Course Syllabus

Welcome to Try College 101

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.


Course Description

This course is an introduction to the basic academic, professional, and personal skills you will need to be successful in college. Please keep in mind that this course is designed to support your ability to succeed in other college courses. You will benefit from this course by taking it before or during your college studies.


Course Introduction

This course is designed to equip you with the basic academic, professional, and personal skills you will need to be successful in college. You are probably already familiar with some of the skills and topics that will be covered here; other concepts may be brand-new to you. For example, perhaps you have already learned some effective test-taking strategies that work well for you, but you have never heard of the concept of learning styles. Or, you may be familiar with your learning style, but you want to improve your listening skills and learn how to adapt your learning style to a new academic environment.

Each student will have a different skill set when he or she starts this course. The point of this course is to give you, a new college student or a person considering a college education, a purposeful, thorough overview of the many tools and skills needed for undergraduate success, as well as to help you understand how you can improve each of these skills over time. Keep in mind that the terms skills, tools, and resources can refer to academic, social, psychological, and emotional skills and techniques as well as physical objects such as books and supplies.

You may be tempted to consider some of the broad learning outcomes that are outlined in this course as unimportant for your immediate success in college. For example, you may wonder whether it is really worth your time to think about your long-term career goals or your exercise habits at the very beginning of your college experience. However, having a sense of purpose that motivates you and a lifestyle that supports your ability to focus on your academic goals are the basic building blocks of success in college and beyond.

By the end of this course, you will have gained a comprehensive overview of the skills, tools, and resources you will need for a successful, healthy, and happy college experience. You will understand how to apply the concepts discussed in this course to your individual academic and personal goals, and to practice the skills you have learned by testing them in specific college courses that you plan to take or are already taking. Finally, you will possess a strong starting point for applying your newfound skills to your job search and your career beyond college.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Building and Working Towards Educational Goals
  • Unit 2: Creating a Physical and Mental Space for Studying
  • Unit 3: Create an Effective Time Management Plan
  • Unit 4: Reading to Learn
  • Unit 5: Learning Styles and Learning Processes
  • Unit 6: Listen, Take Notes, Read, and Study
  • Unit 7: Academic Writing and Research in College
  • Unit 8: Using and Improving Your Memory Skills
  • Unit 9: Be Ready for Tests and Test Anxiety
  • Unit 10: Interacting with Instructors and Classes
  • Unit 11: Managing Your Health and Stress
  • Unit 12: The Social World of College
  • Unit 13: Your Career After College


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • clarify and state your individual educational goals, and formulate specific plans to work towards the goals;
  • design and implement a personal time management plan;
  • identify your preferred learning style;
  • describe and employ strategies for effective reading;
  • describe and employ critical thinking and creative thinking skills;
  • adequately describe effective listening, note taking, memory retention, and writing skills, and methods for improving these skills;
  • identify and accurately judge the credibility of websites;
  • describe and use different methods of exam preparation;
  • explain test anxiety and list strategies for reducing it;
  • describe the interview process and strategies for successful interviewing; and
  • create a resume and a cover letter.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Saylor Certificate of Completion.

There are also 9 unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course. These are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.


Tips for Success

Try College 101 is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 83 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • The material in this course is designed to be applied generally across all the other courses you will take during your college experience.  As you complete each unit, try to apply that unit's main ideas to other work you are doing as soon as possible.


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.



There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Monday, December 4, 2023, 10:40 AM