Study Skills

Understand the class syllabus

  • Understand the objective of the course.
  • Make notes of material you will need for the class.
  •  Know when the assignments and exams are and mark them on your calendar.
  •  Understand the grading procedures.

Prepare for class

  • Read the assignment before you go to class.
    • Read the introduction and objectives.
    • Read the headings, subheadings, bold and italics print, and captions under pictures, figures, and tables.
    • Read the conclusion.
    • Read the questions and study materials at the end of the chapters.
  • Now read the chapter and use the preview of the chapter to read for meaning.
    • Turn the heading into questions.
    • Annotate in the margins of the chapters.
    • Talk the concepts through, either aloud or silently.
  • After you finish reading, review.
    • Answer the questions at the end of the chapter.
    • Write down everything that you can remember from your reading and then review what you can't remember.
    • Make note cards or a list of key terms and concepts.

Take notes during class

    • If you are given an outline for the lecture, fill it in with details.
    • Use your note-taking as a way to carry on a dialogue with the professor. Having a "conversation" in your mind with the professor and actively taking notes will help you stay alert and attentive in class.
    • Don't be afraid to ask questions. Keep the question on task.

Review your notes as soon as you can after class.

  • Make corrections.
  • Clarify your ideas.
  • Make of list of questions that you find the answers to in the textbook or that you ask the professor.
  • After you review the notes from today's class, review and study the notes for the last three classes.

Study outside of class

  • Plan to study at least two hours outside of class for every hour you spend inside of class. For example, if you have a three hour class, you should plan to spend six hours study time outside of the class time per week.
  • Schedule study time into your daily routine.
  • Be aware of your best time of day for you to study.

Use a regular study area. Consider the following when selecting a study area:

  • Make sure there is good lighting.
  • The study area should be free of distractions. You may need to find a different place other than the dorm room. If you must study in the dorm room, turn off the TV or stereo. Turn off your cell phone. Post a do not disturb sign on your door.
  • Don't get too comfortable. Lying on the bed would not be a good idea if you have trouble staying awake when you study.