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 Student Handout


Developing Study Skills that will Help You in College



Note Taking


  • Re-write your notes from class (not just re-copy – summarize points in your own words)
  • Leave space in notes to add comments from the text
  • Swap notes
  • Take notes on discussion, not just copying the board
  • Review examples of good notes
  • Record only important information
  • Create Note Cards with Main Ideas
  • Take Notes From Class Discussions
  • Tape Record with Permission
  • Focus on Concepts vs. Details

Study Skills


  • Define a process: e.g., note-taking; re-copy while consulting text; consult instructor with questions
  • A picture's worth 1000 words, make a mental image of concept
  • Get help if needed
  • Log your actual study time
  • Bring questions to class
  • Do homework problems
  • Choose effective environment for study
  • Prepare in advance for class; read ahead,
  • Review notes at night
  • Write journal questions about concept topics
  • Complete homework
  • Avoid cramming the night before
  • Read, Read, Read
  • Summarize Text in Own Words
  • Compare Text to Notes
  • Study in Groups (Each person asks questions from their notes, while others' notes are closed.)
  • Chaining Effect (Reread notes from beginning to end of unit before and after class.)
  • Go to Class!
  • Sit in the front of the class
  • Make use of other resources and sources of information (tutoring, textbook, websites, parents)

Time Management Skills


  • Prepare weekly work schedule and check off as things are completed
  • Schedule "pal" studying
  • Learn to multi-task
  • Set short and long term goals and link them
  • Go to bed before midnight
  • Maintain a time chart
  • In college 1 credit=2-4 hours of study out of class
  • Avoid distractions (TV, web surfing, bars, telephone, etc.)
  • Don't procrastinate
  • Students write down assignments/due dates
  • Prioritize (You may have to limit involvement in extra curricular activities.)
  • Spread out studying—don't cram. Study 1 hour/night for 5 nights instead of 5 hours on Sunday
  • Use "Dead Time" between classes to look at notes, etc.

Learning vs. Studying


  • Learn the concept (don't memorize, but try to understand)
  • Work on listening skills



  • "What did I miss?" board
  • Go thru exam with teacher if you are unhappy with the result: what did I do wrong (didn't learn, studied poorly, etc.)

Communicating subject matter

  • Write short explanation of how a problem is solved
  • Write questions concerning subject matter
  • Be a good listener while others are talking
  • Share ideas
  • Come to informed decisions
  • Communicate effectively

Test Taking and Preparation


  • Organize all test materials
  • Review all material
  • Re-write notes
  • Read assignments

Reading subject matter


  • Read section ahead
  • Highlight key points
  • Outline a section



Math Discipline


  • DON'T use the answer guide
  • Make up your own problems (in addition to the examples given); make up problems for each other
  • Use correct notation in homework
  • 2-column proof

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