College students struggle with organizational skills

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

A new nationwide survey commissioned by FileMaker, Inc. reveals that college students are having problems with workload and organizational skills affecting their grades. The survey, conducted by Greenfield Online, found that nearly half of college students (47 percent) feel their high school did not prepare them with the organizational skills required to do well in college. And 54 percent felt they would get better grades if they "got organized and stayed organized."


And for a generation of students raised on computer technology, the survey also surprisingly found that almost half of college students still manage their tasks and schedules by handwriting on a personal calendar. The survey also revealed 48 percent of students feel that partying "affects their grades."


"Getting into college is only half the battle. Doing well in college prep courses and achieving high grades in high school is not enough," said David T. Conley, Ph.D., professor of education in the College of Education at the University of Oregon, director of the Center for Educational Policy Research, and author of "College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready." "Students need both academic skills and organizational skills to manage the many competing interests that college life offers. While critical thinking and comprehension skills are essential for any college course, it's also important that students have the ability to effectively manage their time."


Additional survey results include:


Students Need Better Time Management and Organization Skills

- 48.4 percent of college students say they don't have enough time to do their course work.

- 87 percent of students say that better time management and organization skills would help them get better grades.

- 88 percent of college students want to improve their ability to manage their time.

- 48 percent of students manage their contacts, assignments and deadlines by handwriting on a personal calendar.


Students Not Using Available Technology to Better Manage Their Work

- 50 percent of students do not use a single system (software usage or handwriting) to manage all their contacts, assignments, lecture notes and research.

- 23 percent keep track of schoolwork and To-Do items in their head, by memory.

- Only 21.7 percent organize their research and lecture notes using database software.

- More than two-thirds of students (68 percent) work on projects with one or more other students.

- E-mail (66 percent) is the most common way that students exchange course-related information. Exchanging information using paper comes in second at 24 percent.

- 47 percent of college students feel their high school did not "teach them the organizational skills required to do well in college."


Partying and Socializing Affect Grades

- Although most (74 percent) students spend less than 20 percent of their free time partying, nearly half (48 percent) say that partying affects their grades.

- 10.4 percent say spending less time going to parties and socializing would get them better grades.

- 13.6 percent say they need to attend classes more consistently.

- 14.5 percent say they spend between 20 to 30 percent of their time going to parties or socializing.