Effective Studying/Learning Strategies

The number one priority when developing effective learning and studying habits is listening to yourself.  There are a lot of effective studying and learning strategies, but not all will be effective for your learning style.  Be sure to try out new methods to find out what works best for you!

General Learning Suggestions

  1. Choose a comfortable and quiet place to learn and pick a time that works best for you.
    • Some people are morning people, some people are night owls. Regardless of what you prefer, be sure to pick a time when you will be your sharpest and most motivated.
    • Distractions, such as loud noise, uncomfortable feelings, or lack of room can get in the way of optimal learning. If your home isn’t the ideal place to work, try local libraries, quiet coffee shops, or empty classrooms.
  1. Use a variety of studying and learning methods – reading material, having group discussions or applying what you are learning.
    • Research suggests that simply reading over your text or your notes is not an effective studying or learning method. If what you have read is not forgotten by the time of the test, it will likely will be soon after the test.
  1. Create your own sample test to practice.
    • To do this, you first need to figure out what are the important concepts to review. Talk to your teacher or classmates if you are unsure.  Once you have figured out the important material, create sample test problems that force you to really think about the learning material.
      1. e.g. Think of a real-life situation where you might need to apply the knowledge you are learning. How would you handle this situation?  What would you do?  How does what you are learning relate?
  1. Teach the material to someone else.
    • This is probably the most effective studying strategy. If you can explain the concept or equation or literary device to someone else so that they understand, you have definitely mastered the topic.  Talking about the material will also make you aware of what you need to learn more about.
  1. Don’t wait until the last minute!!
    • This is likely easier said than done, but if you can dedicate a short time each week to go over your notes and assignments, you are more likely to remember the material.
    • If you notice that you don’t understand something halfway through a unit, make note of this and look for help in understanding. This could mean looking in your textbook, searching online for the answer, talking to your peers, or seeking the assistance of a teacher.
  1. Keep an organized binder.
    • Again, easier said than done. You can work together with your Inspired Learning mentor to develop some strategies to keep all your notes in order.  Refer to Strategies to Keep You Organized for more help on this topic.