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Top Ten... Study Strategies Learning Resources CenterUniversity of Pennsylvania

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1 Top Ten... Study Strategies Learning Resources CenterUniversity of Pennsylvania

2 #1: Preview the text Why would I want to do that? Helps you determine what you already know about the topic and how much you need to learn. Helps you plan how to break the reading assignment into manageable chunks so that you use your time efficiently. How do I do that? Read the table of contents to understand the topics of each chapter and how they relate to each other. Read all the headings and subheadings. Learn all you can from pictures, maps and graphics. Read the questions or problems at the end of the chapter. Divide the assignment into smaller chunks and begin reading.

3 #2: Take notes in the text use your highlighter cautiously! If you’re going to highlight, make sure you use your highlighter sparingly to identify the really important main ideas. Best Way? Write short summaries, questions or comments in the margin of the text. helps you to engage with the text and gives you a running record of your understanding Or... Take notes in a separate notebook Remember – you are synthesizing and summarizing, not copying.

4 #3: Review your notes within 24 hours True or False? Without ongoing review we lose 98% of the total sum of ideas entering the mind within a 4 week period of time. True! Review your class notes within 24 hours in order to transfer what you’ve heard from your short term to long term memory Take a few minutes each day to skim through your notes, fill in information you missed, and identify questions you have.

5 #4: Study for an exam with the format in mind Not all exam questions are created equal. Modify your study strategies to reflect the type of thinking skills required on the exam. Have a sense of how many questions will be on the exam so that you can allot enough time to each question.

6 #5: Study actively Sound familiar? You have a Biology test tomorrow, but you feel confident that you know the material. You’ve read all the chapters and reviewed your lecture notes. You take the exam and it seems as though the questions don’t represent the information you were told to study. What went wrong?...

7 “So, how do I do that?” Draw diagrams or charts representing relationships between ideas Work through practice problems and old exam questions Create a study group and quiz each other Cover up your notes and talk through a concept as though you were teaching it to someone else. Make flash cards or study sheets and review them didn’t study actively.

8 #6: Form a Study Group Some facts about study groups:  Provide greater opportunities to question, review, clarify, and discuss. an audience to read, respond to, and discuss their drafts of their papers.  Encourage a variety of problem-solving strategies.  Help reduce procrastination increase motivation ease anxiety.

9 “Okay, I have a study group... now what?” IMPORTANT! Set an agenda to make sure your study session doesn’t become a social session  Practice problem-solving techniques  Practice teaching one another  Test each other  Compare class notes  Have each group member take responsibility for leading a discussion on one part of an assignment

10 #7: Make Your Time Visual Gives you more control over your use of time. Write due dates on a monthly or semester calendar. Create a weekly schedule with designated study times. Make “to do” lists – cross off items when you complete them Keep your calendar and “to do” lists in a highly visible spot – refer to them regularly

11 #8: Be Conscious of Your Environment and Time of Day Environment  Can mean the difference between productively completing an assignment and staring blankly into space  Consider level of background noise level of comfort types of distractions. Time of Day  Study your most difficult subjects when you are most alert.

12 #9: If You Have Trouble Beginning a Paper...Just Write! Freewriting  Instead of staring at a blank screen, just start typing whatever comes into your head  Once you’ve had a chance to purge, begin directing your freewriting to ideas that are relevant to your paper. What if that doesn’t work?  Discuss your ideas with a friend Ask your friend to just listen and write down what you say so that you have a record of your thoughts to use as the basis for your paper.

13 #10: Get to Know Your Teachers Why? They’re experts in the content of the course They’ve studied this material themselves They’re well-positioned to help you develop effective study strategies in that particular course/discipline The more they know you the more they can help you Visit office hours BEFORE you begin having problems Make an appointment at the beginning of the year so that your teachers know who you are and how they can help you.

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