Practical Tips for Students

Below is a list of some ways students can become more effective learners.

  • Review the course material frequently. Set up a schedule in which you dedicate about 5-6 hours outside of class time for each of your courses each week for reviewing, doing homework, problem sets, or taking practice tests. If this sounds like a lot, keep in mind that for each credit hour you are earning, you should be devoting 2-3 hours a week of work outside the classroom to the material.
  • Review material from early in the semester as well as more recent material. Mix it up.
  • Test yourself. Take practice tests, online quizzes, look for supplemental materials associated with the textbook, or ask your professors for old quizzes and exams. Read here for a more detailed explanation of why this is a good idea.
  • Make sure you understand the material. Rote memorization or application of rules in the absence of understanding leads to poor performance. Schedule tutoring sessions or go to office hours if material is unclear. Frequent reviews and testing will help you assess your own mastery of the material.
  • Focus your attention when you are studying. Listening to music, checking email, texting, having the TV in the background all detract from your ability to learn. Attention is limited – if you don’t pay attention to what you are reading, you will not remember it.
  • Try writing your own questions for quizzes. If you have a study group, you can share the questions and create a test bank for reviewing.