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Strategies, Organization, and Achievement Resources (SOAR)

Study Skills and Strategies


Free Academic Success Workshops are offered throughout the semester. Check the top of the page for information about the next workshop to be offered. 

If you would also like a session to forge a study strategy for the semester, you can arrange for one by emailing your availability for the coming week to

An excellent resource for strategizing how you study through improved time management can be found by going to this "Strategies for Time Management and Well-Being in College" page.

You can also get help with writing support from the Writing Center math-related support from the Quantitative Reasoning Center, and request peer tutoring or advising support from the Advising, Internship, and Career Center.

Sage Guidance

Study Skills RESOURCES:

(Click a heading below to learn more!) 


READ&WRITE (Reads aloud any text--and more!)

Dickinson has a site license enabling all students to download this multi-faceted software program. Some of Read&Write's best features include:

  • Speech-Maker, which lets you convert any digital text to MP3 format and then save it to iTunes
  • Reading any digital text aloud, including internet sites, Word docs, online articles, and even scanned pdfs. (Here's how to read a pdf using a Mac or using a PC.)
  • Study techniques that enable users to select and highlight any text and then extract what you’ve highlighted into an outline (it imports the citation, too)
  • Advanced spell check, that catches homonyms (like there and their), plus word prediction and other writing/proofreading tools
  • A “Vocabulary Builder” feature that lets you highlight any new words in a text and then, with the click of a mouse, extract all those words into a new document with the words, definitions, a picture of each, and a “notes” section (pretty cool, huh?)
  • Screen Masking, so you can block out everything on the page that you don't want to focus on (including ads on webpages) and just see what you need to read. A great feature for eliminating superfluous distractions!

Want guidance on how to use Read&Write? You can watch video tutorials for each of the above features (and more) by going to the TextHelp YouTube channel and investigating what's most interesting to you. Once you download Read&Write, you can also find video tutorials by clicking "Help" (or the “rw” icon) located on the toolbar, and then "Video Tours." Finally, you can access Quick Start, Training, and Reference Guides by going to TextHelp’s website, where they also host public training webinars.

To download Read&Write to your computer, go to the ADS Assistive Technolgy page.


The best way to maximize your productivity is by developing smart habitual routines. Like brushing your teeth before going to bed, the more something becomes a habit, the less you have to worry about remembering to do it. Here's a good sampling of some of the many Great Apps That Will Help You Build Great Habits that you can use to reach the goals you set.

Here are a few more stand-outs:

SuperBetter (free for iOS and Android) can help you forge good mental health habits. Using digital rewards, it presents you with choices of actions that will boost your emotional, social, and physical well-being.

Way Of Life is a free habit-building app that can help you identify and track your habits with charts and notes, which you can share with others helping you on the "good habit-building" path.

FocusKeeper (free iOS app) is organized around the Pomodoro method of working: committing to twenty-five minutes of highly focused work, followed by a five-minute break. The app’s built-in timer lets you work for the time periods of your choosing.  


We've received so many requests (and suggestions) for this that we've created a separate Distraction Blockers page


One Note: With so much to manage online, why not use a free app that helps you organize it all? OneNote lets you save all your notes (typed or handwritten) -- plus drawings, web articles, and even class videos – in digital notebooks that you can access from any device. It can not only type up what you say, it can read anything typed or uploaded there! Here is a OneNote Reveal, previewing many of its great features. (See if you can spot Fido’s favorite!) And here is a collection of OneNote video tutorials. To get started, just go to: Gateway --> Office365 --> All apps --> OneNote. 

Evernote: Downloading Evernote enables you to save every website, document, picture, etc. to your Evernote collection and organize them with tags. Works with practically every computer, phone, and mobile device there it. Use Evernote to save your course syllabus, articles, notes, and power points so that you can access all that you may need for a given course in one location. Here is an excellent, comprehensive Evernote tutorial.

Trello is a powerful tool for managing and organizing large projects, with a visual presentation that allows you to see everything you need to do at a glance. Trello is also ideal for managing team projects and multi-user collaboration. Download to all devices is free.


Brightstorm: A collection of video explanations of math and science concepts presented by teachers and professors skilled at taking that which is complex and breaking it down to provide clarity.

Khan Academy: Looking for a little extra guidance with understanding a concept, strategy, or equations? Khan Academy features a library of over 3,000 learning videos covering everything from math to physics to finance to history.

Wolfram/Alpha: An answer engine whose answers are computed based on data, rather than linking to other web pages. It can answer specific questions such as "How old was Barack Obama in 1972?" and can answer almost any math and science question thrown at it.

For apps that can help you plan your study time (and remind you of what you need to do) see the Time Management and Organization page.