The Washburn Review • November 7, 2014 • https://washburnreview.org/9284/arts-living/operation-adulthood-my-study-system/
My Study System
Last week I wrote an article for the Review about the importance of preparing for finals early. Now I’m going to offer you some tips from my own study process and encourage you to develop your own. There are four main parts to my study process and it relies heavily on my in-class note taking.
Take good notes in class:
I depend on my notes to carry me through my process. If I’m not taking good notes, my system just won’t be complete. We are a bit over halfway through the semester and you might be feeling a bit of burnout. I know I am. Don’t allow the temptation to get the better of you. Instead, focus your energy on your note-taking. It may not help the day get more interesting or go any faster, but it will help you pick up and absorb the information presented.
Make a copy of your notes:
This is the most essential part of my own routine. I take ‘chicken-scratch’ notes in class. They look super messy – no one would ever want to
read them. In class, I worry less about the look of my notes as I take them. Instead, I focus on the information and make sure I have all the details I need. Then, each night, I copy those notes down on a separate sheet of paper. I structure them and color code them in a way that works for me. I’m a visual learner and I find that color helps quite a bit. Colored pens are my best friends.
Develop a schedule for reading your notes:
Now it’s up to repetition to get the information ingrained in your memory. Don’t let your notes sit idly by. Establish a routine and stick to it. Schedule a time to go over your notes for each class. It could be once a day, every other day, weekly, etc.
It’s up to you how often you need to review your notes. Prioritize the classes in which you need to brush up on your knowledge and skills.
Practice your tests:
The best way to prepare for a test is to practice the test. If your professor is kind enough to hand out a study guide, don’t let it go to waste! Use it to practice! Write out your answers. Have a friend or roommate quiz you. Time yourself. Also, look for gaps in what you know. It’s not in your notes? Ask your professor!
By developing a study system that works for you and sticking to it, you will be better equipped to handle finals week in December and you will save yourself a load of stress.
Looking for more resources for study tips and help? Try these:
• Washburn’s Tutoring & Writing Center; Academic website (www.washburn.edu)
• “How to study effectively” by SimonOxfPhys on YouTube.
To read more of Katie’s blog go to www.operation- adulthood-review.blogspot. com.