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Learning skills: Study skills

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Study skills

Thanks to referring to your course outline, you know that you have an exam coming up. Trying to cram all your studying into a 24 hour period isn't the best approach; instead, planning ahead for what you need to know will have better results. There is great information in the University of Guelph's A Guide for University Learning, under the "Learning how to study" section. You'll also find links to a PDF or HTML version of the information at the bottom of the resource.

 

Practical tips:

  1. Review your notes on a regular basis, combine your textbook notes and lecture notes, and identify what you need help with – well before the exam
  2. Identify as many details about the exam as you can: its worth, length, content topics, its format.
  3. Make a study guide! Print or gather up lecture notes, organize into topic piles, label the piles and possibly condense your notes again by topic.
  4. In problem-solving courses, gather up all the problems from your lecture notes, textbook and labs. Copy sample questions onto blank sheets and practice solving the problems on your own.
  5. Make an outline of the course as a great study tool. Focus on broad subjects and key issues so that everything fits on 1-2 pages.
  6. Find a good time and place to study that is free of distractions. Break up your studying into 30-60 minute chunks with 5-10 minute breaks in between.
  7. When you study, don't just read your notes again and again. Instead, explain the material out loud, teach the material to a friend, do a practice quiz, and solve problems.
  8. Join or create a study group for an exam.
  9. To help you study, draw diagrams and concept maps to visually represent the content and show relationships.
  10. Visit your professor after the exam has been marked. Ask to view the exam to see where you made mistakes and correct them the next time. 
    (Source: University of Guelph, Learning How to Study)

 Also:

  • Study in a quiet, comfortable (but not too comfortable!) location where distractions and interruptions are minimal.
  • Be organized. Make a study schedule by breaking down what you have to do. Have all your materials with you.
  • Gather information about the test from the instructor (e.g. will the test be multiple choice, short answer, essay, or a combination of these)
    (Source: Roberta Mason, RRU)

More information

Creative Commons

Information within this guide was adapted from the University of Guelph's A Guide to University Learning and from information provided by Roberta Mason, Associate Vice-President, Student and Academic Services, Royal Roads University. These materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.