How you organize and integrate new information is more important than how much time you spend studying.
“Where do I Begin?”
- Make a list of all the things you have to do.
- Avoid distractions.
- Chunk your workload into manageable parts.
- Make a schedule and be realistic with your time.
- Plan study breaks.
- Begin early. Don’t cram.
“Boring…. I can’t even stay awake”
- Get actively involved with the text as you read.
- For each section ask, “What is important to remember?”
- Take notes and underline key concepts.
- Study with peers.
“It won’t stick. I can’t remember it”
- We remember best the things that are most meaningful to us so elaborate on the information with your own examples.
- Use Mnemonics. Mnemonics are strategies that help us associate new information with something familiar.
- Review and review often.
- After each section try to recall the information; reread the portions you have trouble remembering.
“I think I understand it. How can I be sure?”
- Test yourself.
- Make up questions from your notes, key sections, or your reading.
- Remember to test yourself on concepts that your teacher stressed in class.
“There is just too much”
- Organize the information.
- Write Chapter summaries or outlines.
- Group information in to categories.
- Map the information using graphic organizers, charts, tables, graphs, etc.
“I can study in my bed”
- Context is important. We recall information better when the study setting is similar to the testing setting.
“If I cram, it will be fresh in my mind”
- Recall increases as study time gets spread out over time.
- Avoid mental exhaustion.
- When studying, you need short breaks.
- Have a rested mind before a test.
- Before you go to bed, relax mentally and physically.
- Eat well, sleep, and get enough exercise.