Study skills general information overview
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Study Skills General Information Overview - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Study Skills General Information Overview. Overview of Goals. There’s not an easy way to get an A You need to learn effective study skills and time management skills The following guidelines will give you suggestions to make you a better student. Topics to be Covered. Time management

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Overview of goals l.jpg
Overview of Goals

  • There’s not an easy way to get an A

  • You need to learn effective study skills and time management skills

  • The following guidelines will give you suggestions to make you a better student

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Topics to be Covered

  • Time management

  • Note-taking

  • Writing research papers

  • Studying for Exams

  • Additional Resources at VC

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  • Examine how you currently spend your time on a given day

    • Write down in a journal what you plan to do that day for a week

    • Look at how your plan of what you wanted to do compares to what you actually DID that day

    • What are you least likely to do?

    • What did you have no problem completing?

    • Where may you have spent your time better? Did you have any open time slots in the day?

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  • Identify blocks of time to study (determine how much of your time is committed to other activities and how much time you need to study)

    • Most people need an average of 2 hours study time for every hour of class per week (3 credit class=6 hours per week studying)

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  • Make to-do lists

  • Prioritize tasks

  • What is due tomorrow?

  • What can you work on slowly?

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  • Find a quiet environment with few distractions

  • Some students study best with a lamp, quiet music, facing a window, or other modifications

  • Break down work into manageable tasks (50 minutes per assignment)

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Study Breaks!

  • Don’t expect to get everything done in one sitting

  • Take 10 minutes every hour or so-get a cup of coffee, walk around, make a quick phone call, check email

  • Make sure this doesn’t turn into procrastination!

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  • Switch subjects every few hours

  • Tackle difficult assignments first

  • Make mini-deadlines (if something is due in a month, have a draft due 2 weeks before)

  • Learn to handle procrastination


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  • What is the best way to study?

    • A. Work on one assignment until it is done

    • B. Switch subjects and take periodic study breaks

    • There is not right answer-this depends on the topic and your level of interest, as well as when it needs to be completed. Try to switch subjects as a rule to keep your motivation high!!!

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Golden Rule-Don’t expect to write every word of the professor’s lecture down!

Need to prepare for notes before class and review notes after class

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  • Have class assignments read before class

  • Skim chapter-reread after class. Sometimes you understand chapter more after attending class lecture

  • Review notes from prior class-most lectures pick up where it left off

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  • Always date your notes

  • Put heading/lecture topic on top of paper

  • Write notes in phrase form, rather than sentence form

  • Write notes on one side of paper if you want to add information later

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  • Outline method-write down key themes, and use indentation to show lesser points (use capital letters, roman numerals, or numbers to outline)

  • Paragraph- write first main topic and write underneath—separate out ideas. Headings will help you study for exam.

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  • Mapping method-notes are recorded in chart or graphic method

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Main points





Page references

Important Dates

Anything noted as “important to know, keep in mind for exam”

Important people

Anything spelled out



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After Class

  • Edit your notes-reorganize or rewrite to make more legible

  • Add information from book, clarify notes (missing information –get from another student or from book)

  • If class uses PowerPoint -download notes from website


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Reading Assignments

  • Avoid over-highlighting-while it may look like you read the material, it may be harder to remember the information

  • Write notes in margin of book

  • Pre-read: read major headings, first paragraph, and chapter summaries first. Read for understanding.

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  • What does NOT have to be included in lecture notes?

  • Important dates

  • Definitions

  • Exact sentences

  • Theories

  • ANSWER: exact sentences

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Writing Research Papers

  • First step: Choosing a topic

    • Write about something you are interested in!

    • Avoiding choosing a topic that is too broad or hard to write about

    • Make sure topic fits paper assignment

    • Make sure topic will lead into an argument

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Researching a topic:

  • Conduct a library and online database search for your topic

  • Use search words narrow enough to find articles and books related to topic

  • Reference librarians on 2nd floor LRC building will help you with search

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  • Most databases can be accessed off campus from GALILEO (check with library for password)

  • Library homepage will link you to list of databases

  • While books will give you a lot of information, use chapters –otherwise too time consuming to read

  • Journal articles should be recent (10 years)

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Writing the Paper

  • Take careful and detailed notes on each article (use notecards or legal pads)

  • Write headings within notes to make writing the paper easier

  • Be careful not to write down direct sentences from authors-paraphrase

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Writing the Paper

  • Make an outline before writing the actual paper

  • Helps with overall organization

  • Make sure your thesis statement is at end of introduction

  • Thesis : what you are arguing, your main point, question being answered, etc.

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Preparing the paper

  • Avoid using passive tense “ex. They were given”

  • If you are using a specific style (ex. APA, MLA), when formatting your paper, check with manual to make sure it is right

  • Use spell-check and grammar check

  • Keep to page limit

  • Make sure all references are cited correctly

  • Avoid plagiarism-any idea that is not your own must be referenced. When in doubt, cite!

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Studying for Exams

  • #1 Tip: Don’t wait for the last minute to study!

  • Keep up with reading assignments and review notes-will make it easier to prepare for exam

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Essay Exams

  • Read over the question. Use scratch paper or the margin to write quick outline of what you want to say.

  • Always include a recognition of the exam question in your introduction/thesis statement

  • Make sure you address all components of the question

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  • Don’t use complicated language or make up things to make the essay longer-use clear and concise language

  • If you get the essay questions in advance, make an outline of the essay rather than writing it out

  • Budget your time –if you have 50 minutes to answer 4 questions, make sure you aren’t left with 5 min to answer the last one!

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Multiple Choice Exams

  • Make sure you understand the question or ask the instructor for clarification

  • Pace yourself. Since m/c exams don’t require as much written work, there may be lots of questions (50-100). Circle the questions you are “stumped” on and come back to them

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Multiple Choice Exams

  • Try to think of answer first before looking at answers

  • Uncover answers one-by-one. If you know it is not the right choice, cross it out. If it may be right ,DO NOT immediately mark it as correct. There may be other better answers or a choice (e) as all of the above may exist

  • Process of elimination will help with questions you are not sure about-make an educated guess based on which ones you can rule out.

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  • Unless you are taking a test like the SAT, you won’t be penalized for wrong answers

  • When you have five minutes left, go back and answer all questions left unanswered-make a guess!

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Short Answer

  • Answer easy questions first, skim over questions in the beginning of the test

  • Make sure you give the information asked for in the question (list, describe, theory and date)

  • BE CONCISE. That’s what short answers are-but make sure answer is complete

  • If you only know part of the answer (ex. 3 of the 4 past presidents) write those down-may get partial credit.

  • Try to “visualize” your notes-what heading did the question fall under?

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Problem Oriented Exams

  • Used for math and science courses

  • Less questions on exams-make take very long to answer each one

  • If the problem has several parts, make sure you answer each one

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Problem-oriented Exams

  • Identify variables and what the problem is asking for-write them down

    • Example (Psy 01): What is the dependant and independent variables? What is the difference between the control and experimental group?

    • Box answers for each part

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Problem-oriented Exams

  • If you use a calculator-make sure you enter numbers in correctly and round to the correct number of decimals

  • Show all work or answers in the space provided.

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Ventura College Resources

  • Academic Counseling:

  • LRC learning center general info:

  • Library (LRC – 2nd Floor):

  • Student Health and Psychological Services:

  • Tutoring information:

  • Ventura College General Information:

  • WebSTAR:

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  • This self-paced presentation was designed to give you study skills and helpful (survivor) tips

  • Incorporate these tips slowly into your normal study habits

  • Remember to keep up with your notes and reading assignments

  • Speak to your tutor or a counselor if you would like further help or academic counseling