Basic Study Skills for Students

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Making the Most of Your Study Time

Believe it or not, no one is born knowing how to study! Your classmates who make it look easy have just spent many years sharpening their learning skills. You can do it, too. We've collected some basic study tips for you to get you started; if you want to know more go here

Managing Your Time

bulletUse a calendar to keep track of projects, assignments, meetings, exams, and events. Plan ahead so you can spread out your work and avoid "crunch time."
bulletEvery Sunday evening, look at what's coming in the next week and plan your schedule so you have time to do everything you need to do.
bulletKeep a "to-do" list with everything ranked in order of importance. Don't put off the difficult or important things. If a task looks overwhelming, break it down into smaller pieces and prioritize those, too.
bulletUse small chunks of time, like the 15 minutes between classes, to accomplish small tasks like reviewing your notes. 

Tackling Textbooks

 

bulletScan the title of the chapter and think about what you already know about the subject.
bulletRead the introductory paragraph and note what the main idea of the chapter is.
bulletPay special attention to subheads, anything in bold or italic print, any illustrations and their captions, and the summary and/or conclusions. These will alert you to main themes and important concepts.
bulletRead any questions at the end of the chapter before you read the chapter itself. These will tip you off to the major points of your reading.
bulletNow read through the chapter, taking notes either in a separate notebook or by using a highlighter and writing notes in the margin. Taking notes helps you focus on the material.  

No-Cram Exams

bulletStudy with exams in mind from the very first day of class. Learn the instructor's objectives and keep an eye on the syllabus.
bulletAs you study, be aware of key concepts and overall patterns that pop up throughout the material.
bulletFind relationships between readings, lectures, and projects. Know what you're supposed to be learning!
bulletKnow what kind of test you'll be taking -- essay, multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, etc. -- and what material will be covered.
bulletStart reviewing about a week before the exam, not the night before! First, remind yourself of the syllabus and brush up on key concepts and relationships. Then work on memorizing specific facts in your notes and readings, focusing on the newest or most unfamiliar material first.
bulletBased on what the exam will cover, make a list of ten questions you think could be on it and practice coming up with possible answers.

Additional Study Skill Resources

bullet Student Resources
bullet Disability Services, Access for Students with Disabilities

 
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