STUDY TIPS TO SUCCEED: SMART READING,
LEARNING STYLES, & NOTE-TAKING
Reading at the College Level
Active Learning refers to a method of learning where active
student participation is encouraged through project-based
Active Reading describes intentional reading. Those who use
active reading identify a purpose, key points, and engage
with the text rather than simply consuming information.
Those who read for retention internalize information instead
of just acquiring surface level knowledge.
1.) You need to read every word.
2.) Reading something once is sufficient.
3.) You shouldn’t skip passages.
4.) Machines improve speed.
5.) A faster reading rate means less
5 College Reading Myths
* See handout
• Ask yourself pre-reading questions: “What am I looking
• The most effective readers vary their speed to the text.
• When skimming, always read intro/conclusion, bold
points, definitions, and objectives.
• Reread key material to identify key themes and
information relevant to your purpose.
• Highlight most important points of each section.
• Slow down reading rate for more confusing phrases,
technical terms, and thesis statements.
The Reading Environment
• Assign a reading space: find a quiet
spot where you won’t be distracted.
• Lighting matters, you should be able to
read the text without straining your
• Sit in a seat that you will be
comfortable in but not too comfortable
in that you’ll fall asleep.
• Never read in bed!
• Stretch, walk around, and take fresh air
breaks to boost oxygen levels and
Read and re-read until you can
answer the question: "What
did the author say in this
Retain by underlining, making
notes in the margin, or
making notes in your
Cover up your notes and recite
aloud. Remember! If you
can't say it now, you won't be
able to say it tomorrow in
class, nor write it in a week
on an exam.
THE SQR3 READING METHOD
DVC Learning Styles
I. The Visual/ Verbal Learning Style
II. The Visual/ Nonverbal Learning
III. The Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learning
IV. The Auditory/ Verbal Learning Style
• Learn best when information is presented visually and in a written
• Benefit blackboards (or overhead projector), lists, and outlines
• Learn textbooks and class notes
• Autonomous and visualize class material
Visual/ Non Verbal
• Learn best when information is presented
visually and in a picture or design format.
• Benefit from visual aids such as film,
video, maps and charts and information
from pictures and diagrams in textbooks
• Also visualize information while studying
and often have an artistic side
Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learners
• Learn best when physically engaged in a
"hands on" activity
• Benefit from a lab setting where you can
• Respond to in-class demonstrations,
"hands on" student learning experiences,
and field work outside the classroom.
• Tips: chew gum, walk, review material
Auditory/ Verbal Learners…
• Learn best when information is presented auditory in an
oral language format.
• Respond to lectures , audio tapes, participating in group
discussions, and listening/speaking exchanges.
• While trying to remember something, often "hear" the way
someone told you the information, or by repeating it out
Concentrate on the lecture or on the reading material and take
Take notes selectively. Do NOT try to write down every word.
Remember that the average lecturer speaks approximately 125-
140 words per minute, and the average note-taker writes at a rate
of about 25 words per minute.
Translate ideas into your own words and internalize.
Make your notes visually dynamic. Include underlines, colors, and
highlights for better organization.
Be brief. Write down only the major points and important
Write legibly. Notes are useless if you cannot read them later!
Types of Notes
Formal Outline: Roman numerals and upper-class letters
organize information and list key points.
Paragraph or List Format: Bullet points and indentations help
list key points and supporting information
Cornell Method: Two columns: a note-taking column on the left
2x’s the size of a cue questions/key word column on the left,
leaving two inches at the bottom of the page. Students write notes
in the right columns during lecture/ reading and write main ideas
and cue column questions within 24 hours.
Mind Mapping: A central idea sprouts “branches” of related
ideas and details (good for visual learners)