Strategies to Improve Study Skills
- Ask the instructor what is important to remember.
- If you don't understand the question, don't be afraid to ask.
- Examine your class notes - underline any important information.
- Read textbook assignments - take notes on important information
- Study handouts - mark important information.
Choose techniques that will help you remember.
Visualize - form a picture in your mind that will include all the important parts. The more fanciful the picture, the better. You can also try putting it in a story that's funny or somehow memorable to you.
Associate - remember by how things go together (smaller groupings are easier to remember)
Apply - remember by using information in some way
Repeat - read item, then say item, then write item. Repeat process several times.
Use mnemonic devices:
- Rhyme - form a mental picture of the rhyme
- Acronym/Abbreviation - form a word from the first letters of items (eg., HOMES for the five Great Lakes, FBI, NOW, AIDS)
- Acronymic phrase - phrase formed by words beginning with first letter of items (eg., Very Active Cat - for blood vessels: veins, arteries, capillaries.
Reread - periodically (weekly reread materials to be remembered)
Recite - immediately recite information out loud
Rewrite - then write information in concise form (using key words and phrases)
Test Taking Tips
- Determine what material the test will cover.
- Ask your instructor what types of questions the test will include.
- Manage your preparation time and begin 5 days in advance.
- Organize all of your information - use flashcards, summary sheets, outlines, etc.
- Study the big idea, identify supporting details, look for relationships and applications of the information.
- Review your text, notes, handouts, etc. at least 3 times before the test.
- Develop your own test questions and answer them.
- Review old tests or quizzes.
- Recite information out loud to test yourself on what you do not know and then review that material again.
- Write down any information on the back of the test that you are afraid that you might forget.
- Preview the entire test before you start and determine how much time you will need for each section.
- Circle or underline directional words and make sure you answer all parts of the question.