Study Skills Katie Daley Biology Medical Science Major MC Senior 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 interrupted. • 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 schedule • Accommodate your day/nighttime energy levels See our Guide on Setting goals and making a scheduling • www.studygs.net • 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 studying. Focus • 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 Incentives • 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 exercises. • If you have a lot of reading, try the SQ3R method • 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 you • 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. Rewards • 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 • 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. SQ3R • 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 about. 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 long. • 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 margins. • 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 D • 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 it? 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! http://www.studybarn.com 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 • • • • http://www.studystack.com/ 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. 6. Cramster.com 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: maps 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 • • • • • • Play-do-h 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.