Computer labs - Study Skills handouts

You need more than desire to be a successful student. You need to know how to study.

These handouts reveal the tricks of the trade.

(Note that the following information relates specifically to study skills.)



Photo of a student studying


Learning and Studying

The learning process. This handout describes how people learn, how much they retain, and the time span of repetition.

Effective study habits. The author believes that distributed learning is the most successful method for learning, along with the SQ4R method for reading, effective listening for note-taking and productive study groups for improving your memory.

Photo of a student studying

Schedule your time well. This “how to” handout provides hints for making an effective schedule and suggests you try out a schedule for one week, and then revise it to suit what you actually did with your time.

Tips for saving time. With its brief but concise list of 26 suggestions, this handout has tips that will appeal to everyone.

Improve your listening skills

Listening Skills. The author’s point in this handout is that listening is active, while hearing is passive. Also included are signals to watch for when listening to an instructor.

Classroom Clues for Listening. In this detailed handout, the author gives 13 techniques that instructors use to emphasize important points in a lecture.

Note-taking for lectures and textbooks

Lecture note-taking. These brief tips range using different styles of note-taking to adjust to the patterns of a topic or lecturer to leaving blanks in your notes for items you missed and will fill in by looking at another classmate’s notes.

Textbook note-taking. The author of this handout insists that textbook note-taking is a must and provides three techniques for doing it.

Using abbreviations for Note-taking

How to abbreviate. The author gives ten suggestions to help readers abbreviate notes.

Examples of abbreviation. This handout lists sample abbreviations.


Improve your concentration and memory

Checklist to improve concentration and memory. This checklist of 10 items provides practical suggestions that will improve your concentration and memory.

Techniques to improve your concentration. The author of this handout makes 15 suggestions which, if practiced enough, will definitely improve your concentration.

Rate your concentration potential. This handout rates your potential for mind wandering and suggests how long you should read before taking a break.


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Why we forget and how to improve your memory. This detailed handout lists 5 reasons we forget and 15 tips for remembering academic material.

Eight ways to improve your memory. These 8 ways to improve memory are mnemonic devices--a way of putting information together in a way that makes it easier to remember.

Use your six senses to improve your memory. This handout gives suggestions for using all your senses including your intuition for remembering material.


Photo of students working

Test Preparation strategies

The review and visualize test preparation method. The author believes that the test must be utmost in a student’s mind while reading a textbook for the first time or in answering study questions.

The 3RT test preparation method. This handout emphasizes regular study, timely homework, review of notes, and adequate rest.

Twelve point test preparation method. The author focuses on preparing for a test by taking good lecture notes, asking questions, and then getting a good night’s sleep.

Making and taking practice tests. The author believes that making and taking practice tests will help you relax and build confidence, and provides guidelines on how to practice the exact behavior you will be required to perform in a test situation.

Test-taking strategies

Rate your test-taking skill. This brief 10-point survey will help you decide what areas of test-taking strategies you need to review.

Checklist for objective and essay test-taking. This brief handout will keep the reader focused on the strategies for taking each type of test.

Five point test-taking method. The general tips in this handout apply to any type of test.

Eleven point test-taking method. The author focuses on the test-taking experience and what you can do to reduce both errors and anxiety.

Fifteen tricks for improving your test-taking quotient. These 15 tricks begin with the suggestion you “overlearn” the material and end with the tip that you should review your corrected test, so you become test-wise. Tips for taking multiple-choice tests, reading comprehension tests and essay tests are included.

Writing Essay Tests

Twelve steps for taking an essay test. This handout describes how to write an in- class essay using the five paragraph model.

How to take essay tests. Keys to writing successful, in-class essays are discussed in this handout, which also describes practical steps before writing the essay as well as some bonus techniques.

Key directive words used in essay questions. The author of this handout stresses that good answers to essay questions depend on understanding the question.


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Stress reduction

Stress reduction techniques. In this concise handout, the author gives 10 stress management suggestions.

Stress reduction exercises. Listed in this handout are 4 stress management exercises that can be done in just a few minutes every day.


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