Saturday, January 23, 2016

3 Ways to Study

It's a new semester and that means a fresh start with a new set of classes. If you're looking for some study tips to help you do better this year, you've come to the right place! I like to study differently for different classes and to break up a monotonous study routine. I've tried a lot of different study techniques in the past 4 years, and these are 3 of my favorite ways to study that always help me do well.

3 Ways to Study from Courtney's Little Things

1. Condensed Notes

“You have to make your own condensed notes. You learn from MAKING them. A lot of thinking goes into deciding what to include and exclude. " 
-  Peter Rogers
This quote perfectly explains why creating condensed notes is such an effective way to study. When I make mine I review all my notes, sort through the information and decide what's important and what's not, and then rewrite my notes - all of which really helps me study.

You could just write your condensed notes in the typical way with bullet points and such, but I like to get creative with mine by adding in doodles and headlines. I use a blank sheet of paper, a ruler, and bright colored pens. I write the class name and chapter title at the top of the paper. I read through my notes from class and the textbook and pick out the main points and ideas of the chapter. As I read I write a condensed - shorter and more precise - version of my notes so I have something I can study in just a few minutes later on. It makes it a LOT easier than reading through 10 pages of notes per chapter come test time.

2. Quizlet

If I have a class that focuses on definitions, terminology, and key concepts, I prefer to use Quizlet to study. Quizlet is a great site to use for studying because you can make virtual flashcards that you can access on your laptop, tablet, or cell phone - so you can study from anywhere.

In addition to the flashcards, this site also has a fill in the blank activity with the Learn tab, a matching game with Scatter, and a website generated practice test based off the flashcards you've created in the Test tab. So you can study in quite a few different ways and all you have to do is type up a few flashcards!

I love the practice test because you can choose if you want the questions to be written questions, matching, multiple choice, or true/false. This is super handy because if you know what kind of questions your teacher puts on tests, you can have the practice test created in the same format as your actual test.

3 Ways to Study | 3 tried and true study methods to help you kick but at college from Courtney's Little Things

3. Study Guide / Practice Test

Study guides or practice tests are a great way to calm nerves, increase your confidence in your ability to do well on the test, and of course review material. This method of studying is especially easy if your teacher hands back quizzes or if they provide answers to quizzes online. That way, most of the work is done for you. If not, you have to read through your notes and write possible test questions for them. 

When making a study guide, I write the class name and test I'm studying for at the top. I copy the questions from the online practice quizzes (if they're available) and add extra questions if I want to. I then make a separate answer key so I can grade myself and see what I need to review.

I fill out my answers for the practice test on a separate sheet of notebook paper, so that way I can reuse the practice test to study again later. I usually complete the practice test 2 times before a test. When I grade my "test" I mark the questions/problems I got wrong and look for the correct answer in my notes or textbook, because that helps to reinforce that idea more so than just looking directly at the answer and memorizing it. 

These are a few of the ways I personally study and they help me a lot. I know these study methods may seem a bit time consuming, but if you do it a bit at a time they won't take too long to make and will really help you to get that A!  

How do you study best? Do you use any of these methods?