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What is the GAMES© Survey Instrument?

Well, it’s not dodge ball. GAMES is an acronym for good study behaviors based on research that will help students become efficient learners. The GAMES survey, developed by Marilla D. Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin, helps students identify strengths and weaknesses of study behaviors. The survey is a tool that encourages students to reflect on current study habits and provides specific strategies for improving student learning.

Where is the survey?

Students can take the survey online at Instruct students to take the survey and print a copy of the survey that includes the answers. Encourage students to reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses and select one specific study behavior to improve or implement during study within the next week. After 2 weeks of completing the survey, consider a journal that asks students to reflect on any new study behaviors they have implemented and any benefits the new study behaviors have had on academic performance.

Where can I get the results of the survey for my class?

Instructors can send an email to Melissa Bachman,, and request the URL for the survey results page. All GT1000 instructors can access the results via a webpage and create a filter based on survey question 3, the last name of the instructor(s) (question 3 lists all Spring 06 instructors by last name), and download the GAMES survey info for the entire class. Share this data with the class and use it to promote discussion about improving study behaviors. The url is not posted on a public site.

Can students take the survey during class?

If you prefer a printed copy of the survey to use with students during class, print and make copies of the attached pdf file, GAMES_overview.pdf. This file includes the survey that students can complete in class as well as an introduction to and explanation of the GAMES model.

Can students take the survey on line within my WebCT course?

If you would like to create a survey for GAMES within WebCT, you can download the attached file, GAMES_questions_Dec_13.txt, onto your computer, upload the file into the question database within your WebCT course, and then create a WebCT survey. For directions on creating a WebCT survey, refer to the Quizzing and Assessment with WebCT manual found at

What does GAMES mean?

G is for Goal-oriented study
  • Setting goals such as, “I’m going to learn what self-regulated learning is and how to foster it in myself.”
  • Previewing learning material
  • determining key questions that become goals for studying

A is for Active study
  • Actively processing the material
  • Reflecting
  • Doing something with the material other than reading and underlining
  • Paraphrasing
  • Thinking of own examples

M is for Meaningful and Memorable study
  • Relating new material to prior knowledge
  • Making connections by creating examples that relate to interests or prior knowledge
  • Connecting to major field of study or other courses and units

E is for Explaining the material in order to learn it
  • Explaining it to someone else
  • Putting it in your own words
  • Participating in study groups after individual study to explain to one another
  • Participating in peer instruction

S is for Self monitoring
  • Monitoring your understanding
  • Asking yourself, “Are my goals being met?”
  • Monitoring by getting with other students and questioning one another
GAMES_overview.pdf (Print this file if you want to give students a copy of the survey to complete in class)
GAMES_questions_Dec_13.txt (download this file and upload it to your webct course if you want students to complete a webct GAMES survey)