Study skills

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Study skills or study strategies are a set of techniques and procedures that people employ to improve their learning and retention of knowledge while studying. These methods and skills assist students in becoming more successful and efficient learners. Effective study methods can make the process of learning and studying more manageable and less stressful.

Study skills might include a learner's ability to listen, read, comprehend, focus, recall and categorize their learning material, and manage studying time.

Learning strategies[change | change source]

  • Find a good place to study.[1] finding a suitable place to study is crucial for effective learning. It should be quiet and free from distractions, allowing you to focus on your work. Recommended study locations include libraries, coffee shops, quiet corners at home, study rooms, parks, co-working spaces, and more. Your choice should align with your personal preferences and the type of work you need to do, while considering the level of noise and distractions you can handle. Experiment with different locations to discover the one that works best for you.
  • Mnemonics may help to remember lists or sequences of information. The name Roy G. Biv is an example of a mnemonic. It is an acronym for the colors of the rainbow in proper sequence: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.[2] They also include rhymes, phrases, poems and associating pictures with information.[2] Mnemonics should be used sparingly as they have some limitations.[3]
  • Take a break. taking intentional breaks during study or work can have numerous benefits, including improved retention, increased attention, and enhanced energy levels. Research suggests that a work period of around 50 minutes, followed by a 15- to 20-minute break, can optimize [./Https:// productivity]. Some productive ways to spend your breaks include taking a short walk, listening to uplifting music, socializing with a friend, stretching, meditating, daydreaming, having a snack, taking a shower, or tidying your workspace. However, not all breaks are equally beneficial, as checking your phone or social media during a study break can actually decrease your performance.
  • Skimming and Scanning. Skim reading is a technique to gain the most from reading something in the least amount of time. It is looking at chapter headings, bullet lists of key points in sidebars and key words in sentences. The first sentence of a chapter often is a abstract of the chapter.[4] Scanning involves moving your finger down the page as you read. The object is to try to absorb at least 50% of the text. It is then compared to what was skimmed.[4]
  • Study with a Groups. forming a study group can offer several benefits. Group members can assist each other in solving challenging problems, offer encouragement, help maintain accountability for studying goals, provide diverse perspectives, and make the study experience more enjoyable. Additionally, explaining complex concepts to others can enhance one's own understanding and retention of the material. Colleges and universities encourage students to form study groups. A study group can divide tasks and each member concentrate on one segment. Students who teach or share what they know with others learn more.[5] A study group uses active learning, a very effective way to learn.[6]
  • Taking effective notes. Note taking skills learned in high school are rarely adequate for college. In college, good note taking involves critical thinking.[7] Professors often lecture at a fast pace. A good clue to key or important points is that a teacher or lecturer may repeat them during the lecture.[8] It is important to develop good listening skills.[7] Key skills to good note taking are:
  • Pre-reading the materials. This helps in understanding lectures.[7]
  • Review your previous class notes.[7]
  • Have everything you need at hand. Make sure you have pens, pencils, notebooks, and textbooks.[7]
  • Take a Practice Tests. taking practice tests or engaging in self-assessment is a valuable learning strategy. It serves as a tool for improving knowledge retention, identifying areas of weakness, and reducing exam-related anxiety. Testing encourages the retrieval of information from memory, which is a proven method for enhancing the retention of learned material. If you don't have access to formal practice exams, you can create your own practice tests using flashcards, write your own questions, search for practice questions online, or have a friend quiz you, all of which can provide similar benefits.
  • Reward yourself. Rewarding yourself can be an effective strategy for improving self-control and forming good habits. Setting up a system where you promise yourself small rewards for completing specific tasks or goals can provide motivation to achieve those objectives. Small rewards might include treats like a candy bar, a favorite coffee, a quick game, or a short TV episode. For more significant accomplishments, such as a productive day of studying or completing an exam, you can reward yourself with larger treats, such as enjoying your favorite meal, spending time with friends, or indulging in your favorite activity.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Study Skills". Ministry of Education, Jamaica. 2014. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dianne Evans Kelley, Common-Sense Classroom Management for Special Education Teachers, Grades 6-12 (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2007), p. 81
  3. Wong (2014) 'Essential Study Skills', Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Accessed 7 July 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mark Pennington, Essential Study Skills (El Dorado Hills, CA: Pennington Publishing, 2009), p. 28
  5. "Study Skills: Study Groups" (PDF). Academic Success Center, Iowa State University. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  6. Ph.D. Hansen, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills (New York, NY: Alpha, 2008), p. 107
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Myron H. Dembo, Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-Management (New York; London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 218–19
  8. Paige Ruschhaupt 2011. Listening to lectures and identifying important information during a lecture Archived 2014-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, University of Houston – Victoria, Access date 7 July 2014

Other websites[change | change source]