Counseling and Neurofeedback
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Board-Certifed in Neurofeedback

How to Study for College

College Students: Do any of these sound like you?

  • You have a lot of unscheduled time. It’s freeing at first, but without a solid system for how to study for college, homework piles up and you’re pulling all-nighters to catch up.
  • You planned to study, but you just found out about a guest lecture, or an art show, or a party. You feel like you have to choose between doing homework and enjoying the evening.
  • In high school getting As and Bs was easy, but in college the game has changed. It’s hard to keep up the pace.
  • You have a great idea for a paper, but after hours of writing it turns out to be too narrow or too broad. You have to choose finishing an okay paper and starting over.
  • Problems on tests take you by surprise.
  • You like your classes, but not sure where you’re heading. Besides learning how to study for college, you want to think about your major and long term goals.
  • Academics are going well, but it’s hard to keep up with daily living: laundry, food, work-study. You’d like a time-management system that’s simple, flexible, and effective so you can do well and have a life.

How would you feel if you could…

  • Know where everything is and when all your assignments are due
  • Finish problem sets and papers with time to spare
  • Ace your test and get excellent grades — in all types of classes
  • Take care of daily life and focus on inspiring long-term goals

If you’re like most of the students I work with, you might not be sure where to look for help. Of course there are campus resources, such as a writing clinic, or chemistry tutoring.

But what would it be like to work with someone who checks in with you every week to make sure you gain the skills you need to stay accountable and on track?

As an Academic Coach, I meet with students virtually to set goals, troubleshoot time management issues, show you the most effective study skills, and more.

My approach works for…

  • First-year college studentscollege study help
  • Students who want to learn how to study for college and get top grades
  • Students who are starting college after a gap year
  • Working students
  • Part-time students

And it works best if…

  • You’re willing to learn new approaches
  • You want maximum benefit from your college investment
  • You want to learn how to study for college so you can spend more time enjoying college life

Does learning how to study for college really help? [FAQ]

I’m not an organized person. Will your method work?

Yes. No one is born organized. There is no gene for organization. Organization, time management, planning ahead — these are skills, and skills can be learned. And the key to learning is taking tiny steps, creating small habits that help you train your brain to stay focused. Thousands of students have learned how to study for college and get organized. You can too.

Does Academic Coaching take a lot of time? I already have too much to do.

As you learn to manage time, stay organized, and how to study for college effectively you’ll save time. You’ll come away from our 50-minutes a week meeting with personalized strategies that help you get things done — without the stress — so you can use your evenings and weekends to relax.

Can I learn these things by reading a book?

Sure, you can read about time management and study skills, just as you can read about playing soccer or learning the violin. However, it’s usually faster and more effective to use a coach who can help you hone in on what needs improving, and then to make a do-able plan, and stick to it.

Do virtual sessions really work?

Yes they do. I was surprised at first to find that for most students, virtual sessions are more effective than in-person session. There are three reasons for this:

  • First you don’t have to travel, which saves a ton of time.
  • Second we can share documents and screens, which makes it easy to talk about planning, strategizing, and writing projects.
  • Third, we’ll get more done. For some reason it’s easier to focus on the essentials when we’re virtual.

Here’s what other college students say…

I did well in school, so when I got to college I felt like, “maybe I can do this.” But I had no sense of organization and got behind. Then I procrastinated and things got worse. When I started coaching, I learned how to keep track of what’s due and what to work on first. I also learned how to study for college by taking notes that I actually use and how to get ready for tests. I even made a budget and started to feel better about how I spend money. When I started I was getting Cs, but now I’m getting As and Bs. — H.R.

Why work with Pat?

study skills for college students

I have a teacher’s perspective. I taught undergraduate classes at the University of Oregon, as well as high school physics, chemistry, and math. And as an Academic Coach I’ve helped dozens of students at UC Berkeley and around the country get through tough classes, improve their grades, manage tricky situations with professors and other students, and set powerful, inspiring life goals. I’ve seen the kinds of challenges students face and I know how to help students get past them.

I love the technical stuff. I have a minor in physics and a love of all things mathematical, and I know what it takes to get this stuff into your brain.

I’m passionate about learning. With two Master’s degrees and a PhD, and I’ve coached college students through subjects from Spanish to Psychology, Women’s Studies to Physics. I know that every student can excel, and that I that success has a lot to do with having the right strategies. I also know that college can be fun.

If you’d like to learn more about how to study for college, here’s how you can start out:

  1. Take the Quiz.
  2. Apply for a 60-minute “Take the Stress Out of School” strategy session.
  3. Call me at 510.277.0456, or email me at