• Tips for Studying and Notetaking



    The following refers to studying for a test as well as studying/re-reading or reviewing material for class discussion or work.


    -Study in a variety of settings.  Research  shows you will be more attentive and have better retention of material if you study in more than one location.

    -Study multiple (3-4) different concepts or skills or subjects in a single sitting, rather than one subject over a prolonged period.

    -Use most or all the resources you have been provided with: -Review questions on unit sheets and in the book
             -View slideshows online (at my website) as you review notes on the same topic
             -Consult links for videos or other web materials connected with the topic
             -take practice quizzes online (linked at my website)
             -review my comments and your own notes on your performance on past assessments.  For example, if you did test corrections, note what you struggled with before.

    -Pace your studying or reviewing over several days or over the whole unit so that you are not cramming at the end before the test.  Cramming results in short-term memory retention; habitual review garners longer term memory.

    -The more challenging a subject or concept is for you to learn or understand, the more embedded the material becomes when you finally learn it.

    -If you are reading or re-reading something with the intention of remembering what you have read, take notes.  The practice of writing will increase the likelihood of retention of material.




    -Don’t try to write down every word a teacher says during a lecture or a narrator says in a video; nor should you copy from a text.  Develop a system of abbreviations for shorthand.

    -Listen to the whole sentence that is spoken before you try to write down what is said.

    -Organize your notes with a clear context for each entry (time, class, etc.).  Provide the subject you are studying in addition to the date at the top of each page, for example: The Progressive Era, 10/12/2010.  Even if your teacher is having you do short-writes rather than lecturing you, provide a context for your writing.

    -Use a highlighter and the margins to annotate your own notes so that you see what is most useful.

    -If you are taking notes from a reading, an outline is best for longer readings. Be sure you use subtopics and note key terms.
    -Use shorthand when possible.
    -Come up with a way to distinguish between your own ideas, those of the teacher and those of your peers.
    -Review your notes right after the lecture, video, homework assignment, or presentation so you can fill in gaps and make them useful for future reference.

Last Modified on October 2, 2014