ADPRIMA - since 1997

Education information for new and future teachers

"No mental tool honed by human intellect, curiosity and experience
 can long resist  being dulled by simple ignorance or stupidity."

Catalyst: Tools for Effective Teaching 2.0 Celtic bird Catalyst: Dynamically Balanced Study Skills - the best tools and tips.

Study Tips from Students

Part 1

From using certain aromas, to meditation, diet and music, students have opinions about what works for them when they study. These opinions are solely those of those who submit ideas that are accepted, and are not necessarily those of ADPRIMA, and no claims are made by ADPRIMA regarding their effectiveness. Below are study tips submitted by students from earliest to latest. They are ideas that work for them. Maybe they will work for you too!

"Sometimes, if I have a study guide, I'll tape it to the front of my Trapper Keeper, so if I have any extra time, I can glance at it." Jeny

"For girls, when you study, have a scent in the room, preferably a perfume or something. Then when you take the test, wear that perfume.  It can help you remember what you study because you relate the scent to the information. Of   course you have to use a scent that you wouldn't normally smell." Clarise

"Listen to soothing, but invigorating music. I usually listen to Beethoven while I do mindless homework like math, French, or science assignments. It gets your brain pumping and flowing, and keeps you alert and awake." Jason

"While studying, keep peppermint in your mouth... it clears your nasal passage for fresh air. More fresh air means more oxygen to the brain. Trust me, this really helps with memorizing and studying for school." Dennis

"When having a test or quiz on your notes (which happens quite frequently), take your notebook to your computer,  and type all of your notes pertaining to that chapter in that particular section of your notebook. By typing the notes you need to know for your test, a lot of the information is displayed from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. After typing your notes out, look them over and study in-depth... This always helps." Dennis

"Definitely listen in class, you won't have to study so hard if you actually know some of the information beforehand (from class)." Dennis

"Be careful about wearing too much perfume or sitting near someone who does. The chemicals in some perfumes may affect your power to concentrate and remember information." Shay

"Depending on the type of class, taking notes on a PowerBook computer has helped me immensely.
•It makes my notes readable & printable.
•My notes are saved in a retrievable place for the class and to use as citations for papers in other classes-(make sure you date your notes for this purpose).
•Professors and other students think you are smarter and more attuned to learning, just because you have a PowerBook in front of you, and will pay more attention to your questions. Other students will want to share their notes because they can read yours.
•The process of recording lecture notes onto a word processing document makes you consciously categorize topics as you type. Example: putting terms in bold type, putting concepts in italic, putting key ideas in underlined form, and preceding subtopics with a bullet •. This process organizes the ideas in your mind as you are doing it. The PowerBook is not helpful in Math classes, nor is it helpful in  classes involving a lot of discussion."Keith

"Read over the notes a couple of times and then summarize it in your own words. Writing it down might help store it into the long-term memory."Veronica

"I'm recently starting year 12, I'm trying to get organized, I found your Tips very helpful. Though there are many other useful techniques, one of the best is teaching others what you have learned. I found when I helped others with questions I would gain a better knowledge of what I learned. I have also learned from my experience from year 11, that just studying a couple days before is not really studying but cramming. Therefore to gain better marks you have to study months before. Using flow charts, making notes simples, that's what summaries are supposed to be. My friend also gave me a study hint, though yet to be proven, she said the color yellow helps you remember things better, she always uses yellow paper for studying."Anna

"I have a TIP for you. Students should try to study as much as  they can during daytime hours. When I study, I usually try to study during daytime, From my personal experience, study during the day time is much better than study during night time. I remember things better during daytime and I tend to not to slack off as much during daytime. Sometimes, there are less distraction for me during the daytime and I found myself more awake, even if I feel sleepy, take a 20~30 minute nap to recharge your energy. You should only study everything at night only if it's absolutely necessary, (i.e., due to work, after school activities,...etc.) besides, study as much  as possible would usually reduce yourself from getting stress out at night time. Best of all, it would prevent you from staying up all night!" Paul

"I am currently half way through my year 12, but I have talked to many students who have finished year twelve as well as teachers for study hints.  The things that I have already put into practice, and have gotten very good results from is to write out my own study guide from the syllabus (this makes you understand the concepts you are summarizing, as well as putting the information into your long-term memory.)  I have also found doing as many past papers with a time restriction extremely helpful, as many exams have similar types of questions to previous years, and after doing the questions a few times, you get so used to them, that the hard questions seem basic, because you are used to the style of question."  Kristinafrom Australia

"I have found through personal experience that by separating all of my different classes from one another by using different notebooks for each (different colors works good for me), I am not only more organized but more likely not to wander away from that subject when studying.  A friend told me it's my subconscious.  That I associate the notebook with that class and it helps me to concentrate on it alone.  No matter what the reason is, it helped me boost my grades tremendously and learn a whole lot more then I had been before."  Meranda

"Keycards are great study aids. You summarize your notes for the subject by each topic then you summarize the summary so that you have the key ideas and points for each topic. These you write down on cards under each topic heading. Put them in a small ringbinder and carry them with you. Then you can flip through them while waiting in a queue or waiting at your desk for a class to start. These quick flip-throughs of all the major points keep facts alive in your memory ready for recall in the exam." Jackie

"This is especially for my geography class because there is a lot of writing involved!

I've found that writing notes in shorthand (e.g. people=ppl) and going home that night while it is still fresh in the memory and typing it out longhand on the computer helps to memorize or keep the info in the brain because for people that constantly look up at the screen are rereading what they have typed. I don't know if this is a good study method but it works for me!" Diane

"Always have plenty of lined paper around.  Lines help you to write your notes properly and neatly. I know it - it helps me!" Valerie, a student from Singapore.

"A good study TIP that I have found works quite well is to read the material to be covered in a lecture beforehand, and as you are reading create an outline, leaving plenty of space.  Take this outline to the lecture and add to it new information the teacher gives, highlight on it things that you already have listed that are things she stresses as important.  I type my outlines and type in blank lines using the underscore key so that they are easier to add to and because it being typed makes it easier to tell the difference between the information that came from the textbook and the information that came from the teacher.  I also list questions that I have at the bottom of my outline, with lines to write the answers on.  If the teacher gives the answer during the lecture then I write it in the space I have provided, the questions that she does not answer I ask for answers to." Roxanne

"I'm a college student. The Cornell note taking system works best for me. It is easier to understand the notes on the Cornell paper.  The web site about the Cornell System is" 
 Alexis (another link to the Cornell System for note taking)

"Don't play sport or tire yourself before doing anything that requires thinking, memory etc. such as a test, or study period. Make sure you are fully rested and relaxed. I made the mistake, and took me three exams to figure it out." Fubu 

"The HSC is very stressing as everyone keeps on reminding you.  While you are in year 12 many people will be telling you what you should and should not be doing.  The important thing is to get YOUR OWN priorities straight.  We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.  Only you know what you are capable of, so make sure your goals are set accordingly, and not to what others believe." John T.,  scholar and entrepreneur. 

"This isn't an effective way to study but a method that my dad taught me, and it may be of use to you. You may already know it. Anyway, on the first day, you study what you learned in class. Then you read and study about 2 pages of your text book ahead, but just briefly, so you have the preview of what it is about. The next day in class, the teacher will teach the method, and you already know the basis of it, so it all clicks and maybe you learn a little more. When you get home, you don't really need to study that much. I don't know if you can get it by the way I'm explaining it. You sort of learned it the night before, and study during the actual lesson, so you're always a step ahead. Do you get it? I hope you understand what I've written. Have a good day." Adriana.

"Taking notes on whatever I'm studying and going over them really helps me out when studying. The task of taking notes and writing down the material is what helps me, and reviewing those notes adds to the repetition that's going on, which helps even more. Also, before studying try to get or already have enough sleep, because sleepiness can really get you out of studying; it always does for me." Evan Agustin

"When summarizing a chapter of a subject, I type the information out in question format (e.g. instead of simply typing "alveoli are thin in shape which results in fast diffusion of substances..." I type "Discuss the structure of alveoli. How does their structure aid them in their primary role?"), then I type in the answer and, when the chapter summary is completed, print a copy. A family member or friend then asks me the questions and I give the answer. That way I'm not just making a summary once, but completing the equivalent whenever I can nag anyone into helping me. It also prepares me for exams in which they generally expect to you use your knowledge and apply it to answer questions." Alexis, Australia

"An approach to reading that works best for me is both annotating and the Cornell Method. In annotating I can mark and highlight important information, key ideas, unknown words, and interesting facts while reading. Using the Cornell Method, I can then organize the marked text into a better, arranged, understandable form. These methods both save me time and keep me actively involved." C.R. S.J. CA

"My TIP is to increase vocabulary so concentration is not interrupted while studying, or reading. Words that are difficult to understand will become more friendly if I practice using them." Linda

"Taking notes during class is very important, and reviewing them when you get home...and it is not just the way you study but it is in the attitude you long as you're a determined and a hard working student, getting good grades wouldn't be difficult for you at all." Lea

"A very helpful studying TIP is to rewrite your notes the same day you wrote them, if its possible right after class. If you do not rewrite them right away, maybe in the future you  will not understand what you wrote. Writing your notes a second time is also a way to understand the class lecture better. I have been using this TIP for a long time, and it has helped me to memorize information and organize my work." Angelina 

"For my personal TIP, I would suggest that students like me would make our own notes for every class discussion. Because if we only rely on our book, there could be some points that are hard to understand. Moreover, if we only listen to our professors, there is always a tendency to forget, knowing that we have lots of things in our mind, and that we can't remember every single detail which could be very important. One more thing, if ever we borrow our classmates' notes, for example if we missed a class, we are not sure that their notes are complete or that their notes are all correct. It is possible for them to miss out important details or misunderstood some explanations. Hence, we should attend classes regularly because it's going to be our loss to miss a class and not others." Diana

"My studying method that works for me is to review my notes everyday and reread the topic chapter to refresh my memory. Doing this everyday helped me prepared for my test by not cramming the night before exam." Loreto

"My own personal study tip would be to listen to easy music but on a lower volume. This has helped me study better because I’m not distracted by the words in a song and I don’t like studying in a extremely quiet place so the music helps both problems. Sometimes when I keep feeling tired while studying, I would chew gum or have a light snack with me (such as crackers) so I’m always chewing on something. It always makes me feel more awake and I can study better." Cheryl

"Before I started to do my study, I make sure that I am  not sleepy, hungry, thirsty, and don't need to use the bathroom. If I feel all those necessities before I study, I take care of it first. This way, there will be no unnecessary interruption while I'm doing my work." Edita 

"My own study TIP that has always worked for me is to lock my self in the room and focus. With the only sound of me reading and no one bothering me, I can understand the reading a lot better. If I start thinking about something else I get up and eat something then I'll come back to it."Ricardo

My study TIP is simple. I follow the survey technique in which I scan through the chapters first, then read and summarize. I usually find a place where it is quiet  (like the library, backyard or any corners of my house) and comfortable. I also make sure that I put-up a sign that reads "OUT TO LUNCH, COME BACK LATER!" Rose

"A strategy that I employ for studying is to try refer to my course materials whenever I find my mind going over concepts taught in my courses. I always have my class materials available so that I can pull them out in the event that I find myself thinking of them. I believe that my mind keeps working on things even when I am not consciously thinking about them. Whenever I open my class materials when I find my mind drifting onto the topic, I find that the concepts that were difficult for me previously are now very easy to understand. I'll then go on and do some of the assignments for practice so I don't forget. It's sub-conscious studying!"  Paul

"The study TIP I would like to recommend is to deal with anything that is getting in the way of your success. Say for example, you're trying to study but you keep thinking of something else. Then do what you have to do to deal with it and then get to studying with a cleared mind." Claudia

I take three simple steps in order to succeed in studying.
1. Play some relaxing music (whatever music you enjoy listening to) before studying to clear my mind of everything.
2. Concentrate on what I'm studying when I begin to study, and do that throughout the process of studying.
3. Review it over orally to see if I actually remember what I studied, to see if I'm ready for that particular test.
Also, if the test is on Wednesday morning, I would study the night before, a few hours before I sleep. Since it would be fresh in my mind. Then an hour before the test, I will study for a second time just to make sure I'm completely ready. I've been doing this type of studying all my life, and it hasn't failed me. If this helps you, more power to you. If not, well hey everyone has their own methods of studying. Whatever works for you.

Before studying, I advise other students to eat a light snack, nothing heavy or else you'll be falling asleep from being too full. Also, it's very important to get rid of internal distractions (something that is bugging your head, i.e. making a phone call, chores, picking up a few things at the store) those things right away so that you'll be concentrating on your studies. Angelita

My own personal study TIP that really helps me out mostly is I find a quiet place most likely in my room, lock the door so there would be no distractions and start playing soft relaxing music such as Kenny G. or slow jams. I know for a majority of people music is the biggest distraction, but I am totally opposite. Music helps me relax and concentrate. No name given.

Before studying it is always helpful to me if I write at least a full page about whatever comes to mind. I write about my day, things that are bothering me, things that inspire me, what I love/hate, etc. It's basically a journal entry to release any thoughts that I need to get off my shoulders before studying, so that when I do study those thoughts don't cloud my mind while I try to learn something new. It's very helpful after a stressful day. After I've written down what I have to say, I tear it up, throw it away, and study with a clear mind. Kristen

Part of good study habit is making a schedule, which will help you organize your time and your thoughts.  Having a  schedule indicates your personal obligations, setting priorities, and especially it will help you for studying.  It is organization that helps with your thoughts be more active for any studies you have to do. So remember write your obligations on your schedule. No name given

My study TIP is to make your own questions while reading and with those same questions test yourself, with this you will find out how well you are doing or if you are ready for the test. No name given.

My own personal TIP is to go into your room lock yourself in there and turn on a little music and start studying. A little music won't hurt. Actually it makes me focus more on what I'm actually studying. I don't know why but it works for me. Most people would get distracted but I recommend that. You should try it sometime. Linda

I would like to inform students that time management is one of the key to succeeding in College. Most important is the technique of the way to study efficiently and productively. In my case, The Cornell system-note taking has helped a lot in the past as well in the future. The Cornell notes consist of three steps. During high school I still remember the way it works. Step 1) Preparing the paper; left column is the questions and right column will be answers just like regular note taking except the system works better than other techniques. 2) During the lecture--record the notes in paragraph form. Make sure to get the general ideas and abbreviating can save you time. 3) After the lecture, reread notes and jot down the main ideas or key words. This way you can be organized to when it comes to reviewing your notes when exams come. Marc.

“I understand and remember more when I listen to someone else so for me it is easier to work or study with a “study buddy” Virginia

Study TIP: I know people say 'listen to a little music while studying, is 'good', but this is not good for muso's and anyone who has a fast ear to a tune - we get distracted, even if we don't realize that it is happening... For years I listened to music while studying, and my results have improved out of sight since I 'turned my stereo off' as such. It's hard to give up the music at first, but it gets easier, and it is worth it. Alison

My study TIP is that when you are studying and maybe your mind starts to wander try to look away from your paper, textbook or whatever it is you are studying, and look somewhere blank like the walls or floor and go cross-eyed - this help to cross your left and right brain over! It's also helps a lot in tests, try it! Kate

Drink plenty of water, it keeps the brain hydrated. A hydrated brain can remember more than a dehydrated brain.
Of course do not go silly or else you will be spending all your time in the toilet!

This is a study TIP for you to help remember important quotes.  

Record the quote on your mobile phone or on a tape and whenever you have spare time you can listen to it as often as you can. Soon you will be able to perfectly recite the lines. If it sounds too boring you can always sing it and listen to it as a song. It might sound daggy but trust me it helps!  Michelle K 

I am an Indian student and I am in the tenth standard now. My TIP is "When you sit down to study never think about anything else other than your book. Leave the world outside and come into your book." Jassi

My study TIP is that you should write brief notes or keywords onto squares of colored paper, and then look at them regularly. Having the answers on the back helps you to learn the answers as well. Use different colored vivids and bright highlighters to make it interesting. Try it! It totally works! Bruce

When you're doing math homework, and not getting the right answer for a problem. Or when you're doing a math problem on a test and not getting a right answer, take out a blank sheet of paper (preferably with no lines) and solve the math problem in as many steps as possible. Make your handwriting big, so one problem covers the whole sheet of paper. when you write it really big like this, you will be able to see where you were making the mistake, or will make fewer mistakes. It has worked for me many times while doing homework. Mehreen

When I study I like to recreate my notes. Colors and shapes help me to remember. Circling things or highlighting works great. I associate the color or shape with the information and I tend to remember it better (and longer).  Danielle

Try to study in the morning because at that time, your mind is fresh and you can do more study than you can do it during night. I works for me.Harinder

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