17 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR STUDYING - DETAILED VERSION


Introduction - Many suggestions will be presented. A student may not do all; the more the better.

  1. Chart your "actual" hours of studying and other activities.
  2. Study at the right time - before or after class.
  3. Study one subject in the same way only ONE HOUR AT A TIME. (You can study for several hours at once, but make sure to switch subjects or switch study methods, such as taking a self-made practice test, then reviewing lecture material.)
  4. Keep a planner to keep track of your assignments.
  5. Keep all your material for all classes in one notebook.
  6. Instead of highlighting - use SQ3R (SQ4R): * summarize * question *read *recite *review *'riting
    1. Survey: review chapter, pictures, captions, tables, summaries
    2. Question: turn subheads into questions
    3. Read: each section, keeping the questions in mind
    4. Recite- answer the questions without looking
    5. Review- check to see if you got it right
    6. 'Riting- write a summary of each section/chapter.
  7. Note-Taking
    1. Cornell Method: note key points on left-side of page, regular notes on right

      Divide your page into two columns. R: content. L: key words, concepts. You can also summarize the page in your own words at the bottom.
    2. Mind-Mapping: a visual approach-put ideas in expanding, connected circles

      For people who think visually. Put central idea in middle circle. Add additional ideas in circles coming off center circle, like spokes of a wheel.

      General note-taking tips: don't take too many or too few notes-look for important points, key phrases, when professor writes material on board or repeats something.
  8. Study Groups - everyone can bring sample quizzes or sample questions (with answers).
  9. Cramming - avoid!
  10. Find previous exams, especially from the same professor, and use for practice tests.
  11. Where to study.
    1. If possible spend some time studying in same room as exam. Reason: your mind makes connections. Looking at the wall where you studied helps to remind you what you studied. The mind is made of neurons that connect. The more connections the better.
    2. Also study in a variety of different places and over as long a period of time as possible. Reason: more places for your mind to connect. Longer periods allow for more firm connections.
    3. During the exam-when stuck, think about the place(s) where you studied.
    4. Study under the same conditions as when you will take the exam, especially if taking a practice test.
  12. Use visualization to imagine success, think about past success, and/or imagine the test as a contest. As you study, imagine yourself in the classroom, taking the test, and feeling confident and knowledgeable. Also, you can view the exam as a friendly contest (you vs. the test-maker); this may help to increase your motivation.
  13. Learn material from as many different ways and places as possible.
  14. Make information personally meaningful. Attach it to what you already know.
  15. Method of Loci/Pegword System - attach lists to be memorized with other linear objects (such as what you might see as you walk across campus)
  16. Quiz yourself frequently and in the way you will be tested.
  17. Get help when struggling (tutors, disability assistance if needed, academic &/or personal counselors).