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Strategies for Effective Learning
Managing Your Time & Study Environment:
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- Determine your goals, values, and priorities.
- Evaluate your schedule and make adjustments as appropriate.
- Get a plan before starting a task. Set time limits to stay focused.
- Break tasks into manageable (and meaningful) chunks.
- Stay caught up with reading and assignments.
- Have a strategy for taking tests. Monitor your time.
- Websites on managing your time and study environment.
- Preview - survey the material to get the big picture before reading the material.
- Question - set your purpose; ask what you already know. Ask what's important to understand from this assignment.
- Read - read for meaning and annotate text. If you don't understand, adjust your strategy i.e., re-read or read slower.
- Recite - summarize what you just read by saying it or writing it in your own words. Make a note of questions that occur to you as your read.
- Review - go over it regularly so it stays fresh.
- Websites on these and other topics on reading college texts.
Listening, Note-Taking, and Using Visual Organizers:
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- Preview text and list questions to help focus your listening during lectures.
- Use Cornell notes or mapping for class notes depending on the style in which information is presented.
- Annotate - make margin notes in text to label information; circle important terms and concepts, underline important details; summarize, and note questions you have about the material.
- Use graphic organizers to show relationships between concepts (i.e., Venn diagram, fishbone diagram, feature analysis, etc.).
- Map your ideas to organize writing for papers and tests.
- Websites on listening, note-taking, and using visual organizers.
- Plan ahead - develop a schedule for completing each step of the process.
- Choose a topic.
- Do your research. Learn how to use the library and to conduct research.
- Write the paper.
- Edit your work.
- Websites that provide information on research and writing papers.
- Stay up-to-date on assignments. Learn material and review as you go along.
- Analyze past tests to determine how you can improve your test-taking skills.
- Ask the instructor about the test. Ask yourself what was stressed in the text and in lectures.
- Apply stress management techniques to deal with test anxiety.
- Break up study sessions by units or chapters.
- Prepare to answer different kinds of test questions.
- Survey the test. Answer the easiest questions first, to control anxiety. Then strategize a plan and concentrate greatest effort on the questions that are worth the most points.
- Map responses to essay questions before writing.
- Websites providing information on taking tests.