Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thoughts on Study Skills

As an English major, I get asked to help with areas of this nature frequently. My mom is currently teaching a study skills class and asked me for my notes on the subject. It was not a brilliant piece of writing, but it was something that I think might be helpful to others or I might want to look over again, in the future. Thus, I am going to insert the information I gave to her below.

"Would being able to take good (i.e. fast and legible) notes during class count as study skills? That was one of the most important things for me because a lot of my classes were based more on the lectures than on the textbook. One history class, I didn't even open the book because all that was needed was in the notes I took during class. Additionally, if a teacher provides slides, it is good to know how to use the slides as an outline. So print it off and then expound of those as the teacher discusses them. This works really well and helps one follow along.

"When I was taking notes from a book, it was helpful first to keep in mind what the instructor was focusing on and second to make sure I read about those areas in the book (that is, if the teacher leaned on the book instead of making it all lecture based). My health class was this way. I would read the chapter(s) that were to be covered before going to class and make bullet points of the sections, leaving space to write more when the teacher discussed it. Sometimes, she would add information that was not in the book. Other times, there were only a few that were considered "important," so some bullet points would be blank, which was helpful when I went back to study for the tests because I knew to bypass that area. Additionally, if the lecture was based on the book, if was important to have the book there to follow along. I would go back and tab pages that the teacher spent a great deal discussing, so I remembered to read that page again later and before the test.

"Studying for tests, I usually read over all my notes for that section over the course of a few days (because they say your brain retains more information if you sleep in between). I would usually read some as the last thing before bed and then my brain would chew on it all night. For definitions (like in my biology class), I used flash cards and just kept quizzing myself on them. It is amazing how a lot of the information you learn is based on knowing certain key words. Even in history, one has to know the significance of one battle from another."

Those are my notes, in brief. I might expound upon them at a later time, but this is sufficient for now. I did not include my notes on how to study for writing papers, though. In my opinion, these are a very similar set of skills as taking lecture notes and also when one is preparing a speech. These also, I will probably touch on at another time.

Well, I hope this was helpful. For those of you who are still in school and those of you who still retain their inquisitive mind: Happy Studying!


  1. I didn't know you had a website till now. Well, now I know. :0

  2. K S is your newest follower. I was wonderign if she was the one i saw at our ball last month.