Organization/Study Skills Overview


students studying


Click the photo above to watch a voice thread of three 8th grade students' perspectives on strategies they use to study.  (


The need for organization and good study skills is critical to school success.  The underlying cognitive process that supports these skills is executive function.  According to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, (, "The term executive function describes a set of cognitive abilities that control and regulate our abilities and behaviors.  They include the ability to initiate and stop actions, to monitor and change behavior as needed and to plan future behavior when faced with novel tasks and situations.  Executive functions allow us to anticipate outcomes and adapt to changing situations.  The ability to form concepts and think abstractly are often considered components of executive function."

This section contains resources that support executive function success and the development of study skills. There are many websites devoted to concepts or strategies that can be used to improve study skills. Teachers promote and model good habits by encouraging the use of planners, Google docs, color coding or by teaching students strategies such as how to take notes using two-column notes.  Executive function support includes memory aides and environmental modifications to support attention to task.  While there is no dispute regarding the importance of these skills for school success, it should also be noted that they are critical skills that transfer into daily living; keeping track of bills and due dates, grocery lists, organizing important papers for taxes, etc.