Basic Skills Needed to go Back to College

If you have decided to get back into the classroom there are some skills that can help your journey go a bit smoother and can help reduce stress when the pressure is on. These skills can be useful for anyone, but if you are an adult learner, and have added pressures of a family, they are crucial.

Most people have the reading and writing skills necessary to survive in their day-to-day life, but if it has been a while since you have been in a classroom setting, you may need to brush up on some skills.

* Basic reading, writing and math skills. Unless you help your child with their homework, it has probably been a while since you thought about verbs, nouns, adjectives and things such as sentence structure. When was the last time you needed to multiply 2 fractions? Unless you already work with these things on a regular basis, you probably haven’t given basic reading and math skills much thought. The benefits of these courses are that they can get you “back into the swing of things” and help you prepare for your new academic focus.

* Basic computer and keyboarding skills. Handwritten assignments complete with ink strikeouts and white out might have been overlooked in high school but not at college. Most Professors will not even accept handwritten submissions, as they don’t need to spend the extra time deciphering your hen scratching. Having word processing skills will help you to revise and edit your work so that the teacher only sees your best. In addition, many Professors and classes now use the Internet and e-mail to keep students informed. As such, a working knowledge of how to access the Internet and use e-mail is essential.

Many communities will offer basic upgrading skills free of charge through public school boards.

* Budgeting skills. Attending college is a major financial undertaking for most people. Whether you are receiving financial aid or paying by some other means, being able to budget correctly is a must. You will have to pay for obvious things such as tuition and textbooks. Nevertheless, have you thought about the added expense of eating more meals and snacks on campus, or are you going to need to brown bag it?

* Time management skills. There are varying estimates as to the amount of time a student will spend on their studies, but there is no doubt that it is a big time consumer. Time management will be an even bigger issue if you have a family. You and the kids will have an adjustment to go through, when mom or dad has to sit down and do their homework in the evening too.

After beginning your studies you may wish to look to see if your school offers any of the following optional courses that can make those assignments much less grueling and less stressful.

* Note taking classes. Note taking classes are often over looked and not considered a skill. Note taking is a fundamental skill to help you get the most out of your classroom time. In a note taking class, you will be given tips to organize your in class notes and lectures so that you have the best available information to study from later on, for an exam.

* Essay writing skills course. The goal of an essay-writing seminar will help you to review the basics of essay writing and the basic structure for an essay. Often students report that after attending such classes they are able to reduce the time needed to complete assignments.

* A research skills course. A research skills course will teach you how to find the most relevant information quickly. Avoid spending long hours in the library or searching the Internet without finding any useful resources. These courses will also assist you in citing the sources that you do find for your papers properly.

* Test writing skills course. Test writing skills can help you to learn time management during timed examinations. Tips on how to tackle your exam so that you can give the best information you have in the amount of time allotted. Taking these courses can go a long way to reduce test anxiety and boost your confidence in taking tests.

While the above skills are considered optional, they will make your college life much easier. They will undoubtedly add confidence and give you the best chance of success. They may even improve your grades. Good luck, and don’t forget to have fun.