Making the perfect study guide is the key to being successful in college. I have tried many different tricks over the years discovering what kind of learner I am and what sort of study techniques are best for me. Now, I am getting ready to pass this knowledge on to you. Get your pen and paper ready, you’re going to want to take notes!
1. Gather The Information
Starting with the obvious, attend class! You are going to learn more by actually being in the classroom than reading out of a textbook. Sometimes there is material covered in class that doesn’t even appear in the book, so don’t skip out on any classes! I suggest recording the lecture if you can. By doing this, you can go back and listen to find information to ensure more concrete notes later. Put all of the information you have together into a handwritten study guide (writing it helps your memory).
2. Group Up
The saying “two heads are better than one” is completely true. Five is even better. Gather up a group of people in your class, but be wise to who you select. The most valuable students are the ones who sit in the front, participates in discussion, and arrive early; all traits of successful students and smart planners. You can either share notes, or divide up the class material between each person so each person is creating a section of the study guide. Asking one person to solely focus on a specific section means they can put in more effort to detail and the facts. Set a timeline for completion and piece together what everyone’s created to create the ultimate study guide. Be sure to share the information in a timely manner so that everyone has enough time to study. Then get together after the study guide has been created to review it, share notes, and quiz each other. This was by far the best study guide creating method I’ve ever learned.
3. Details, Details, Details
Go through your lecture or discussion notes and look for specific things that can be expanded upon in your study guide, such as vocabulary word definitions, theories, life examples, and anything that was mentioned more than once during lecture. Make your study guide as concrete as possible so that nothing is missed when you’re studying! The point of the study guide is to solidify everything you have on the topic so that you only need this guide to ace your exam, making it easier to study anywhere!
Once you think you have mastered something from your study guide, explain it aloud without the assistance of your study guide. Try teaching the material to someone to see if you really do understand the topic. If you’re struggling, study more on that topic.
Now you know the ways to prepare a study guide and the details to look for in your notes. As long as your study guide is solid and you spend enough time reviewing the material, you should do just fine!