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Study Effectively

What tools can I use to help me study more effectively?

What does effective studying mean?

Effective studying is an ongoing process that begins with the first day of classes.

It involves managing your time and learning actively from texts, readings, lectures, and labs. Active learning means you are engaged with the content – understanding it, absorbing it, questioning it, and connecting it to the content from other parts of the course.

Browse the Guides in this series for information on active study methods like

  • SQ4R 
  • concept maps
  • and the Cornell Method of note taking.

Concentration and distractions are also part of studying effectively, and we have suggestions for both.

You can also book a free appointment for individual assistance, tailored to your needs.

How can I build effective study habits?

Good study habits begin early in the semester. To study effectively, it is essential that you review, regularly and consistently, the material from lectures, seminars, and textbooks. Work on building these habits from the first day of class.

Strategy #1: Edit Your Notes Daily

  • Rewrite any sections that are messy or disorganized and fill in any gaps
  • Make note of questions and get them answered by the instructor or TA
  • Organize your notes into binders or file folders and ensure they are placed in sequence
  • Collect all related handouts and problems so that your notes are complete and organized
  • Review your notes shortly before the next class.

Strategy #2: Integrate Textbook Information

As soon as you have done the textbook reading, integrate the information into your lecture notes in a way that makes sense to you. This could mean:

  • Adding detail from the text to your lecture notes
  • Writing the textbook content on the backside of the lecture note
  • Making a new note that combines both the textbook and lecture material.

Strategy #3: Review Your Notes Weekly

  • Review your summary notes from the previous week before starting your weekly review
  • Skim this week’s notes for all of your classes to ensure you understand the content
  • Make a one-page summary that integrates important concepts and information from lectures, lab, and texts
  • Consider how the material covered relates to the course as a whole – reviewing your course outline can be helpful
  • Write a few possible test questions on that week’s material to use when you begin to study for the next test or exam.

Resources to Help with Studying

Guide: Master Time ManagementGuide: Succeed at Exams

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