Study Skills-my copy

Study Skills
Katie Daley
Biology Medical Science Major
What you can control in your studies
Here I study
• Get a dedicated space, chair, table, lighting
and environment
• Avoid your cellphone
• Put up a sign to avoid being disturbed or
• If you like music in the background, OK, but
don't let it be a distraction. (Research on
productivity with music versus without music
is inconclusive)
Stick to a routine, efficient study
• Accommodate your day/nighttime energy levels
See our Guide on Setting goals and making a
• Try to study at the same times each
day. Studying at the same times each day
establishes a routine that becomes a regular part
of your life, just like sleeping and eating.
• When a scheduled study time comes up during
the day, you will be mentally prepared to begin
• Before you begin studying, take a few minutes
to summarize a few objectives, gather what
you will need, and think of a general strategy
of accomplishment
• Create an incentive if necessary for
successfully completing a task, such as calling
a friend, a food treat, a walk, etc. For special
projects such as term papers, design projects,
long book reviews, set up a special incentive
Did You Know?
• 20-50 minute time periods followed by a brief
break (5-10 minutes) is the most effective way
to study.
Change topics
• Work on the assignment they find most
difficult first. Your most difficult assignment
will require the most effort. Start with your
most difficult assignment since this is when
you have the most mental energy
• Changing the subject you study every one to
two hours for variety
Vary your study activities
• Alternate reading with more active learning
• If you have a lot of reading, try the SQ3R
• Ask yourself how you could increase your
activity level while studying? Perhaps a group
will be best? Creating study questions
• The more active you are learning, the better.
Take regular, scheduled breaks that fit
• Do something different from what you've
been doing (e.g., walk around if you've been
sitting), and in a different area
• This is only to be done in transition times
between changing subjects and or foci.
• Give yourself a reward when you've
completed a task
• Example of sitting at school for hours. Not
eating dinner till this and this is done.
• The getting up and walking around.
• Checking FB
• Review their schoolwork over the
weekend. Yes, weekends should be fun
time. But there is also time to do some review.
This will help you be ready to go on Monday
morning when another school week begins.
Did You Know?
• An hour of studying during the day is worth
two at night! Do the work that requires the
most concentration (typically reading) earliest
in the day.
• The SQ3R method is the reading and studying
system preferred by many educators.
• Reading research indicates that it is an
extremely effective method for both
comprehension and memory retention.
• It's effective because it is a system of active
reader involvement.
Step 1
• "S"= Survey
• Before you actually read a chapter, or go over a particular
section of notes, take 5 minutes to survey the material.
• Briefly check headings and subheadings in order to
understand the author's organizational pattern of ideas
to be discussed.
• Scan all visual material.
• Read introductory and summary paragraphs. This
preview will enable you to anticipate what the chapter is
How to SKIM
• Since you don't know exactly what you are looking for
while skimming, prepare yourself by reading the
• title, source, author, and picture:
• then you question yourself, -- who, what, when, where
is this likely to be mainly about?
• With a questioning mind you direct your eyes down the
column of print, or in a zig-zag, if the lines are quite
• Look for exact names of people, places, things, ideas,
numbers, and words like therefore, whenever, until,
because, and instead, to clue you to how and why.
Step 2
• "Q"= Question
• Create interest in the material by asking: What
are the main points of the chapter?
• As you read, keep the question in mind and figure
out the most important points.
• It gives you a clearly defined purpose for reading,
and helps you maintain interest in the material.
Step 3
"R"= Read!
Read the chapter actively for meaning.
Read Outloud.
Go through the paragraph before underlining, then
underline key words and phrases to help you recall the
main points.
• Be selective, you don't want to highlight non-important
points or miss anything that can help your comprehension.
• Summarize main concepts in your own words in the
• The more active you are in the reading process, the more
you will retain.
Step 4
• "R"= Recite
• After every few pages, close your book and recite aloud the
main points to the questions you posed in step 2.
• Try to recall basic details as to the author's intent by putting
them in your own words.
• Verify your answer by checking the text. If you can't
remember the text, read through it again.
• If you don't get it now, you won't remember it for a test.
• Take as much time as you need to answer your questions.
• Don't be frustrated, this takes more time but the
information will be clearer in your mind.
Step 5
• "R"= Review
• Finally, review the chapter every so often to fix the
material in your mind.
• Keep rereading your margin notes and underlinings.
• Verbalize the sequence of main ideas and supporting
facts to aid retention.
• Numerous reviews are a lot more effective than one
cramming session the night before an exam.
• Review once right after you've finished reading and
then every couple of days..
SQ3R conclusion
• The SQ3R is time consuming at first,
• expect it to take ten to fifteen percent longer
to read a given chapter when you first begin.
• Research indicates a 70%% increase in
retention after two months of using the
system and,
• eventually, a reduction in time spent
preparing for exams
• Your sleep habits are directly related to
academic performance. Study after study we
see this same conclusion. Think about it: if you
could increase your average by an entire letter
grade by sleeping a little longer, would you try
1. Create a Study Guide
• If you actively read like the SQ3R method
suggests you have already done this!
• answer study guide questions
• Repeat over and over
2. Active Notes
• outline or make a graphic version of written
work (lists, columns, Venn diagrams, etc.)
3. Study Barn
• Helps you study any topic easily and for FREE!
4. Quiz Yourself
• use a worksheet as a quiz by covering over the
answers and re-doing it
• Create a mini quiz fill-n-blank format
• Ask parents, peers, siblings to quiz you
5. Flashcards
Online flashcard and database for all subjects
Traditional: index cards
If you turn the index card like a hot dog bun
and write at the top, you can put two
questions on a card. This allows you to use
less index cards.
Cramster provides practice tests, question and
answer forum, and step-by-step answers to
problems in your textbook. There are
hundreds of thousands of homework
solutions, more than 18,000 lecture notes,
and roughly 9,000 practice exams in
chemistry, computer science, electrical
engineering, math, mechanical engineering,
and physics (maybe Biology).
7. Protective Cover/Dry Earse Markers
This can be used for:
to write something over and over
draw diagrams
put worksheets in and quiz yourself
8. Music vs. Video
• Instrumental up beat music helps stimulate
the mind and keeps you focused. With it just
being instrumental you do no get caught up in
the song while studying.
• Video is not good for many because your eye
wants to watch that which is moving. If it has
a plot, then your mind wants to follow that
and you loose focus.
9. Keeping your hands busy
Stress ball
Rubber band
Twirling pencil
NOT playing with cell-phone
* This is helpful while reading.
10. Teach IT!
• tell someone else what the topic is about
• Pets are good listeners
• Teaching self. Sounds crazy but if no one else
wants to learn for your class you need to.
• Peers/Study groups
– Sleep overs for studying isn’t for geeks cause you
get best of both worlds friends over, productive
studying, and fun. Plus if grades increase this way
Parents usually let it happen more often.
How to CRAM
• If you've dug an academic hole for yourself, don't panic.
Although, little except prayers and luck can help students
who never go to class or crack a book all semester, there's
one helpful technique for students who have fallen behind
at mid-terms and finals. CRAM.
• First, pick the most important subjects from your material.
Don't try to lightly know everything. Spend 25 percent of
your time cramming and 75 percent drilling yourself.
• The key to cramming is MEMORIZATION. Recite. Repeat.
Then relax. Although cramming can't replace learning, it's
counter-productive to scold yourself for not studying more
effectively. Learn from your mistake. Think of cramming
only as the lifeboat that bailed out a sinking ship.