This study sought to address perceived student study skills needs, as part of a secondary school’s pastoral care program. Utilising a teacher action research approach, the inquiry focused on three main areas: investigating students’ prior study habits; the nature of existing, ineffective study habits that impaired performance; and ascertaining the impact of a study skills intervention program. Findings indicated that many students either were unaware of, or not employing, study skills. Ineffective time and self management impaired students’ study performance, possibly linked to a ‘cultural trace’. Perceived improvements in students’ study habits were reported, both by students and teachers. Three likely reasons were identified: The imminence of exams acting as a catalyst, the newly learned study skills, and encouragement by the teacher.

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