress is, how to manage it, many types of coping strategies, and how to relax.
  • Stress Management (University of Georgia): Website with information on many different categories of stress and links to suggestions on how to manage each.

Time Management and Procrastination

Can't seem to keep track of time? Why not try out a new schedule?

Helpful Handouts

External Resources

  • How to Plan an Assignment (Wayne State University): This website allows you to put in an assignment due date and then divides the 12 steps to finishing the paper into daily due dates. Each date provides extra information on how to complete the tasks required.
  • Developing a Daily Schedule ( This website has an interactive clock that lets you calculate how much time you spend on each aspect of your daily life. It also has links to help you schedule your life and create goals and to-do lists.
  • Top 10 Time Management Techniques ( Helpful list of the top 10 tips for how to successfully manage your time.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ( Website that defines procrastination and provides three steps for how to understand and manage your procrastination habits.
  • Procrastination Solutions (Oregon State University): List of 10 strategies to use in daily life to combat procrastination.
  • Fantastical (calendar): App that easily allows you to create events in your calendar and edit them on the go so that you can schedule out your time successfully.
  • IDoneThis (to-do manager): Helpful program that sends you emails every night asking you to respond to it and record how you were productive that day to hold you accountable. Allows you to congratulate friends on a productive day if they also subscribe to the email list.
  • TeuxDeux (to-do manager): App that allows you to create to-do lists in an easy way that also allows you to make edits and check things off.