Top Tips

  • Pre-Read

    Pre-reading course materials before class helps you understand which concepts will be covered in the upcoming class. Read through the lecture notes provided by your instructor (i.e., PowerPoint slides). Skim the appropriate chapter(s) in the textbook by looking at headings, key words, and visuals. The SQ5R method is a step-by-step process for reading textbooks effectively.

  • Take good notes

    Consider using a notetaking system like Cornell or Mind MappingTaking notes by hand helps you remember more of what was taught in class. Print the powerpoint presentation prior to class and add additional information as the teacher progresses through the lecture. Going digital? Check out our Digital Learner Guide for resources like our OneNote handout.

  • Study (review) everyday

    This can be a hard one to get used to, but it will reduce stress in the long run.  In College, there is simply too much material to cram into your brain the day before a test. Reviewing your notes on a daily basis helps transfer information from your short term to your long term memory. To find out more about how memory works, sign up for our workshop on Lifelong Learning! 

  • Don't leave things to the last minute

    Get started with any task by first breaking into smaller subtasks. Doing this makes an overwhelming task will be more manageable. Prioritize your tasks and schedule when you will complete into your planner. Figure out how and why you procrastinate - you can develop strategies for minimizing the amount of procrastination next time! 

  • Discover your learning style

    College life can be different from the previous classroom experience, and this provides a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and how you learn.  Use our quizzes to discover your learning style and explore your study skills.  Once you do the quizzes, read more about strategies that work best for your learning style.

  • Get organized

    Time Management

    Reflect on how you spend your time each week and examine how you manage your time through our quizzes. These will help you think about how you can use your time more effectively and efficiently.

    Planners

    Maintaining a school, work, life balance can help you stay focused and goal-oriented.  There are so many types of planners available, so it's important to do some research and find out which style works best for you.  Our printable day planner is a great tool to help you organize your time.

    Binders

    While day planners are great to keep your commitments organized, it's important to also think about keeping your notes organized. Organize all of your materials, either with binders or electronically (consider OneNote).  Try to have one binder per course and use dividers to separate units and topics. Using sticky notes for each task or a whiteboard with your to-do list is a great way to prioritize and arrange the tasks you need to do!

  • Create your study environment

    Getting started the right way can help you be successful in school and organizing your environment is key.  Try our study environment assessment and learn about the best times to study, spaces to use and noise awareness in our study environment resource.

FAQs

What should I do before class?

Before you go to class, read and review the material that will be taught that day. Realizing how your memory works are the first step needed to train your brain to retain a large amount of information. Make your textbook reading more effective by understanding the SQ5R method in reading.

How do I get the most out of classes?

The best way to get the most out of class it to actually go, but it is not good enough to just " show up". It is important that you participate by engaging in active listening strategies and learn how to take effective and efficient notes.

 What should I be doing after class?

After class, review your notes. Try using an active review strategy to help you retain more of what you learned in class that day. This is also a good time to catch up on your textbook readings.

 How do I get started on an assignment?

Get started with any task by first breaking into smaller subtasks. Doing this makes an overwhelming task will be more manageable.  Prioritize your tasks and schedule when you will complete each task into your planner. Learn how to manage procrastination and develop strategies that work for you.