Study Skills

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.

Reading College Texts: [Get More Details]

  • 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.

Research and Writing Papers: [Get More Details]

  • 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.

Taking Tests: [Get More Details]

  • 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.