Study Skills<br />Textbook reading, note taking, & memory activities. <br />Funded by the<br />US Dept. of Education<br />
How do I study? <br />Studying in college can seem overwhelming, but can be accomplished if you:<br />Break it down into separate tasks.<br />Identify which tasks will be most helpful.<br />Understand how each task functions.<br />Know how to complete each task correctly.<br />
Task 1: Textbook reading<br />Reading a textbook can be broken down into three phases:<br />Before you read<br />While reading<br />After you read<br />
SCAN the chapter/assigned portion of reading. This is defined as: Look quickly but not very thoroughly through (a document or other text) in order to identify relevant information.
Scan the portion for a chapter summary, sometimes in the front or back of the chapter.
Scan also for graphs/charts/illustrations and quickly familiarize yourself with them.
Scan forwords in BOLD, as they are often important vocabulary words, headings or subheadings. This will give you a general idea of the content you are going to be reading. </li></li></ul><li>Textbook reading<br />Funded by the<br />US Dept. of Education<br /><ul><li>While you read:
Read in short intervals (20-40 minutes each) & take breaks (5- 10 minutes each).
Take notes while you read, focus on main ideas, and definitions. Keep notes brief and focused.
Keep underlining and highlighting to a minimum - only choose material that is relevant.
Ask yourself questions about recently read material and answer them completely.
Writing and verbalizing the material will increase your ability to retain it and recall it at a later date. </li></li></ul><li>Textbook reading<br /><ul><li>After you read:
Review your notes that same day, or the very next day.
Review the highlighted/underlined portions of the section. Keep reviews brief.
Create note cards from terms, concepts from book or notes.
Verbalize (read aloud) your notes or highlighted/underlined portions of the section. Do it by yourself, or with a partner. </li></li></ul><li>Textbook reading<br /><ul><li>Remember:
Organize while you read (highlight/underline) but keep it brief and focused.
Use the resources of the book. (summaries, bold terms, charts, illustrations, etc)
Read in short intervals. Avoid long “all-nighter” sessions.
Verbalize, write, illustrate and process the information in as many ways as you can – the more way you can do this, the better your chances are to retain it. </li></li></ul><li>Task 2: Note Taking<br />Funded by the<br />US Dept. of Education<br />Taking clear and organized notes during class will help you study after class.<br />Review information.<br />Note only key information.<br />Create questions &<br /> answers. <br />
Note Taking<br />Review information before class:<br />Read and review syllabus to see what will be discussed in class.<br />Pre-write key words, concepts and ideas in the margins or as a header.<br />Be prepared with paper and pen/pencil. Always bring a few backup writing utensils.<br />Write legibly, and stick to facts/main ideas/important terms. <br />
Note Taking<br />During class:<br />Note key concepts only<br />Use abbreviations to save time.<br />Underline and circle points that are emphasized or repeated. <br />If you missed something, ask instructor to repeat it. Make sure your questions include the point the instructor was making so that they can easily refer to it. <br />Example question: “Could you repeat that last part?” Too vague, instructor may be unsure what the “last part” is.<br />Instead ask: “Could you repeat the part when you were discussing the relationship between the two main characters?” Specific and detailed, instructor should be easily able to reference this. <br />
Note Taking<br />Using the notes when studying:<br />Re-write /summarize portions of the notes that were emphasized or repeated in class.<br />Look for concepts from notes in other class materials. (i.e. instructor study guide, textbook)<br />Keep notes organized – use a paperclip/folder or other method to keep related notes together.<br />
Task 3: Memory Activities<br />Funded by the<br />US Dept. of Education<br />Using a variety of simple techniques will help you retain and recall what you study.<br />Process information multiple ways<br />Review in frequent short sessions.<br />Study without distraction.<br />
Memory Activities<br />Processing information in multiple ways helps better establish it in your long term memory. For example:<br />Read notes to yourself, then<br />Read them aloud<br />Re-write main points, then read them aloud again.<br />Create questions on what you just read/wrote and answer them aloud. Then write the question and answer down after you have read them.<br />The more ways you do it, the more opportunities you give your brain to remember it. <br />
Memory Activities<br />Reviewing information in frequent short sessions reduces the feeling of large amounts of information being too overwhelming.<br />Commit to a consistent structured schedule.<br />Keep sessions under 30 minutes (after 30 minutes your brain becomes fatigued and can’t remember as much.) <br />Use note/flash cards with key concepts or quiz yourself with questions about what you studied.<br />
Memory Activities<br />Reducing distractions when you study greatly increases your ability to retain more knowledge.<br />Before studying, take time to return any important phone calls or email messages.<br />When studying on a computer, disable instant message programs, and avoid logging into facebook and/or twitter. <br />When studying at home, choose a place away from the TV. <br />If you have roommates, try to study when they are not at home. If that isn’t possible, try to find another place to study (i.e. the library) <br />Avoid studying at places frequented by people you know. (i.e. Starbucks) <br />
To sum it up:<br />Funded by the<br />US Dept. of Education<br />Studying can fit into your life and enhance your academic experience if:<br />Use your resources (i.e. textbooks) wisely.<br />Commit to a consistent study schedule.<br />Study in more than one way.<br />Use strategies to help you remember what you study.<br />The information is yours; it’s up to you how you use it!<br />