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Writing Resource Center: Study Skills Help

The mission of the Writing Resource Center at the American Academy of Art is to promote student success by supporting students in their pursuit of their academic goals.

How to Study

Study Skills

Study Skills are needed to learn, absorb, and apply information. Even after school, they are very necessary life skills.

*It is important to know how you’re learning, not just what you’re learning!*

With practicing study skills, you will develop your own way of studying with what works best for you! Below are general suggestions that can help you get started. It will take practice to develop the most effective way for you to get the most out of studying.

Study skills go far beyond the classroom. You will find yourself using the skills you develop throughout your entire life.

Below are classroom-based processes of studying. They are not subject specific and can apply to any of your current classes.

It’s no secret that studying can be a drag, but practice self-motivation for studying and think of it as an accomplishment or step in the right direction! This will help you want to study, rather than stress it.

During Class:

  • Never be afraid to ask questions. If you’re confused about something, ask!

*IMPORTANT: If you don’t understand a concept fully, it makes it very tough to remember it or to continue to the next step. Be sure to understand it completely before moving on.

  • Tune in to the entire class. Listen to other student’s questions, pay attention to the presentation slides. The answers for exams are always talked about in class.
  • Always take notes!

Note-taking Tips:

  • Write down only the KEY POINTS to each lecture. Writing down everything/more than necessary can clutter the mind and cause you to actually remember less than if you focus on the important points.
  • Use lots of bullet points, color coding, etc. Anything that separates information so it’s not one block of info. This will help you categorize and remember more!
  • Depending on your learning style (visual, auditory, hands-on), alter your note-taking. If you’re a visual or hands-on learner, take lots of notes and make it fun with color coding, table-making, etc. Also be sure to really examine and remember the slides. If you’re an auditory learner, listen fully to the lecture and write down the main points. Ask questions and involve yourself!
  • Not sure what a word/phrase means? Write it down to ask the teacher, or to look it up later.

Before the Test:

  • Even if you’ve studied for weeks, it always helps to take a look at your notes right before the exam. The information is fresh in your brain this way.
  • This is where making your notes categorized in some way will really help you! All of the information is separated in a way it's easy to study quickly.
  • This is a perfect time for friends in the same class to quiz each other since you both benefit from asking and answering questions.

Forgot to study and your cramming right before? We’ve all been there! In this case:

  • Look at your notes as much as you can, remember the key points talked about in class and focus on those.
  • If your teacher gave you a note packet, it is made to give you the information needed for the test, so examine this quickly! Look at labeled images, definitions, and key points. These are what will more than likely be the focus of the exam. Try your best to absorb the information. 

Studying at Home

Finding Time to Study:

  • Finding time to study can be difficult, and everyone’s schedules are different. Think about your own schedule and factor a time that you can separate yourself and focus on studying. You have control over your time, it just takes some pre-planning.
  • Effective time management will help you find your own way of studying that works best, making you get the most out of your time! Without time management, you will get less done do to inefficient planning.
  • Know your schedule and your limitations, and work around that.
  • Don’t think of studying as a stressful and mandatory task. Think of it as a process that will help you improve yourself. If you stress about it, worry will take over your motivation, and you will push it off. Don’t dread it, conquer it!

Studying at Home:

  • Use the notes you took in class and the packets/worksheets from your teachers.
  • Depending on how you learn, it can help to:
    • Make Flashcards for yourself. (Hands-on, Visual)
    • Rewrite your notes and the note packet. (Visual, Hands-on)
    • Reading your notes out loud. (Auditory)
  • It ALWAYS helps to have a friend quiz you. This puts you in the same situation of taking a test. Even if you get it wrong with your friend, you’ll be more likely to remember being asked and what the correct answer was when it comes to taking the test. And, the friend helping you is also benefiting and studying simultaneously!
  • As you’re studying, try and put yourself into your calm state with limited distractions. Put your phone away, and stay off social media for a bit. Put all of your focus into what you’re learning and you will remember it with ease.