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Study skills workshop. Presented by the Student Success Team at the Community College of the District of Columbia. Agenda. Why are Study Skills Important? Getting Ready to Study Study environment Getting motivated Getting organized Study Tips Make a Plan of Action.

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Study skills workshop

Study skills workshop

Presented by the Student Success Team at the Community College of the District of Columbia


  • Why are Study Skills Important?

  • Getting Ready to Study

    • Study environment

    • Getting motivated

    • Getting organized

  • Study Tips

  • Make a Plan of Action

Why are study skills important
Why are study skills important?

  • More efficient and effective use of your time

  • Improve your retention of information

  • Improve your grades

Getting ready to study environment
Getting ready to Study: Environment

  • Do you have a good study environment? It should match these descriptions:

    • I can stay awake and alert here.

    • Distractions (people, activity) are minimal

    • Temperature is comfortable (not too hot or cold).

    • Lighting is adequate.

    • Noise level is acceptable.

    • Resources are convenient.


  • Apply It: Write down 2 spaces that fit this description. Make sure it’s a realistic study place for you (i.e.—not too far or difficult to get to. It won’t be a good study place if you never go!)

Getting ready to study get motivated
Getting ready to study: Get motivated

  • Reward yourself!

    • Choose something to work towards.

    • Decide how you will earn each reward (this may be different each time you study)

    • Apply it: Write down 3 (small) rewards you could use to motivate yourself to study.

Get motivated
Get motivated

  • Remember your long term goals

    • What are you working towards?

    • Apply it: Write down the long term goal that is most important to you.

  • Take breaks: You will be more effective if you study in chunks

  • Study with friends

Getting organized
Getting organized

  • Use a calendar or planner

    • Put your assignments, tests, and quizzes from all your classes into one calendar

    • Schedule days and times to study on your calendar and stick to it!

      • Create a routine. (e.g., Mon, Wed, Fri from 10 am -1 pm)

      • Think about the time of day when you are most focused.

    • Schedule time daily for your hardest class

    • Apply it: We will do this at the end of the presentation

Getting organized1
Getting organized

  • Keep a separate notebook (or section of a notebook) for each class

    • Use a binder or bound notebook—don’t keep loose papers

    • Use dividers or sticky notes to organize sections of your notebooks

  • Apply it: We will do this at the end of the presentation, too.

Study tips
Study tips

  • Review new material the same day you learn it.

  • Don’t study two very similar subjects one right after the other.

  • Set reasonable short-term goals for each study session.

    • For example:

      • I will choose a topic and write a thesis statement for my paper.

      • I will complete my problem set and study Chapter 4

    • Apply it: Think about the studying you need to do for one of your classes. Pretend you are about to start studying right now. Write down two reasonable goals for yourself.

Study tips1
Study tips

  • Before you read...pre-read each chapter! It takes

    about 15-20 minutes, but is definitely worth it!

    (See handout about pre-reading)

  • Study actively!

    • Highlight key information in your book or notebook

    • Ask yourself questions as you read

    • Answer any questions given at the end of the chapter

Study actively
Study Actively

  • Check your understanding:

    • Cover up the section you just read and summarize it to yourself or a friend

    • Write an outline summarizing the material you just read

  • Create flashcards with important vocabulary, formulas, or concepts.

    • Put them up around your house

    • Study them on the metro

  • Rewrite or type your notes to help you remember the material. Reword or summarize as you write/type.

Study tips2
Study tips

  • Use mnemonic devices to help you retain information

    • Mnemonic devices are methods for remembering pieces of information

      1) Rhymes.

    • “In fourteen hundred ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

    • “I before E except after C.”

      2) Chunking (grouping items for better recall, particularly numbers)

      3) Acronyms (using the first letter from a group of words to form a new word)

    • You can remember the names of the 5 Great Lakes, you just have to remember HOMES: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, Superior

    • Use the sentence “My Very Education Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” to remember the planets in order (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto (back when it was a planet)

Study tips3
Study tips

  • Don’t cram for tests!

    • You may remember the material for the test, but you won’t remember it the long term

  • The best way to study and put information in your long-term memory is to study in chunks over time.

    • For example, see the 5 Day Study Plan

5 day study plan
5 Day Study plan

  • Day Five: OrganizeOrganize and review your class notes and text notes carefully. Prepare a list of all topics that will be on the exam. List them in order of importance so you can focus your attention accordingly.

  • Day Four: Review and RecallReview your notes thoroughly. That is, until you can recall all of the important information. Concentrate on the topics that are more difficult for you to remember. Use mnemonic devices or visualization to help you recall more effectively.

  • Day Three: RewriteBriefly rewrite all important information. Review these notes repeatedly. Trying to recall your own explanations will be more effective than trying to recall what the text and your professors have said.

  • Day Two: QuestionMake a list of questions that might be on the exam and answer them in as much detail as possible.

  • Day One: PrepareReview your notes and rewritten notes a few hours before the exam. Take time to relax before the exam. If you are afraid you will forget information or "blank out" when you receive the exam, write reminders on the back that you can come back to during the exam.

How much time to spend studying
How much time to spend studying?

  • Plan to spend about 8-12 hours a week studying for each 3 credit class you’re taking.

    • Studying includes homework assignments, reading, writing papers, studying for exams, etc.

  • That’s about 32-48 hours a week if you’re taking 4 classes.

Make a plan of action
Make a plan of action!

  • 1. Put all your remaining assignments and tests on a calendar.

  • 2. Schedule study time

  • 3. Organize your notes

  • 4. Make a specific plan for your next study session

    • Where will you study? (you already wrote down some ideas!)

    • What is the date/time?

    • What rewards will you use to motivate yourself? (you already wrote down some ideas for this too!)

    • What are your goals for the study session?

Additional resources
Additional resources