Brandywine Learning - Study Tips

Brandywine Learning - Study Tips

College is hard work, but you don’t have to struggle alone. Brandywine Learning can help. Start by making an appointment. Our tutors are able to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your assignment, assist you with understanding your course material, or help you understand how best to study.

Time Management and Organization

  • Keep your syllabus
    • The syllabus contains the instructor’s contact information, classroom expectations, assignments, due dates, and more. Referring back to your syllabus can help you stay organized and ahead of every assignment. You can also use your syllabus as a checklist to cross off assignments once completed. In this regard, the syllabus can serve as a tool to track your progress. 
  • Keep track of all due dates
    • The best way to keep track of due dates is to write down important assignments in an agenda book or in a calendar. However, you may find that using the calendar app on your phone or laptop is more convenient. Google Calendar is a great option to electronically manage your academic ‘To Do List,’ but it is also a useful tool for managing personal commitments. You may find it easier to use one tool to manage your schedule and upcoming events, rather than tracking your commitments in various places.  
  • Check your email
    • Check your school email at least once per day to stay up-to-date on all of your messages. Professors occasionally send updates via email to inform students of new or modified assignments and of class cancellations. 
    • Keep your inbox clean and organized. Get rid of junk mail and clutter. You may also find it helpful to create folders to file away important messages for future reference.

Note-Taking

  • Take notes
    • Take class notes on either a laptop, tablet or in a paper notebook. Recording important points discussed in class will help you to retain the material.
    • Sometimes instructors use PowerPoint presentations as a teaching aid. To better connect with these presentations, annotate the PowerPoint. Before you print, choose the function that allows you to print three slides per page. Use the blank lines on the right side of the slides to record additional notes. 
    • Save all of your notes until the end of the semester to help you create a comprehensive study guide in preparation for the final exam.
  • Review your notes each night
    • Take ten minutes each day to review notes. This will help reinforce information that is taught in class.
    • Take time to rewrite your notes for classes that are particularly challenging. This may help you to retain what you’ve learned. 
  • Do the readings
    • The readings may provide in-depth information about topics discussed in class. In fact, if you complete the readings, you should be better prepared to participate during class discussions. Class participation has its advantages as some professors incorporate participation in their grading methodology. This could mean the difference between a passing grade and a very good grade. 

Studying

  • Studying
    • When studying the material, compare your annotations, class notes, and reading notes.  
    • Determine what environment works best for you when studying. Do you like to study in a quiet location, or do you prefer a space with more activity? Some students need complete silence to focus, while others thrive with background noise. Find a location that works best for you and your studying needs. 
    • Listening to music may help or it could prove to be a distraction. If you do choose to listen to music while studying, stick with calmer music without lyrics, such as instrumentals, classical, and meditation music.
  • Use online resources
    • There are many resources available to help students in a variety of subjects. 
      • If you are having difficulty understanding a topic, see if there are any online demonstration videos since it is often easier to understand concepts visually. 
      • If you are struggling to read through large texts, check if someone has posted an audio version of that text. If you are more of an auditory learner, then it would help to listen while you read. 
      • Create digital notecards to help you master key vocabulary for a course.  You can also share the digital notecards with friends, or review them whenever you have a few spare minutes. Some of the sites can also create quizzes or games based on the vocabulary words that you insert. 
  • Create a study guide
    • Some instructors provide a list of topics that will be on upcoming exams. It is important to take note of these topics and create a study guide based on that information, pulling details from class lectures and textbook notes. If no study guide is given, work with some of your classmates or a tutor to create your own.
  • Participate in a study group
    • If you work well in groups, consider forming a study group for larger exams. This will allow you to collaborate with your classmates and review information before a test, quiz, or exam.

Studying for Exams: Determine the information that will be included on the exam. Keep in mind that most instructors organize exams by chapters. 

  • For open-book exams review your notes and highlight/underline/star key concepts and words that will be included on the exam. You could create a separate document with a list or outline of all of those topics. Place the information in a logical order, perhaps the order in which it appears in the textbook. The more detailed your outline is, the better it will help you on the exam. When taking the open-book exam, refer to that separate list of concepts.
  • For math exams look through all of your notes and worksheets. Practice extra problems found in the textbook. Make sure to do the practice exams, too.  
  • For essay exams create a list of topics and/or vocabulary words. Do the work beforehand and write out all the answers to your topics in essay form. Next, turn the essay responses into a bulleted list. Essentially, you are creating a small outline of your essay. Memorize that bulleted list and then practice delivering the answers either by writing them down or reciting them verbally.
  • For multiple choice exams read through your notes and highlight keywords and concepts. Create notecards, either on index cards or through on online site, on the information. Become familiar with both sides of the cards, which includes the terms and the definitions.