There is empirical support for the transtheoretical model (TTM) of change within the health and psychopathology-related areas, but relatively little research into its applicability in relation to academic settings. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the TTM is applicable to the adoption of improved study skills. Participants were 148 first-year university students. A 2-factor (pros and cons) study-related decisional balance measure was developed and participants completed questionaries assessing their readiness to change, self-efficacy, study strategies and decisional balance. Decisional balance pros and cons were as predicted by the TTM. Cons were higher than pros in precontemplation and pros were higher than cons in maintenance. Self-efficacy increased from contemplation through to maintenance, and students in action and maintenance showed an increase in the use of deep achieving study strategies and a decrease in the use of surface strategies. The data provides initial support for the applicability of the TTM to academic performance enhancement. The TTM may be a useful psycho-educational tool that can facilitate the adoption of improved study strategies through coaching.