Study Skills: Study Smarter Not Harder
- Repeat to remember. Study and practice using the information regularly
- Talk out loud about what you’re learning. For example, explain out loud to a friend, your goldfish, or yourself.
- Review notes and readings within 24 hours of learning the information.
- Use mnemonic devices such as acronyms and acrostics.
- Make up songs that will help you remember important information.
- Associate new information with information that is already familiar to you.
- Create colorful visuals that correlate with new information you learn.
- Use flash cards to memorize vocabulary terms.
- Focus in class. Avoid all distractions (put your cell phone away!!)
- Use neat handwriting.
- Leave space in between main points to fill in later.
- Review your notes within 24 hours and add key words, visuals, and other tools that will help you summarize, understand and recall information.
- Identify topics you have difficulty understanding with a “?” or another symbol – review these topics with your tutor or during professor’s office hours.
- If you fall behind when taking notes, leave blank space and get the notes from a classmate or the instructor after class.
- Use a binder and loose leaf paper (writing by hand improves memory).
- Differentiate between essential and non-essential information in lectures.
- Identify at least three concepts, strategies, or tasks that you can learn from each course you take and determine why the information is important.
- Set challenging, but realistic goals for each course every semester.
- Introduce yourself to your instructors.
- Introduce yourself to at least one person in every class and exchange contact information with that person.
- Identify study partners that you can count on if you need help or want to schedule consistent reviews.
- Locate a distraction-free study environment.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a student.
- Keep track of your grades and semester and cumulative GPAs.
- Preview the chapter before you read it. Pay special attention to the bolded words, definitions, and any pictures or diagrams in the chapter
- Read the chapter introduction and any learning outcomes, if available.
- Break large reading assignments into smaller chunks.
- Ask questions about the material before you read the chapter, and then work to answer those questions as you read.
- Underline or highlight 10% or less of the reading assignment.
- Review what you have read within 24 hours.
- If you find words you are unsure of, use a dictionary or online resources.
- Read summaries at the end of each section or chapter, if available.
- Complete practice quizzes at the end of each chapter, if available.
- Test Prep
- Review material daily, weekly, and monthly.
- Predict test questions.
- Ask the instructor what to expect on the exam.
- Form study groups.
- Study in advance. Avoid taking in any new material the night before the exam.
- Test yourself before the exam to be sure that you know the material.
- During the Test
- Read the test directions carefully.
- Scan the entire exam and plan your time accordingly.
- After the Test
- Review the exam after it is returned.
- Conduct a post-exam survey.
- Talk with the professor about questions you missed on the exam.
- Maintain an assignment calendar.
- Schedule your study time.
- Plan to study two hours outside of class for every hour in class.
- Create prioritized to-do lists.
- Use a planner.
- Create balance between academics, work, and social time.