How to Study
Offensive preparation and studying is key to success, as is preparation prior to class, during and after class.
It is proven that teachers spend three times the length of class time preparing for class. It is up to the student to pre-read the assignment, make notes when necessary and ask questions. The material provided here is simple and easy to follow. It takes fourteen days of doing the same activity for it to become a habit. To be a success in your new career, use the first fourteen days of class to your best advantage.
Assume responsibility for yourself and the quality of your education. It is the student’s responsibility to prepare prior to class, during class and after class. Find your personal interest in the lesson/subject.
Pre-survey all lessons. This will make you accountable for the lesson that will be taught. This means know the name of the subject/know where it is located in the text/understand and know the length of the material presented/review the work book assignments connected to the lesson/ understand its objective as well as its connection to the education you will receive. Run your eyes over the material to be presented. Be prepared.
For many students to outline the material is very helpful. The outline format is in full sentence or ideas and follows the following format.
If given a study guide, use it. It is a guide written by the instructor to help you study and prepare for the exam. It does NOT replace the text, nor is it meant to teach you the lesson.
Most things worth remembering are answers to some sort of question. People seem to remember what they learn in answer to questions rather than things they memorize. The questions give purpose to learning.
Every time you come to a new section you should have a head full of questions. The purpose of asking questions is to direct you to the main idea in a section. Use the author’s questions at the end of the chapter. Use them in your survey, while you read as it is a way of testing yourself.
Usually students put this first, because they think studying is running their eyes over the text. It isn’t even necessarily the most important part of studying…the textbook. It fills the framework you have surveyed.
Read actively rather that passively as you would fiction. Most textbooks need to be explored. Question what you read. Read for main ideas and important details. Note important terms and make sure you know what they mean. DO not skip table, graphs and/or illustrations. They can make things easier to remember and hold in your memory.
It is the oldest way of learning and for most lessons, is the most effective and positive. The only way to find out if you really understand and can remember what you have read is to recite it to yourself just after you have read it. It is an effective study method because it immediately reveals to you your own ignorance. If you recite you can correct yourself immediately, on the spot.
As you read, stop at intervals and recite the substance in your own words, of each major section in a chapter. Recitation at the original reading and review is necessary. Time spent in recitation pays off. It saves time later in rereading and review. Stop to recite each time you get to a new heading. It gives you a chance to organize things in your own words and serves to keep your attention on your task. It helps you correct mistakes.
Reread material to refresh your memory. Use your notes as a guide to review. The first time to review is immediately after you have studied something. The final review is intensive and should consist of as much unprompted recitation as possible. Things you have studied and mastered become part of you and never leave you.
Underlining and Outlining Textbooks
Most students, in studying textbooks, underline or make notes or both. These are good ways to prepare for review if they are done right.
A typical practice of poor students is to sit down with a chapter and read away in a listless manner. Then when they think they see something important mark it with a magic marker. They do this without surveying the chapter or asking questions. The result is a hit or miss selection of pages.
Underlining has its place. Some people find it useful others do not. If it is useful to you, it must be done right so as not to clutter or confuse your mind.
Survey a chapter
Ask yourself questions/in this first reading it is best NOT to underline
Put a check mark in the margin, as questions are answered or you think you spot main ideas and important details.
Reread for main ideas, important details and technical terms. THESE you want to underline. Don’t underline sentences wholesale. Underline only essential parts. At reviewing time, only read words and phrases that are underlined. You can then grasp at a glance what is important/an average of half-dozen words per paragraph.
Taking Reading Notes
Most preferably taken in outline form as you study material from textbooks. Good reasons for taking notes:
Forces you to actively participate. You have to find out how the author organizes things if your notes are to be sensible in outline form.
It makes reviewing easier and more effective.
It allows you to eliminate those things the author added to help you understand, but once you understand, you don’t need to be reminded of basic ideas.
Methods of Outlining
Make full sentence outlines
It should be orderly
Use consistent system of lettering and numbering
- Main Topic
Subtopic or subtitle
Your notes should contain main ideas and important details at each level of the outline. Put enough in so YOU can understand. This is a personal tool, written in YOUR OWN style. Your outline should differ from others.
Write legibly so your time reviewing is spent reviewing and not deciphering.
If your instructor follows textbook format when lecturing, keep your textbook notes and lecture notes in parallel format/Outline should follow sequence of book.