In Class

  • When there is more than one section of a course offered, select the class that meets more often, for shorter periods of time.
  • When there is more than one section of a course offered, check out the classrooms ahead of time. Choose a smaller room with better acoustics.
  • When there is more than one instructor teaching a course, select the instructor that speaks clearly, doesn’t rush, and makes use of visuals (handouts, overheads, etc.)
  • Read the assignments before each lecture. Make flash cards of important vocabulary words, and learn their meanings before class. This will increase your understanding when you hear the words in the lecture.
  • Go early to class and have your materials ready when the lecture begins (e.g., paper, pen, open book, tape recorder and tape.)
  • Always sit in the front of the class, close to the instructor.
  • Review your notes from the previous class before the lecture begins. This will help you anticipate what is coming up.
  • Find one person in each class that you can compare notes with. Fill in anything you missed during the lecture. Or
  • Tape record class lectures. It is a courtesy to ask your instructor’s permission first. Use a tape recorder with a counter. You make check one out from the CSD. Set the counter at zero, and begin taping when the lecture begins. Take written notes at the same time; this will increase your memory of the material, and keep your brain actively processing the material. When you miss a point, when the instructor says something you don’t understand, or when the instructor makes an especially important point, mark the number on the counter in your notes. Then, when you replay the tape, you can pay special attention to these points. Fill in your written notes so you can read along while you are replaying the tape.
  • When you are given directions or an assignment orally, see your instructor after class. Repeat the instructions and ask if you understood them correctly. Write them down.
  • Be prepared for the “end of class” rush of information. Do not quit listening before the instructor quits lecturing. You may miss some important directions about upcoming assignments or tests.
  • Write everything down. Don’t trust your ability to remember what you hear.
  • Visit your instructor during office hours. Ask about your progress. Ask any questions that may have come up in class or in your reading. Make sure you understand any assignments. Ask for tips on how to study for a test. Your instructor will appreciate that you are interested in learning and succeeding.

When Studying

  • Do your studying in a quiet area. Remove all distractions.
  • Wear earplugs to block out sounds. Or wear headphones, playing soft music, to block out the sounds in your head.
  • Break study time into short time segments. Start with 15 minutes. Set a timer. When the 15 minutes are up, note how much of that time you were actually focused on your reading. Set the timer for 15 minutes and begin again. Take occasional 10-minute breaks where you move around and get the oxygen flowing. Be careful, however, that you don’t get distracted and start doing something else.
  • Use all of your senses simultaneously. Read your textbooks out loud. Underline or highlight important points. Take notes as you go. This way, you are utilizing more brain area.
  • Be actively involved in your reading. Begin by going through the chapter and reading all the titles and subheadings. Turn each heading into a question. Then look for the answers to those questions as you read. Highlight the answers.
  • Write out steps to solving math problems. Then each time you work that type of problem, read the steps out loud as you follow them. Memorize these steps for tests.
  • Create flash cards. Put one fact, or vocabulary word, or math formula on each flash card. To learn the information, start with one card. Read the card out loud, then cover it up and repeat it. When you know it, do the same with the second card. Now flip between the two cards, repeating the information aloud, or writing it down. When you know both cards, add a third and repeat.
  • Use mnemonic devises to memorize steps to solving problems or lists of information. Take the first letter of each word and try to arrange them into a word. Or make up a sentence you can remember using these first letters. For example, the spaces of a musical staff are F-A-C-E. The lines are E-G-B-D-F; every good boy does fine.
  • Recite information out loud when you’re studying. Write it as you’re saying it.
  • Take the time to carefully proofread your work. Then have someone else proofread it for you.
  • Make a picture of the information you’re studying. Use circles, lines, and/or boxes to group information into categories and show the relationships between ideas.
  • Add visual cues to all written information. Highlight or underline with different colored pens. Make a movie of the information in your mind. Visualize the material. Take mental pictures of your notes.
  • Before an exam, make yourself visual reminders of information that must be memorized. Make post-its containing key words and concepts and place them in highly visible places - - on your mirror, notebook, car dashboard, etc.

Stay Organized

  • Keep all of your materials in a 3-ring binder. Mark with chapter headings, subjects, and dates. Compare your lecture notes to your notes on the reading and tie them together.
  • Pay close attention to your syllabus. Keep it in the front of your binder and check it daily. Be aware of homework due dates and test dates. Start well in advance to prepare for these. Be sure you are doing the right assignments.
  • Keep a planner (assignment book or electronic scheduler) in which you record your assignments, due dates for papers and projects, your plans for completion, your personal deadlines for steps to completion, dates of quizzes, midterms and final exams, and your plans for study periods.
  • Take time at the end of each day to review where you are on your various projects and to plan the next day. Write your plan down. Cross off projects as you complete them.
Last updated: 6/1/2009 4:12:58 PM