Skip to main content

Study Effectively

What does effective studying mean?

Effective studying mean that you are 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.

Specific study methods can help you increase your active learning, as can approaching your reading with thought and analysis. The following pages have information on methods to help you study effectively:

Learning during COVID-19

Reading Techniques

Methods for Integrating and Organizing Course Content

Strategies to Maintain Focus

You can also book an 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

  • After class, rewrite any sections that are messy or disorganized and fill in any gaps.
  • Write down questions and look for answers in your textbook, from a friend, or in your instructor's or TA's office hours. 
  • Organize your notes by date, class, and topic. Collect all related handouts and problems.
  • Store paper copies in a binder or folder and store electronic notes in a labelled folder. Use cloud storage so you have access to your notes wherever you are.
  • If you have time, 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

Suggest an edit to this guide

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.