The following are links to websites that offer helpful information about a variety of study skills issues. If you can’t attend the study skills workshops, or would like to explore a topic in more depth, these links provide tips and activities that will reinforce your current study practices or provide you with ideas for new study practices. While on-campus resources such as the Writing Center, Speaking Center, study skills workshops, and others can provide you with one-on-one attention and feedback and should be your first line of defense, these links will provide you with information you can access at any time, any where.
“Log off of Facebook. Set a time block where you are just going to do that one assignment and not think about anything else. Make a to-do list with everything on it so when you accomplish something you can check it off and feel proud.”
– UMW JuniorTime Management- One of the biggest obstacles college students face is learning to manage their time effectively. The following links provide exercises and information on how to “see” your time and the free time you’re overlooking that could be used more effectively.
Time Management - a module of information on keeping to do lists and scheduling and managing your time. Includes an on-line quiz that matches your personality with your time management style.
Developing a Schedule – Study Guides and Strategies – an interactive exercise that lets you calculate how much time you spend on activities and how much time that leaves you in a day.
Assignment Calculator – University of Minnesota – an interactive exercise in which you enter the due date of an assignment, the topic of the assignment, and the date on which you will begin the assignment. It then calculates what part of the assignment you should have done on what day.
Note Taking – Note taking is one of the hardest skills to teach another person. Everyone has a different system of shorthand and organization. The following links provide information on how to organize oneself so that study time is spent studying, rather than trying to figure out where you put things and what you meant by those scribbles.
“Research has shown that highlighting or underlining is not as beneficial as taking notes. Writing down information – even key words – does more for helping a student remember what s/he is studying than anything else.”
- Ms. Smith, Senior Lecturer in English
Taking Notes in Lectures – Study Guides and Strategies – information on how to format your notes as well as how you should review them.
Taking notes from a text book – Study Guides and Strategies – how to make sure you glean as much as possible from your reading. Includes a link to information on concept mapping if you think better through drawing and linking shapes.
Reading Strategies - With so many pages to read it becomes a challenge to get something out of the reading rather than having your eyes glaze as you read the same thing over and over. The following links provide information on simple strategies for gleaning the important information out of all those pages.
The SQ3R Reading Method – Study Guides and Strategies – a condensed version of the well known system. Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review are the keywords to learning through reading.
Marking and Underlining – Study Guides and Strategies – how to use a highlighter and make sure you’re doing more than making pretty marks in your book!
“Make sure that you understand the directions. For example. some problems might have the direction “Simplify” but this means different things in different courses.”
-Dr. Sheckels, Professor of Education and Chair of the Education DepartmentClassroom Survival- Though it sounds like common sense, a lot of the academic problems students have begin with poor educational etiquette, such as not attending class and not taking notes. The following links provide information and reinforcement about the things students know, but don’t always do.
Classroom Learning – Study Guides and Strategies – a gentle guide to preparing for and attending class so that you get the most out of your classroom time.
Sites to Promote Academic Success – University of Northern Iowa – a list of links that contain information on test-taking, time management, planning your course, barriers to effective listening, and much more.
“While studying each chapter, choose three or four “representative” problems and write the page number and problem on one side of a 3×5 card. Write the answer on the other side. When studying for an exam, close your books and notes, shuffle the cards, and then try each problem. For any problems you have difficulty with, the page number on the card will let you know where to go in the book for help.”
-Dr. Sheckels, Professor of EducationStudying for a Test- Tests are stressful but the following website walks you through the process, from preparing to reviewing what happened after it’s over.
Tips for Better Test Taking – Study Guides and Strategies – tips are broken down into preparation, test taking, and review of the testing situation. Contains links to tips for taking different types of tests, such as true/false, multiple choice, short answer, etc.
Preparing to Write a Paper - Papers are another stress inducing part of college life. The following links provide information on how to break a paper down into manageable pieces, and how to cite your references.
“Whenever I take notes, I write in pencil (or erasable pen) and use a colored pencil to underline and circle important information and topics. It helps me study because not only are the colors pretty and happy, making the study time more enjoyable, but if I’m short on time all I need to do is glance at my notes to refresh my memory rather than try to skim page after page. Also, I’m a strong visual learner, so this really works for me.”
Writing Basics – Study Guides and Strategies – walks you through the four stages of writing a paper: preparation, drafting/writing, revising, and proofreading.
Elements of a Research Paper – Study Guides and Strategies – contains descriptions of, and tips on, writing the various parts of a research paper.
The OWL – Purdue University – an on-line writing center that is full of examples and information on writing. The OWL gives examples and answers writing-related questions.
APA Style Resources – a guide to u
sing the American Psychological Association’s style of citing references, with examples.
Simpson Library – University of Mary Washington – this site contains three things that are particularly useful when writing a paper. The “How do I?…” tab at the top of the page connects you to a list of frequently asked questions about research and the library, and their answers. The “Do Research” drop down menu on the right lets you choose the discipline you’re studying, then connects you to information about that discipline. This information includes databases, books in the library, websites, and in particular, class handouts that pertain to specific UMW courses.
Learning Styles - Before you get frustrated with your grades and study habits, take a minute to understand your learning style and how your study habits may not match the way you learn best. The following link includes an on-line learning styles inventory and tips on ways to study with your style.
“[These ideas] were really helpful. From some easy tips, like to use one big three-ring binder for all subjects instead of different notebooks, to more detailed ones, like introducing and keeping track of the daily and weekly assignments, quizzes, exams, grades, and having a reading list. It takes time to get used to, but helps in the long run to be more organized and have less ‘surprises’.”
– UMW Freshman
Learning Style Survey – Diablo Valley College – Information about what learning styles are and how that affects daily life. There’s a computer-scored inventory to take with descriptions of the different learning styles and information on the best study strategies for your learning style.