Study Techniques

Most new college students use inefficient and ineffective study techniques to learn new information or skills and may be unaware of more effective study strategies. Worse, they frequently overestimate the effectiveness of the study strategies they use and underestimate the time and effort it takes to learn something with the result that they often underlearn the material and can’t retrieve or use it effectively in performance situations.

The study techniques that successful college students use save them time and enable them to learn more and better.

Here are the basic principles to follow when selecting study techniques:
(find specific techniques here)

Work higher on Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy Revised

Level 1. Can the learner remember the information?
Level 2. Can the learner explain ideas or concepts?
Level 3. Can the learner use information in a new way?
Level 4, Can the learner distinguish between different parts?
Level 5. Can the learner justify a stand or decision?
Level 6. Can the learner create a new product or point of view?

Don’t cram. Follow the Study Cycle and schedule three to four intense study sessions per day

Attend Class

Use Interleaved Practice instead of Massed Practice

Use Retrieval Practice instead of re-reading or going over your notes.

Use Elaboration to make connections

Space Out Your Practice

Collect concrete examples for abstract ideas

Dual code the knowledge you need to learn

Here’s a list of study strategies that work

  • Teach the material to a friend
  • Write definitions of concepts from memory, create examples to illustrate them, make connections between them, and self-test
  • Make and practice with flashcards
  • Draw concept maps for each of the terms and test yourself by seeing if you can redraw them accurately from memory
  • Actively prepare by pre-viewing reading assignments
  • Read actively by developing questions before you read
  • Annotate and paraphrase the point or information in each paragraph of a reading
  • Take Cornell Style Notes Guided by Chapter Learning Outcomes (click here for a sample)
  • Create practice exams
  • Study with the right partner or study group and come to each session prepared. Try these Peer Reading and Collaborative Summary Activities
  • Organize information by making connections among it then prepare charts, outlines, or study guides to express the connections

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