How to Study

How to Study Reading Assignments

  • Review the assignment prior to reading it. Skim the chapter outline and chapter summary.
  • Formulate or review questions on the material prior to reading the assignment.
  • Read the material in an alert and reactive manner. Stop to think about basic ideas.
  • State in your own words the material you have just read. Notes will further your understanding and help your memory.
  • Test yourself on your comprehension of the material. Review your notes and pinpoint areas which you need to read again.

How to Listen Effectively to a Lecture

  • Review your course outline and preview the topic. Try to read course-related material prior to the lecture and to gather your thoughts on the topic.
  • Listen effectively by concentrating and thinking about what is said. Ask yourself: "Do I really understand these concepts or this information?"
  • Take notes on ideas and implications of ideas. Be brief and put the lecture material in your own words, writing legibly.
  • Systematize your notes as soon after the lecture as possible. Place them in a separate folder.
  • Review your notes as soon as possible following each lecture. Pinpoint trouble areas and clarify either with your professor or a classmate.
  • Summarize the lecture once you understand the material thoroughly. Review again and again those areas in which you have difficulty.

Some Psychological Factors to Consider in Learning

  • Motivation — Are you really interested in this material? If not, can you see its relevance to your major?
  • Concentration — Are you focusing your full attention? Is the environment (including the telephone and other people) too much of a distraction.
  • Reaction — Are you thinking about what you are reading? Is fatigue interfering with your ability to think?
  • Organization — Do you see the overall theme of what you are studying? Do you see how the pieces of information fit together, or is it still a puzzle?
  • Comprehension — Are you obtaining a gradual understanding of the material, or are you still confused?