W hat ar e Study Skills andTechniques? Study skills and techniques are necessary for learning. Learning is how you gain knowledge, form new attitudes and beliefs, and gain new skills. You have to learn study skills and techniques if you do not already have them, have adequate skills that need improvement, or if you do not have any study skills at all. Most people have some study skills and techniques; they are just not consciously aware of the study skills and techniques they use.
Study TechniquesNugent and Vitale, in Test Success, outline the general studytechniques that can be applied to any subject:Establish a routine – set aside regular time for studying, making itreasonable and realistic. Use shorter, more frequent study sessions formaximum benefit.Set short and long term goals around the outcomes you want toachieve with your studying. Goal directed learning is most effectivebecause it is planned learning with a purpose.Simulate a school environment. Sit at a desk and get all the suppliesyou will need. This familiarity reduces any dissonance you might feel ifyou studied instead, for example, in bed or lying down. Create the sameenvironment so that you can practice what it feels like to be in it.
Study Techniques Control internal and external distractions. Focus on your studying by keeping interruptions to a minimum. Prepare for class. If you cannot read the assignments, then at least skim them and develop the questions you may want to ask in class. Take class notes. These are critical because they provide the blueprint for studying for exams. Be familiar with your own learning style. How we take in new information differs from person to person. If information is not delivered in your preferred style, find a way to study that allows you to process the information in your preferred learning style. Capture moments of time to study. Use time when you might otherwise be doing a rote or “mindless” activity such as vacuuming to review information.
Study Techniques Use appropriate resources. Learning the nursing profession is not a linear process. Seek help from peers, faculty and other nursing professionals when you feel stuck or need to understand a concept more fully. Balance sacrifices and rewards. You must be your own “cheerleader” when you study. Reward yourself after you’ve studied – it may be you get to relax with a significant other, read a book or have a cup of coffee, etc. Reward yourself for the effort you have made – taking small study steps - toward your overall goal of becoming a nursing professional!