Study Tips

Knowing HOW to study is sometimes even more important than knowing WHAT to study. Use the information you have been given about what type of learner you are and the study tips below to improve your preparation for tests, quizzes, and daily assignments. Some of these may appear painfully obvious to you, but you would be surprised to learn how many students really do not know how to study effectively. REMEMBER: READING THROUGH THE MATERIAL IS NOT THE SAME AS STUDYING IT!

These are by no means all of the possible study techniques available to you. You may want to try several of them or all of them. If one works well for you, use it. If not, discard it and try something else. Using good study skills will not only help you get better grades, but will make you feel more relaxed and confident about your preparation for tests, exams, etc., and that in itself will make you more likely to do a better job. GOOD LUCK!

1. Gather all of your study materials together before you start: textbook, notes, worksheets, paper, pencil,         calculator. Make sure that you are studying in a place that is well lit and free of distractions: no matter what your friends say, no one ever studied effectively with a TV on, reclining on the bed, wearing earphones and listening to Kayne West on the radio or Ipod. (applies to all learning types, but especially AUDIO learners.)

2. Skim the material, deciding which parts are difficult and which you understand best. If you know the concepts thoroughly, find something you do not know so well to study.

3. Plan how much time you will need for each topic giving more time to the more difficult concepts. BUDGET YOUR TIME.

4. STUDY WITH A PARTNER. Take turns thinking up possible test questions and answering them. (This quizzing technique is especially helpful for AUDIO learners.) If you cannot find a friend to study with: have your mother quiz you. Even if she does not know all the terminology, if she has your notes in front of her, she can be really helpful. And just think: she now knows that you really were studying! (VISUAL and KINESTHETIC learners will find it more helpful to write out the answers to the questions.)

5. VISUAL AND KINESTHETIC LEARNERS: Recopy your notes for clarity. This should really be done before the next class period. On the original copy you can then circle items you do not understand and ask the instructor about them at the next class meeting. AUDIO LEARNERS: Read your notes aloud, circling items as above.

6. Highlight main ideas or key terms in your notes. Use different colors for formulas, important vocabulary, major concepts. This will make them easy to distinguish for study. (VISUAL LEARNERS)

7. Make a written outline of the book material or just take notes paying special attention to vocabulary words or bold type in your textbook. This is especially helpful to visual and kinesthetic learners. Auditory learners may find it more helpful to take "verbal notes.” Summarize aloud the information you have just read.

8. Try mnemonics or association techniques if you have trouble memorizing.

9. TAKE A BREAK. No one can absorb material for hours on end without your neurons getting exhausted. If you are tired, no amount of staring at the material is going to make you learn it. Stop for ten minutes, talk to your mother, have some cookies and milk, run around the block, stretch, whatever you need to do to make you relax.

10. SPECIAL TIP FOR LEARNING HOW TO DO PROBLEMS: DO SOME PROBLEMS. Talk about painfully obvious!
You have many sample problems with solutions, homework problems, worksheets that have been gone over in class. Did you correct your errors and ask questions as we went along? Good. Now use those problems to your advantage: Pick a problem from a worksheet, solve it and check your solution with the one in your notes. Did you do it correctly? If so, move on to another type of problem; if not, find another problem of the same type and try again. VISUAL AND KINESTHETIC LEARNERS: You may find it helpful to write out the word problem before trying to solve it. AUDIO LEARNERS: Be sure to say the problem aloud. SCIENCE REQUIRES ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT! IT DOES NOT OSMOSE INTO YOUR BRAIN!