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The Basics of Effective Learning
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Study Skills

Study Skills
Strategies for Effective Learning

Managing your Time and Study Environment icon
Managing Your Time & Study Environment
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  • Determine your goals, values, and priorities.
  • Evaluate your schedule and make adjustments as appropriate.
  • Get a plan before starting a task. Set time limits to stay focused.
  • Break tasks into manageable (and meaningful) chunks.
  • Stay caught up with reading and assignments.
  • Have a strategy for taking tests. Monitor your time.
  • Web sites on managing your time and study environment.

Reading College Texts icon
Reading College Texts
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  • Preview - survey the material to get the big picture before reading the material.
  • Question - set your purpose; ask what you already know. Ask what's important to understand from this assignment.
  • Read - read for meaning and annotate text. If you don't understand, adjust your strategy i.e., re-read or read slower.
  • Recite - summarize what you just read by saying it or writing it in your own words. Make a note of questions that occur to you as your read.
  • Review - go over it regularly so it stays fresh.
  • Web sites on these and other topics on reading college texts.

Listening, Notetaking and Visual Organizers icon
Listening, Note-Taking, and Using Visual Organizers
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  • Preview text and list questions to help focus your listening during lectures.
  • Use Cornell notes or mapping for class notes depending on the style in which information is presented.
  • Annotate - make margin notes in text to label information; circle important terms and concepts, underline important details; summarize, and note questions you have about the material.
  • Use graphic organizers to show relationships between concepts (i.e., Venn diagram, fishbone diagram, feature analysis, etc.).
  • Map your ideas to organize writing for papers and tests.
  • Web sites on listening, note-taking, and using visual organizers.

Research and Writing Papers icon
Research and Writing Papers
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  • Plan ahead - develop a schedule for completing each step of the process.
  • Choose a topic.
  • Do your research. Learn how to use the library and to conduct research.
  • Write the paper.
  • Edit your work.
  • Web sites that provide information on research and writing papers.

Taking Tests icon
Taking Tests
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  • Stay up-to-date on assignments. Learn material and review as you go along.
  • Analyze past tests to determine how you can improve your test-taking skills.
  • Ask the instructor about the test. Ask yourself what was stressed in the text and in lectures.
  • Apply stress management techniques to deal with test anxiety.
  • Break up study sessions by units or chapters.
  • Prepare to answer different kinds of test questions.
  • Survey the test. Answer the easiest questions first, to control anxiety. Then strategize a plan and concentrate greatest effort on the questions that are worth the most points.
  • Map responses to essay questions before writing.
  • Web sites providing information on taking tests.

[ Learning Home ][ Topics Menu ][ Study Skills ][Concepts of Learning ]
[ Web Site Resources ][ BC3 Help Resources ][ Learning Site Map ]

Developed by Meg Keeley
Special Populations Office, Bucks County Community College

With funding from the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act
Designed and Produced by Chimera Studio

Copyright 1997 Bucks County Community College. All rights reserved.

Author: keeleym@bucks.edu