Study Skills

Self Assessment Test

The self-assessment test is important for two reasons:

  1. It lets you know what your weaknesses are.
  2. It lets you know what your strengths are.

The second is the more important reason, because success breeds success. You should therefore strive to build on your strengths when improving your study skills.


Take this test before developing a program of improvement. Try not to think of it as a test, though. No one else need ever see your answers, so be completely honest with yourself.

Read each statement and consider how it applies to you. If it does apply to you, mark "Y" next to that statement. If it does not apply to you, mark "N".

Time Scheduling

  • I spend too much time studying for what I am learning.
  • I usually spend hours cramming the night before an exam.
  • If I spend as much time on my social activities as I want to, I don't have enough time left to study, or when I study enough, I don't have time for a social life.


  • I usually try to study with the radio and TV turned on.
  • I can't sit and study for long periods of time without becoming tired or distracted.
  • I go to class, but I usually doodle, daydream, or fall asleep.
Listening And Note-Taking
  • My class notes are sometimes difficult to understand later.
  • I usually seem to get the wrong material into my class notes.
  • I don't review my class notes periodically throughout the semester in preparation for tests.
Reading Speed
  • I can't keep up with my reading assignments, and then I have to cram the night before a test.
  • I rarely change my reading speed in response to the difficulty level of the selection, or my familiarity with the content.
  • I often wish that I could read faster.
  • I lose a lot of points on essay tests even when I know the material well.
  • I study enough for my test, but when I get there my mind goes blank.
  • I often study in a haphazard, disorganized way under the threat of the next test.
Reading Comprehension
  • When I get to the end of a chapter, I can't remember what I've just read.
  • I don't know how to pick out what is important in the text.
  • I often find myself getting lost in the details of reading and have trouble identifying the main ideas.
Writing Skills
  • When my teachers assign papers I feel so overwhelmed that I can't get started.
  • I usually write my papers the night before they are due.
  • I can't seem to organize my thoughts into a paper that makes sense.


Analyze each section independently. If you have answered "no" to two or more questions in any category, you demonstrate sufficient proficiency in that area. Use your strengths to guide you as you work on the other areas that require your attention. Do not attempt to improve yourself in every area all at once. Instead, develop a plan that promotes small victories (and prevents big losses) and you will be more successful overall.


Retake the test after completion of your program. Compare your answers to your pretest. Have you improved in all areas you targeted? Revise your program if needed. Continue to retake the test periodically until you are satisfied with your progress.