Home » slc » Study Strategies

Study Smart, Not Hard

The Study Cycle

Consider the process of studying for class as ongoing. Approaching it this way helps you avoid study marathons and allows you to review content in shorter, more frequent sessions.

Spend two to three hours studying outside of class for every hour in class. Listen to the lectures and read the texts, but balance those activities by finding ways to write, speak about, and graph or draw the content you are learning.

  1. Prepare for Success: Study when and where you are most alert and plan your time.
  2. Preview, Read, Recall: Identify relevant text or notes; scan chapter headings, keywords and diagrams; read chapter intro and summary; and formulate questions you want to answer. Read actively, find answers to your questions, take notes during lectures, and synthesize lecture and reading material. Talk with your professor, TA, or other students and consult your textbooks to fill in gaps and correct misunderstandings; put the main ideas of lectures and readings into your own words.
  3. Self-Test: Create possible test questions, keeping in mind different levels of learning. Do practice problems and apply your knowledge to real-world solutions. Trade and discuss your questions with a partner or a group.
  4. Test: Arrive early with all necessary materials, use appropriate test-taking strategies, and analyze returned tests.

Featured Video

Watch a video created by a Digital Arts & Media Bridging Disciplines student illustrating the study cycle.