Study skills are quite important. There is a wealth of information out in this world, and if you have no way of absorbing it, it is of little use, and you will probably not be too successful at absorbing and utilizing the information that is there. Study skills are quite important in that they allow you to absorb the information that exists in an efficient and effective way.
A lot of study skills are a matter of practice. Just like everything else, practice makes perfect.
In your academic career you will need a variety of skills.
You should be able to understand how different thought systems relate to one another. This comes at more advanced levels of school.
In the beginning, firm discipline is key. Much of education is rote memorization. Methods that help with memorization are repetition and flash cards. Write what you need to memorize down over and over. Have some one help you.
Ideally when learning you want to go beyond simple memorization. To actually understand the concepts underlying the material will not only help you to have a better understanding of a topic, but it will also allow you to memorize it better.
To be successful in a class, ideally you want to have intrinsic motivation. That is, you want to be successful because it makes you feel good. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is a factor that is almost always there that will help you succeed. This includes a desire to get an "A" because others want you to be successful or you want money from a good job. Both forms of motivation are useful. Ideally, a combination of both are best - innate interest in a topic along with peer pressure from outside sources to be successful are quite motivating factors.
Learning can be fun. It can be exciting to learn about the world's constructed thought systems. There are whole areas of study that study the nature of knowledge. Is all knowledge a social construction? We digress, but the point is that if you are highly motivated you will absorb the information better.
When reading text books, taking notes on the material you are reading can help you be successful on tests. Copious highlighting can also help you absorb information and know what the important parts of the text are for future reference.
Study guides are helpful too. If you have access to practice tests, utilize them! They will help you succeed on the real thing.
PLAN ahead! Be prepared.
Take good notes when needed. You can use an outline form, or more loose forms. Find your own style of note taking that works best for you. The act of writing what is being lectured to you down not only allows you to have it for later reference, but also the mere act of writing it down reinforces the information into your brain.
Libraries are obsolete. Just kidding! While much of the function of libraries is going online - like reviewing academic literature there are still many uses for books and other things at library. When searching through the cataloge for information on different subjects, it is helpful to know authors of books on your topic of interest, titles of books related to what you are interested in, and keywords related to what you are interested in finding.
Once you have a general idea of what you need to research, go to the search computer at your library and start plugging in search terms. Once you find a variety of books that may suit your topic write their call numbers down. Then go find the books. If you have trouble finding the books or understanding the system, then consult your librarian. They are there to help.
How library indexing works
Use Google and Wikipedia. Know what topic you want information on. Type in keywords related to the topic that you want information on. Be creative. You can limit your search to different domains in Google's advanced search options.