Chapter 5 Study Skills
There have been a lot of study strategies presented in this chapter, so it may seem a little overwhelming to try to incorporate them all. You will want to reflect on which ones seem like they will be most relevant for you. They are all important, of course; however, some will be more appropriate for you personally depending on your strengths, your weaknesses, your circumstances, your previous study habits, and the requirements of the course you are taking.
Look at the chart below to see examples of how these different criteria can help you adapt your study habits to personalize them to your individual needs.
|Criteria||Example(s)||Impact on study habits|
|Strengths||You are already a strong reader and have exceptional reading comprehension.||You may not need to focus on strategies for reading critically.|
|Weaknesses||You have typically been fairly disorganized with your course materials, homework assignments, and resources.
|You may need to focus on learning environment and organizational strategies.
|Circumstances||You are very busy in your life with jobs and parenting responsibilities.||You may need to focus on time management skills, or on alternate methods of study such as listening to audio-books while commuting and doing chores.|
|Previous study habits||In the past you always left studying for tests and working on assignments until the last minute.||You may need to focus on the time management skills.|
|Course requirements||Sometimes specific courses require more of a certain skill than others. For example, biology involves a lot of memory work.||You may need to strategically adopt some memory techniques.|
Reflect on the various study skills discussed in Chapter 5 and how they relate to your own studying.
- What are the study skill topics which you feel you do fairly well with?
- What are the areas that you are the weakest in?
- Identify some of the strategies that are most important for you to focus on in your current situation. Explain why using some of the criteria from the above chart.
- Establish a study space that is available and organized, has necessary supplies, is reasonably
free of distractions, and meets your study and psychological needs.
- Reading critically can enhance your comprehension. Using strategies such as SQ3R, KWL, or
the RA approach can develop your reading and study skills.
- Knowing how to navigate textbooks helps save time and find information efficiently.
Knowing how to use and interpret the front matter, the back matter, summaries, graphics,
charts, and review material can be incorporated into an effective study plan.
- Understanding the basics of how memory works aids in encoding, storing, and retrieving
information. Memory strategies help move information from sensory memory to
short-term memory to long-term memory. Some key strategies include linking information,
mentally grouping information, visual imagery, using the information, chunking information, linking to location, testing, and repetition.
- Study groups are a great way to learn together and take advantage of different students’ strengths – incorporating complementary skills. They keep you accountable, provide meaningful discussion which can enhance comprehension, and help maintain regular study times. Forming the right group where everyone contributes is key.
- Taking effective notes helps you listen better, helps memory, and creates a valuable study guide. Note-taking methods include using lists, outlines, concept maps, and the Cornell method.
- This chapter contains numerous important study strategies such as the importance of attendance, regular study periods, time management, asking pertinent questions, summarizing, and reviewing. Taking inventory of the study skills that you should focus on and develop will help you to be more efficient with your time.