Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

Why is it important to teach study skills?

Although every student must study, few are taught how to perform this important task. Research shows that students who take a study skills class are six times more likely to stay in college a second year. Most students develop their own process for studying which is very often ineffective. For example, they may think the more they re-read subject material, the better they will understand it. The Bible tells us that zeal without knowledge is not good. Students try to do better without knowing how to do better. This system teaches students how to study so they might learn. It is most helpful if students can begin learning these skills when they first begin school, building on the skills year after year. Just like we begin teaching math to a kindergartner, we also begin teaching study skills at a young age.

How is Victus different from other study skills courses?

The Latin word Victus means “way of life” and this course teaches students skills that will help them succeed in school and in life. It teaches concepts and applications of those concepts. Victus is a system of study with component parts, making it more effective and easier to remember and use. Most study skills courses are a list of skills. Victus consists of component parts working together to accomplish an aim. The component parts are understanding where you are now, knowing where you want to be, and implementing a plan to get there (see table of contents). The aim is the accomplishment of the mission, be it large or small.

Students begin to understand that the Victus Study Skills System will help them accomplish their mission, succeeding in academics and in life.

Research shows that students are seven times more likely to be engaged in instruction when teachers help students “see the curriculum as critical to their current lives, their future and their culture.”

Victus helps students see the instruction as critical.

The Course

What is included in the course?

Traditional study skills such as note taking, test taking, and reading for information are taught, as well as the essentials of motivation, time management, goal setting, keeping a calendar, understanding the importance of your mission on earth and the importance of choosing and living out priorities. Students are taught concepts, followed by application in their school work. The course is built on understanding three foundational cornerstones of where we are now (which includes self assessments of current study habits and learning styles), where you want to be (which includes creating a mission statement and identifying goals and priorities) and determining how to achieve your goals (which includes time management, organization, reading for information, test taking, and note taking).

Can I see a copy of the Table of Contents?

You can download the Table of Contents from the Student Workbook or download our ePacket of sample pages.

Teaching and Materials

What are the teaching options?

Teacher Edition with Student Workbook – If you choose the teacher-led option, you will need one Teacher Edition and one Student Workbook for each student.

Student DIY Workbook – If you choose the student-led option, each student will need a copy of the DIY workbook.

Video and Powerpoint – Although helpful but not essential, you can use the video or Powerpoint along with either option as an additional reinforcement.

What if I have questions about the lessons?

We are always happy to help — email us anytime!

How do I reinforce Victus once it is taught?

Educators can easily reinforce each skill in each subject taught and it is important to begin using each skill as soon as it is taught. Greatest memory loss is within the first 24 hours of any new skill being introduced.

Ideally, schools introduce the concepts to all teachers, students and parents so that the skills can be reinforced in all arenas of academics and life. Ideally, students begin Victus Study Skills System when they begin school so that these skills become habits. They learn these skills in a developmental way, much like math or reading, in which the basic concepts are taught first. Then students do not have to unlearn bad habits, but rather develop good habits that will help them succeed in academics and in life.

How long does it take to teach Victus?

The course is five total hours of instruction that can be broken down into shorter segments of time.

Schools that want a semester or year long course can easily do that by using the supplemental materials at the back of the workbooks and by teaching only portions of each lesson during each class time and reinforcing those.

Can I teach more than one student at a time?

Absolutely! All you need is one Teacher Edition and a Student Workbook for each student. If you have a fairly large group it’s best to also order the Power Point.

If you choose the DIY approach, each student will need a workbook. The video is the best supplement for groups using the DIY.

What do I need to purchase?

First, it’s best to decide if you want to teach the course or if you want the students to work through the material on their own. Then purchase the Teacher Edition and Student Workbook if you wish to teach it or the DIY if you want the student to work on his or her own. Regardless, it will be most effective if you become familiar with the curriculum so you can reinforce it inside and outside the classroom.

What is the DIY (Do It Yourself) book?

DIY is the workbook that students complete on their own. It can be used with or without the video.

What is the Student Workbook?

The Student Workbook is the workbook that you will need for each student when a teacher is leading the course. In addition, you will need a Teacher Edition to help guide you in teaching the lessons.

What is the Teacher Edition?

The Teacher Edition gives you all you need to teach the course, including specific lesson plans and procedures.

What is the video?

The video is a video of an actual class in which teachers are teaching Victus to students. It can be used to accompany the DIY or the Student and Teacher Editions.

What is the Personal Planning Book?

It is a simple way for you to develop your own personal plan. Author Susan Ison has taught this to hundreds of individuals and encourages you to try it! It will help you better teach your children if you understand it yourself.


To what ages and grade level is Victus taught?

The Victus program is for all ages and is adjusted by the teacher according to the student’s understanding. It’s much like developing reading skills that are introduced age appropriately, then built & reinforced year after year.

The young student learns basic terms. The middle school student builds on those basic terms and begins to learn and apply new study and life skills. The high school student is establishing these skills as habits in all areas of life. The college bound and college age student knows the basics and has established good habits, and understands the seriousness of time management and other skills as a way of life. These skills have become a way of life, helping students succeed in all areas.

Below are some general recommendations:

4 yrs through 7yrs: Use the Teacher Edition and introduce each skill and concept. Students are never to young to learn terms like goals and organization, how to listen, etc. Introduce the actual Student Workbook only when the student seems ready to complete pages shown in the Teacher Edition. Victus now offers a supplement which can be used by the teacher and the younger student. Please email us for more information.

8 years on up: The student should be able to work through the Student Workbook while being led by a teacher who has the Teacher Edition.

10 years on up: Independent learners can learn study skills while using the DIY. However it is very important that the teacher be certain the student understands the work in the workbook by asking questions.

College bound and college students: Victus now offers a Victus Supplement for the college age student. It is never too late to learn these skills and the supplement is designed to teach the basics as well as those skills so essential to success in college. Please email us for more information.

Students who enjoy group interaction will benefit more from the teacher led approach, which includes the Teacher Edition & the Student Workbook.

The video is a great resource for the students taking the course as well as for teachers teaching the course. Although a few of the details like page numbers may differ, the ten easy to follow lessons are the same.

How does this course help students in school?

Most of us develop our own study habits which may or may not be effective. Victus helps students become more confident as they see that the processes they learn are more effective than previous hit-or-miss methods. They see their learning increase and their grades improve. Research says new habits can be formed in 21 days. The hope is these effective methods of study will become habits and a way of life in every academic endeavor. They learn concepts first, followed by learning specific applications they can apply immediately in school for each concept.

How does this course help students in life?

Not only does our course help in school with necessary study skills, but also the life skills taught in this curriculum help students to learn the connection between what they do today and the results they will see in their future. They learn how to identify priorities, make decisions based on what is important, and manage their time according to priorities. They learn concepts first, followed by learning specific applications they can apply immediately in life for each concept.

Who developed Victus and where has it been taught?

Victus continues to be developed by professional educators who see first hand the skills students need. The course had been taught as a non-system approach until about twenty years ago when God showed Susan that the study skills her company had been teaching and the strategic planning consulting she had been doing could be integrated into a more effective systems approach course for students. For many years, it has been taught in schools and in tutoring sessions throughout the United States. Last year the primary developer, Susan Ison, knew God wanted her to make it available to an even wider audience. Now the materials are available online through this website.

What do you mean by the concept that the “results come from the process?”

If you take any job and list the steps it takes to accomplish the job, you will find it is not always easy. If you try to teach someone how to make a cup of coffee and you leave out one step, it will affect the results. W. Edwards Deming was a brilliant statistician and quality expert who introduced this concept to businesses that had difficulty accepting the truth that one-third of each dollar they spent was wasted because of unclear or wrong processes. Students need to learn that the process they use in study will affect the result. They need to learn that it is important how we achieve goals.

What do you mean by the concept that Victus is a system of study, and why is that important?

A system can be defined as a component of parts working together to accomplish an aim. A car has parts that work together to move a person from one place to another. As professional educators, we have learned that students are more likely to remember things that makes sense to them. The Victus Study Skills System makes sense to them because it does have parts with aim and purpose.

What is a systems approach?

A system is made up of several components. A system has an aim or a purpose. A car is an example of a system which has several components and its aim is to take us from point A to point B. Having good brakes or enough oil is not enough. Each component must work well together to accomplish the aim of the system. Each component has it’s own process and the results come from the process. If anyone process is amiss, poor results can be expected.

Effective study is no different. It is a system with component parts, note taking for example. The process of note taking will yield good or bad results depending on the process used. The results of the entire process of study will be affected by the effectiveness of each component process.

Why is this approach helpful?

This approach makes sense to students of all ages. It is not a series of unrelated tasks, but a process of study that will help the student be a more effective lifelong learner. Students are helped when they see any curriculum as critical in their lives, and Victus helps them understand the value of these skills through the three foundational cornerstones.

Why was this course developed?

Since 1977 our organization of professional educators has been teaching students in a primarily one on one atmosphere. In such a relationship based effort, the teacher is quick to see that more often than not the student has few effective study skills and that content itself is rarely the problem. To provide for that need pur educators developed the current Study Skills system.

Who wrote it?

This course was primarily written by our study skills teachers and our founder.

Who teaches it?

Specially trained study skills teachers teach the workshops and act as consultants. Anyone who uses the Teacher Edition can teach the lesson plans very effectively.

To whom is it taught?

The Study Skills System can be individualized and taught to any age student.

How many have taken the course?

Thousands of students throughout the United States have taken the course.

What are people saying about it?

See video on homepage.

Download the E-Packet PDF & Sample Pages