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Study skills
last modified: 2016/03/08

Manage my Studies

Study Process Questionnaire

The purpose of the study process questionnaire

This questionnaire can help you identify possible problem areas in the way you study. You can use the evaluation as a tool to help you work out a study programme for yourself.

How to complete the study process evaluation

  • There are no right or wrong answers to the SPQ.
  • You should evaluate statement in the questionnaire to show to which extent you disagree or agree with the statement.
  • You will soon discover which answers you could give to create the impression that you have no study problems - that would however be self-deception.
  • The aim of the questionnaire is to make you aware of those skills that you need to brush up on for your future studies.
  • Some items may not be directly applicable to you, but answer each item about your current study experience  no matter how long it has been since you last studied.
  • Carefully evaluate and consider every statement and be absolutely honest when deciding to what extent it applies to you.
1 When I listen to a lecture or study a subject, I am able to distinguish between more important and less important facts and then make notes about important things only.
2 I believe that I lack the ability to pass my course.
3 I work according to a timetable on which I have planned and written down my daily and weekly study and recreational activities.
4 I respect my lecturers because they have mastered their fields of study.
5 I study all the facts in a study assignment without discriminating (distinguishing) between more important and less important ones.
6 Once I have completed my main tasks for the day I use every possible opportunity to study.
7 My concentration becomes weaker when I listen to a lecture or study a piece of work.
8 I take down everything the lecturer says verbatim (word for word).
9 I use my own shorthand method when taking notes.
10 When I read, my mind wanders (I think of other things).
11 I try to memorise all the work exactly as it appears in the textbook or notes.
12 I am studying at university because others expect me to, not because I decided to do so myself.
13 I am used to studying in one place.
14 When I come to a difficult piece of work, I just give up.
15 I listen to what a lecturer says or read what he or she has written and try to make up my own mind about the facts. In other words I do not accept everything at face value.
16 It is important to me to do well in my studies.
17 I know exactly why I am doing the course for which I have registered and what I am going to use it for one day.
18 My relations with my family are bad and I worry about this a lot.
19 I test myself to find out whether or not I know the work when I finish a study session.
20 I plan how much time I can spend on each question when writing a test or examination.
21 I first skim (read quickly) through the work and try to identify the main themes before I begin reading carefully for study purposes.
22 I think lecturers try to catch students out in assignments, tests and examinations.
23 I procrastinate (put off or delay) when it comes to doing assignments, then submit them late.
24 At the end of a test or an examination, I never look at my answers again, even if I have time to spare.
25 I do not use the library because I do not know how it operates.
26 After a lecture I go through my notes and organise them so that they will be easier to follow and understand later.
27 I take tranquillisers or stimulants before an examination.
28 I make notes in my own words and my own style.
29 I know how to use the latest research report to trace sources on a specific subject.
30 I need to be in touch with fellow students.
31 I only study when I have to write examinations.
32 I study at a well-lit desk.
33 I study with a radio, tape recorder or television set on in the background.
34 I am familiar with the classification system that the library uses to arrange its books.
35 When I begin working on an assignment, I make notes while I read and immediately arrange them under my proposed headings to help me write a good answer.
36 I often feel sick for no reason or physical cause before an important examination.
37 I tend to daydream.
38 I assume that the University and everyone connected to it have my interests at heart and will not consciously harm me.
39 There is a lot of noise in and around the place where I normally have to study.
40 In an examination I begin with the questions that I can answer best.
41 When I study, I rearrange or regroup the facts so that the structure of the study assignment seems logical to me.
42 The people I share my home with know my study programme and do not disturb me.
43 The place where I study is peaceful and quiet.
44 I prepare for group discussions by reading the work to be discussed before I go to the classes.
45 I think university education is overrated.
46 I am unhappy about myself and my circumstances, and this interferes with my studies.
47 I study by asking myself questions and trying to gain insight into the work.
48 I read the latest literature in my field of study as regularly as I can.
49 When I write an assignment, I carefully plan the dates by which I have to finish certain sections.
50 In class I never ask or answer a question unprompted (without the lecturer calling on me) because I am afraid that I may forget what I wanted to say.
51 Before I do an assignment, I plan carefully what headings and subheadings I will use.
52 I have many extramural activities that encroach on my study time which means that I do not spend the amount of time I want to on my studies.
53 As I read I make notes of the most important concepts.
54 I usually make notes about new information that the lecturer provides in discussion classes.
55 When I write an assignment I spend about two-thirds of my time to preparatory reading and one-third to writing the actual assignment.
56 If I do not understand something that is said in a lecture, I ask for an explanation.
57 Before I answer a question in an examination, I jot down the core summaries of all the questions I want to answer.
58 I have a comfortable table or desk at which to study.
59 I read very slowly.
60 My friends know when I am studying and do not trouble me at those times.
61 When I have finished reading, I cannot remember what I have read and have to start all over again.
62 Lecturers enjoy watching students suffer.
63 I find all sorts of excuses to avoid starting work.
64 When I write an assignment, I make a point of giving my own interpretation.
65 When I prepare for an examination I suffer from all kinds of unaccustomed pains in my head, neck or back.
66 When I have to do an assignment or write an examination, I give myself enough time to prepare properly rather than waiting until a day or two before the due date to start work.
67 I do not read library books on my subject unless I am instructed to do so.
68 When I receive the paper in an examination, I first read through it carefully to make quite sure what I have to do.
69 I cannot study at home.
70 I am scared that a lecturer might ask me a question during a discussion class.

Which of your scores are below 3?

  • You will need to pay attention to the corresponding issues to improve your studies. Click on the links to take you to information regarding certain issues.
Organisation of the study process
This topic measures how well you are organised when you study whether or not you work according to a well designed plan of action and use organisation skills to systematically study all sections of the work.
Items: 1, 9, 19, 21, 26, 28, 35, 41, 47, 51, 53, 54, 55
Time management
This topic measures your ability to structure your time in such a way that you have sufficient study time and opportunity to complete all the work in time.
Items: 3, 6, 23, 31, 44, 49, 52, 63, 66
External interruptions in the study space
This topic provides you with an indication of the extent in which interruptions intrude in your study environment. You will have to eliminate such interruptions to study effectively.
Items: 33, 39, 42, 43, 60, 69
The items of this topic indicate how well you are able to pay attention to the work at hand and not get side-tracked into other irrelevant activities.
Items: 7, 10, 37, 59, 61
Internal/external motivation
This indicates to what extent you are internally or externally motivated. Internal motivation is usually stronger than external motivation.
Items: 2, 4, 12, 16, 17
Examination skills
This indicates how well you are able to cope with stressful examination situations.
Items: 20, 40, 57, 68
Classroom behaviour
This topic measures the extent to which you are assertive in your classroom behaviour making sure that you get the explanations that are your due.
Items: 14, 50, 56, 70
Library skills
This indicates the extent to which you can find your way about the library and use its systems.
Items: 25, 29, 34, 67
Attitude towards learning
People may have a positive or negative attitude towards learning and this affects their motivation to study. This topic measures your attitude towards learning.
Items: 22, 38, 45, 62
Psychosomatic symptoms
These are symptoms that appear as physical ailments but actually have a psychological basis. For example, stress due to an upcoming examination may result in an upset stomach.
Items: 27, 36, 65
Personal problems
These can have a serious impact on concentration and motivation. Deal with them as soon as possible.
Items: 18, 30, 46
Uncritical learning approach
This occurs when students accept everything presented in a study guide or lecture without questioning the relevance of the information for them or their environment. Such an approach often leads to ineffective rote learning and information is not remembered for long.
Items: 5, 8, 11
Study venue
This topic measures the extent to which the study venue is adequately furnished to allow for serious study to take place.
Items: 13, 32, 58
Academic confidence
This is the topic that indicates the degree to which a student believes in his/her ability to master the work and to give a good account of his/her knowledge in a test situation.
Items: 15, 24, 48, 64