Structuring Study Time

1. Review class notes

  • Survey your notes to get an overview of the material and clarify learning goals. Look back at lecture notes from the preceding class to make connections and put what you’ve learned in context.
  • Convert headings into questions and try to answer them. If you can’t find the answer in your notes, be sure that you find the answer before test time.
  • Underline answers to questions for easy review.
  • Relate lecture notes to the information in your text, and notice areas where the lecture added to, enhanced, or modified information that was in your text.

2. Set learning goals for study period

  • Survey the text assignment. Notice divisions of material, bold face type, vocabulary terms, figures and tables, and study aids.
  • Estimate reading time needed. Divide study periods into units so you can stay on track.
  • Form an outline using headings, and set learning goals by converting headings into questions.
  • Read the text to find answers to questions.
  • Underline and/or make notes for review.
  • Prepare for the next lecture by making questions about concepts needing further clarification.

3. Review Techniques

  • Know the course objectives listed in the syllabus. Focus on the information needed to meet those objectives.
  • Set specific topics and time limits for each review period.
  • Compare class notes and text for differences of emphasis.
  • Use headings in the text and notes as guides in forming review questions.
  • Seek help on items you cannot answer or are unsure of.

4. Preparing for tests

  • Begin preparing for tests right after the class.
  • Prepare a summary, set of review questions, list of vocabulary terms and charts and diagrams for each set of class notes.
  • Develop a test of your own and practice by taking it.

Adapted from Fisher, 1990

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