SSS First-Year Student Assessment

Please read the following statements and choose the appropriate response. To get an accurate picture of where you stand, answer honestly at this particular point in time, not what you believe is ideal. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.

Motivation and Responsibility

I have high expecations of myself:
I work hard at everything I do:
I set goals for myself which are ambitious and attainable:
I take purposeful actions to achieve my goals and dreams:
I am persistent:
I seek help when I need it:
I place great value on earning my college degree:
I take responsibility for my actions (or inaction), rather than making excuses or putting the blame elsewhere:
I know how to change habits of mine that hinder my success:
I keep promises that I make to myself or to others:
When I get off track, I realize it right away:


I am on time:
I plan ahead:
I keep track of what I need to do:
I keep everything (handouts, assignments, papers, etc.) organized in a folder or binder by class:
I remember where I put something when I need it:
I am aware of deadlines and meet them:
Others consider me to be dependable:

Self-confidence and Social Interactions

I believe in myself:
I am a positive person:
I expect to do well in my college classes:
I need to be around other people:
I am comfortable around other people:
I make friends easily:
I am aware of thoughts or beliefs I have that hinder my success:
I seek out opportunities that will help me grow as a person:

Healthy Living

I get plenty of sleep at night and feel rested in the morning:
I eat breakfast:
I engage in regular physical activity:
I am conscientious about eating healthy food:
I avoid consumption of alcohol or other drugs:
I feel happy and fully alive:
When I’m angry, sad, or afraid, I know how to manage my emotions so I don’t do or say anything I’ll regret later:
I handle stress well:

General Learning Strategies

I make studying a top priority:
I read and understand the syllabus for each class:
I communicate personally with my instructors/professors:
I am prepared for my classes:
I study in a quiet place where I can concentrate:
When I study, I am able to concentrate for at least 30 minutes at a time:
I study as I go, putting in time to understand how the pieces fit together:
I learn with the intention of remembering and applying the information learned:
I read all assigned materials, including supplemental materials not discussed in class:
I readily recall those things which I have studied:
I use sensory inputs to reinforce my learning (visual aids, mnemonic devices, flash cards, audio recordings, etc.):
When I take a difficult class, I find a study partner or join a study group:
I know how to think critically and analytically about complex topics:


I am able to express my thoughts well in writing:
I put aside a written assignment for a day or so, then rewrite it:
I review my writing carefully for errors:
I have someone else read my written work and consider their suggestions for improvement:
I am comfortable using library sources for research:
I am able to narrow a topic for an essay, research paper, etc:
I allow sufficient time to collect information, organize material, write, and rewrite the assignment:

Active Reading

I survey each chapter before I begin reading:
I review reading materials more than once:
When learning new material, I summarize it in my own words:
I am comfortable with my reading rate:
When reading, I can distinguish readily between important and unimportant points:
I take notes and/or highlight important parts while reading:


While I am taking notes, I think about how I will use them later:
I understand the lecture and classroom discussion while I am taking notes:
I write down the main points, rather than trying to record every word I hear:
I organize my notes in some meaningful manner (outline, concept map, etc.):
I review my class notes within a few hours of taking them:
I am able to understand and learn from my notes:


I try to find out what an exam will cover and how it will be graded:
I get a good night’s rest prior to a scheduled exam:
I avoid cramming for an exam:
I am prepared for my exams:
I follow directions carefully when taking an exam:
I take time to understand the exam questions before starting to answer:
I am calmly able to recall what I know during an exam:
I understand the structure of different types of tests and am able to prepare for each type:

Classroom Engagement

I attend class regularly:
I sit near the front of the class whenever possible:
I give non-verbal signals in class that I am interested (eye contact, ready to take notes, book open, etc.):
I volunteer answers to questions posed by my instructor during class:
I participate in class discussions:
I take the initiative in group activities:
After each class, I can identify the major points and understand why they are important to the material being covered:

Time Management

I avoid putting things off that need to be done:
When studying, I make a point to avoid distractions and interruptions:
I use prime time (when I am most alert) for studying:
I devote sufficient study time to each of my courses:
I utilize monthly and weekly calendars:
I avoid activities which tend to interfere with my planned schedule:
I begin major course assignments well in advance:
I break larger assignments into smaller tasks with specific deadlines:
I spend most of my time doing important things:
I have time to relax and have fun:

Money Management

I pay my bills on time:
I track my spending:
I control my spending by distinguishing between wants and needs:
I think about how my credit score is affected by my money management habits:
I stick to a budget I have set for myself:
I save/invest some of my money:
I take the initiative to understand my financial aid package, including meeting with my Financial Aid Counselor:
I seek additional forms of financial assistance to minimize my debt: