#Costa Academic Support Center
#Bristol Commumity College
#study tips

#Costa Academic Support Center

#Bristol Commumity College

#study tips

Source: collegesmarts

The New Bedford campus is now offering the following FREE services to new and current students through September 30, 2014, via a pilot program:

Career Decision Making Assessment:

     Mondays and Tuesdays 10:00AM and 2:00PM

Career “know-How” workshops:

Resumes:  July 15 & August 19 @ 11:00AM
     Interview Skills/Practice:  July 22 & August 26 @ 11:00AM
     Internet Job Search:  July 29 & August 27 @ 11:00AM
     Hidden Job Market:  August 5 & September 3 @ 11:00AM
     Real You:  August 12 & September 16 @ 11:00AM

For more information, and to schedule an appointment, please contact Dolores Gatley @ 508-678-2811, ext. 2640, or stop by the Costa Academic Support Center @ 800 Purchase Street., room 118, New Bedford.


Reading Tips

  1. Pay attention
    1. Read every word.
  2. Take notes.
  3. Ask yourself questions
    1. What is the main idea?
    2. What kind of writing is it?
    3. What do I need to take from this?
  4. Stop talking to yourself while you read.
    1. Vocalizing, this is the actual moving of your lips as you read.
    2. Subvocalizing, this is talking to yourself in your head as you’re silently read.
    3. Both of these will slow down your reading, reading should be an activity which involves only the eyes and brain.
  5. Don’t keep re-reading the same phrases.
    1. This will double or even triple your reading time, and often does not result in better comprehension.
    2. Pay closer attention the first time you read through something, giving it your complete attention.
  6. Vary your reading rate.
    1. An efficient reader speeds up for easier material and slows down for harder material. If you read the material fast that is hard to comprehend, you will have a hard time remembering it.
    2. Faster reading rate means less comprehension.
  7. Read in the proper Environment
    1. Make sure you are comfortable, and can pay attention in your environment, avoid distractions.

Tips for reading


Time Management

Starting college can be an exciting new venture, however, it can also be demanding, especially on your time.  You may find yourself thinking, “How am I going to do all this?”  Well time management is the key. 

Time is a valuable resource, and many of us think we have too much to do and never enough time to accomplish everything on our plate.  However, the reality is that we all start out with the same amount of time (e.g. 24 hours each day).  How we use that time is what counts.  While some events/activities, such as work schedules, etc. may be externally controlled many are internally controlled.  Internally controlled events/activities allow us to make choices, and so we can over extend ourselves or learn to manage our time wisely.

Good time management consists of:

  • Setting goals that can be realistically accomplished
  • Establishing priorities
  • Assuming responsibility for your own use or abuse of time

Time management will help you:

  • Develop priorities (a list)
  • Avoid procrastination/wasting time
  • Improve your ability to be productive
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Enjoy free time

So how do we go about developing a good time management plan?  Here are some tips that may be helpful:

  • Utilize a monthly calendar
  • Utilize a weekly planner
  • Take a look at your syllabus for each class to identify when assignments are due
  • Factor in your class schedule, work schedule, family and other obligations, commitments, appointments (don’t forget about things like meal preparation, transportation, children’s activities, etc.)

The next step is setting up your monthly calendar:

  • Transfer all due dates to the calendar for

-          Quizzes/exams

-          Papers

-          Presentations

-          homework assignments

-          Other projects

  • Estimate the time needed to complete each assignment

-          On scrap paper break each assignment into a series of manageable steps and estimate the time needed for each step

-          Tentatively reserve a block of time for each on your monthly calendar (will define further on weekly planner)

  • Schedule study and reading time

-          Tentatively schedule at least 6-9 hours per week for each class on your monthly schedule (rule of thumb is 2-3 hours for each course credit)

-          Tentatively schedule extra hours of review time for the week before each exam on your monthly calendar

  • Schedule time for other commitments

-          Write down any scheduled appointments on your monthly calendar

-          Write down other appointments as you schedule them on your monthly calendar (see handout of sample calendar)

Now it’s time to set up your weekly planner:

  • Set aside time each week to complete your weekly planner
  • You will need the following:

-          Your completed monthly calendar

-          Blank weekly planner for the upcoming week

-          Your class schedule for the upcoming week

-          Your work schedule for the upcoming week

-          Other appointments/commitments for the upcoming week

-          Scrap paper and pencil

  • List the following fixed time commitments for the upcoming week on your weekly planner:

-          Sleep time

-          Getting up time (including shower, coffee, etc.)

-          Class time

-          Work time

-          Travel time

-          Any other fixed time commitments

  • Begin to prioritize:

-          Look at your monthly calendar – “what do I need to do for school this week”

-          Write down all information on a scrap of paper

-          On the same scrap of paper add anything else you need/want to do (e.g. house work, socialize, watch your favorite TV show, etc.)

-          Decide which are high priority items and mark with H

-          Decide which are low priority items and mark with L

-          Review remaining items.  If they are medium priority mark with M.

  • On weekly planner:

-          Schedule time for H items

-          Schedule time for M items

-          If time permits, schedule L items

Here are some additional tips for effective time management:

  • Eliminate unnecessary tasks from your schedule
  • Don’t over commit – learn to say NO
  • Avoid perfectionism

In order to achieve an effective time management plan, it is important to weed out and eliminate unnecessary projects/tasks to focus on more important ones.  This automatically frees up time for priority items and reduces overall workload.  In addition, perfectionism can add to the workload as more time is spent trying to achieve perfection.  Just do the best you can.

Planning study time is also an important part of your effective time management plan.

  • Study when:

-          Plan at least two study hours for every hour spent in class

-          Study difficult (or boring) subjects first

-          Avoid scheduling “marathon” study sessions

-          Know your best time of day

-          Use idle waiting time (such as time between classes, etc.)

-          Set a regular study time

  • Study Where:

-          Choose a place with minimal or no distractions

-          Use the library, Academic Support Center, etc.

-          Stand or take a brief walk (as needed) to remain awake and alert

-          Change location if you start to slack off

  • Study How:

-          Make an agreement with family members about study time

-          Avoid noise and other distractions

-          Notice how others may monopolize your time

-          Stay off the phone

-          Learn to say NO

-          Hang a “do not disturb” sign on door

-          Ask yourself, “What is the one thing I need to accomplish today?”

-          Ask yourself, “Did I just waste time?”

-          Ask yourself, “Am I beating myself up?” (be forgiving to yourself)

-          Ask yourself, “Can I do just one more thing?” (stretch yourself)

For more information, please see online PowerPoint presentation on Study Tips.

In summary, remember it’s not how much time we have, but how we use it.   There will always be 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, etc.  It’s important to set realistic goals for ourselves and establish priorities.  To set up an effective time management plan, it is helpful to use a calendar and weekly planner.  Transfer all dates, assignments, appointments, and commitments onto the calendar/weekly planner and follow the above time management tips. 

Please feel free to contact us @ 508-678-2811, ext. 4450 with any questions and/or if you need any additional support.








































































































































Study Vibe

This is another resource with helpful study tips and resources.  Hope you find it helpful.


Khan Academy

This is a great resource…check it out!

  • Question: Advice on people who go College and also work? I do that and it's killing me! - Anonymous
  • Answer:


    We actually have a blog post about this:

    College is rough. It’s one of the most expensive and time consuming things you will ever do, especially for those of us who have to find time to work to pay for college.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret–I’m not a lucky one. I’ve been waiting tables 5 days a week (at least) since I started college.

    With one year of college left, I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I am on track to graduate debt-free and with a decent savings account. I have somehow managed to recognize my financial needs, work a flexible job and not completely overwork myself.

    If you find yourself confused, broke, and jobless at the beginning of your semester, here are some tips for working during college.

    Click here to check out the rest of the post!

    For those of you who are working, going to school, and perhaps taking care of a family as well…check out this post from college smarts for some helpful tips.

Source: collegesmarts
Welcome Back!

We hope you had a wonderful and relaxing break!  Now that you are back in the swing of things, don’t forget to check out the Costa Academic Support Center (ASC).  It’s a great place to study (study groups encouraged) and/or work on your assignments.  We have state-of-the-art computers for your use, or you can connect to our WiFi with your own devices.  In addition we offer academic support, such as peer tutoring, Writing Center faculty tutors, eLearning help, and more!   We are here to help!

Also, please check out our Youtube playlist with the following workshops:

Microsoft Tips (using Microsoft applications for research papers)
Keys to Success (how the brain processes information and it’s relationship to effective study skills)

Please continue to check out this blog, as we will be posting helpful resources, tips, links, etc., as well as additional workshops on the playlist  (link above).

We are located @ 800 Purchase Street, room 118, New Bedford Campus.  Our phone number is 508-678-2811, ext. 4013 (tutor appointments), ext. 4450 (academic support).  Summer hours are as follows:

Monday - Thursday     8:00AM-7:00PM
Friday                          closed
Saturday                     8:30AM-12:30PM
Sunday                       closed

Hope to see you in the ASC.

ASC/TASC staff


Well finals week is finally here!  I know you have all worked very hard, and the Costa Academic Support (ASC) staff wish you well on your exams! 

We will be open through Saturday, May 17th, so please don’t hesitate to visit us, if we can be of any assistance.  The last day for tutoring will be Friday, May 16th, though availability may be limited.  However, If you still need to brush up on some material/skills, please feel free to contact us at 508-678-2811, ext. 2013 or stop by the ASC to make a tutoring appointment.

The ASC will re-open on June 2nd with limited summer hours as follows:

Monday - Thursday    8:00AM-7:00PM
Friday                         Closed
Saturday                     8:30AM-12:30PM
Sunday                       Closed

Have a wonderful semester break!


Costa Academic Support Center

Test Anxiety

As you think about and prepare for taking a quiz, test, and/or exam, perhaps you experience butterflies in your stomach, or those annoying thoughts that say something like “I’ll never learn all of this material” or “I’m not going to do well on this test”.  Well don’t despair…this is normal as most student experience some level of mild anxiety.  However, test anxiety can become problematic when it significantly affects performance. 

So what exactly is test anxiety and why does it occur?

  • Test anxiety is a feeling of agitation, anticipation, distress, and/or panic that is focused on test taking
  • It may be disruptive to test taking
  • May be “situational anxiety” (e.g., you only experience the anxiety when preparing and/or taking a test)
  • Test anxiety may be a result of real or perceived events, such as a lack of preparation and/or a negative thought process (as noted above)

How will I know if I’m experiencing test anxiety?

  • You will likely experience some symptoms, both physical and cognitive:

Physical symptoms

  • perspiration
  • sweaty palms
  • rapid heartbeat
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • feeling tense
  • butterflies
  • dry mouth
  • queasy

Cognitive symptoms (often referred to as “negative thoughts”)

  • “I’m not prepared”
  • “I’ll never get through this”
  • “I should have studied more”

What are some of the effects of test anxiety?

  • Nervousness
    • difficulty reading and/or understanding a question
    • difficulty concentrating
    • difficulty organizing thoughts
    • difficulty recalling key words/ideas when answering essay questions
    • doing poorly even though you prepared for the test and know the material
    • Mental Blocking
      • drawing a blank
      • remembering correct answers immediately following a test

So what can help?

  • good study habits (see workshop on study skills)
  • take one step at a time
  • read directions carefully
  • budget time (determine amount needed for each section)
  • set a comfortable pace & start with the easiest section
  • if you draw a blank, move on to the next question
  • Relax and stay in control
    • Utilize deep calming breaths
    • stretch
    • focus on tasks (e.g., what is it you have to do)
    • use reinforcing (positive) self-statements, such as “I can get through this” or “relax…I know this material”
      • use of positive self-statements helps to counteract the negative thoughts
      • avoid cramming the night before
      • avoid caffeine and alcohol (can increase heart rate, impair judgment/ability to focus/concentrate, impair sleep)
      • get a good night’s sleep (lack of sleep = poor test performance)!!!

If test anxiety continues to be a problem, and you would like some assistance, The Counseling Center at BCC can help.  They provide a range of confidential services to support student success, health, and wellness.  Please feel free to contact them to schedule an appointment at 508-679-2811, ext. 2234 or stop by G-211 on the Fall River campus.  You can also access their webpage for more information @ .   If you need help with the academic side of things, please stop by the Costa Academic Support Center or call to make an appointment @ 508-678-2811, ext. 4013.


With the end of the semester and finals just around the corner, we welcome you to take advantage of the services offered at the Costa Academic Support Center (ASC).  The ASC is open 6 days a week and our goal is to offer support and help you succeed in achieving your academic goals.  If you would like assistance with studying for final exams, writing papers, etc., please stop by during our convenient hours.  Sometimes a quiet space away from home to study and complete course work without distractions is needed, and our modern computer lab and work space is just the place!  Study groups are welcome and encouraged! 

Also, please check out our Costa ASC blog and TASC Facebook page, for tips and information that will help put you on the path to success, via the following links:

 Links for workshops are:

Career Exploration:

Information Interview:

Employee Interview:

Microsoft & Study Skills:

 We are hoping to continue to post workshops and information online, so any suggestions for topics of interest, or if you would like to write something that would be helpful to other students please feel free to contact me.  You can check out the First Year Experience Blog for some ideas @

Costa Academic Support Center hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday    8:00am – 7:00pm

Friday                          8:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday                      8:30am – 3:30pm

We are located at 800 Purchase St., room 118, New Bedford campus.  For tutor appointments please contact us at 508-678-2811, ext. 4013. 


Academic Support Workshops - YouTube

Check out another informative workshop presented by Professor Ron Weisberger on Keys to Success: effective learning skills.  Learn how the brain processes information and its relationship to effective learning skills.

  • Improve note taking and time management skills
  • Better understand and retain information
  • Improve grades