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This lesson will help you better understand how to improve your study skills. It includes certain steps you can take to enhance your study habits, as well as a mnemonic device to help you recall important note-taking skills.

Improving Study Skills

How many of you can sit in a chair without fidgeting for an entire class period? I know I can’t! What about being able to remember all of the information from an instructor’s lecture, without taking any notes? Nope, not me! While there are a few individuals out there that are capable of doing these things, many of us are not so lucky.

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Fortunately, there are three steps you can take to improve your study skills and a mnemonic device you can use to help you remember note-taking strategies. Let’s begin with the steps.

Step 1 – Figure Out Your Specific Learning Style

There are four types of learners, including the visual learner, the auditory learner, the kinesthetic learner and the read/write learner. A visual learner may learn best with the use of visual aids, including pictures, graphs and charts, which helps him or her better understand certain concepts. An auditory learner will comprehend information better when using their listening skills. Lectures that are recorded and then played back really help these learners retain information.

Kinesthetic learners are hands on people that learn better by exploring and physically interacting with learning materials. These learners do best when regular breaks are taken, which helps to reduce fidgeting. Read/write learners do well with reading and re-writing what has been read.

Typing notes on printer paper or writing them on index cards will further assist the read/write learner in comprehending the material more effectively.

Studying for the test!
Studying

There are many ways to determine your learning style, but the easiest way is to take a learning style assessment quiz online.

Step 2 – Reduce/Manage Stress

It is important to learn how to conquer certain stressors, like test anxiety and time management, as well.

One way to beat testing anxiety is to create multiple choice exams at home, set a timer and begin testing! Time management is also important for reducing stress, and the less stress a person feels the more information they will retain. Give yourself enough time to study by creating a daily schedule and sticking to it. Keeping organized with the use of a schedule is a great way to not only manage time but to reduce stress, as well.

Step 3 – Conquer Note Taking

When taking notes, it is best to listen carefully for key words or main points made by the instructor so that note taking does not become overwhelming. Write and then re-write notes to help you remember important details. Highlight key phrases to keep your mind from wandering off, especially when there is a lot of information being covered.

It is important not to highlight too much information, though, as this may create confusion when returning to review the notes. Always review the information a few times to be sure it is understood. Do this by re-reading important concepts and highlighted markings to reaffirm complete knowledge of the material.

This is a great way to improve your study skills and ace that exam!

Acing an exam!
Ace Exam

Note: One of the most important tips to studying is learning to relax – take breaks to keep your mind focused and sharp. To recall these note-taking strategies, try remembering the mnemonic ‘Learn What Really Helps Recall Readings.’ This will remind you to Listen, Write, Re-Write, Highlight, Review and Relax!

Lesson Summary

Okay, let’s review. To improve your study skills start by figuring out what type of learner you are.

Next, create at-home exams for practice, and use a schedule to keep you on track during study time. In addition, make sure to listen for key phrases during lectures, write them down and then re-write them to help you remember. Also, remember to highlight or underline key phrases and main ideas when reading assigned works – don’t forget to review your notes and highlighted text, as well! And, last but not least, take a deep breath and relax! Use the mnemonic ‘Learn What Really Helps Recall Readings’ to remember to Listen, Write, Re-Write, Highlight, Review and Relax! Good luck on your next exam!

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