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A List of Effective Study Habits

A List of Effective Study Habits

Author: Nikki Hansen

To provide a list of useful and effective study habits.

This basic packet consists of a list providing effective and useful study habits. There is also an image of a cornell notes template, for reference.

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Things to Think about

Follow Study Schedule (other than daily to do's or weekly schedule)

  • At what time will you study for each class?

  • When will you complete homework?

  • Are you using a tutor?

  • Is the time indicated?

Use the Cornell Method of Note-taking

Created by Walter Pauk, this system of taking lecture notes has been proved to improve academic success. There are three components to this method:

  • Cue: 1.5" on left side of paper to create recall questions

  • Notes: 6" on middle section to write notes from lecture

  • Summary: 2" on bottom to create a summary of what is learned on the page (put into your own words).


Get to know your instructors

  • Introduce yourself after the first class period

  • Stop by their office hours to confirm that you know the information

Pre-read your textbook before each class (this doesn't mean read thoroughly every night)

  • Read the objectives of chapter or topic covered in lecture the next day

  • Read introduction and summary

  • Read bold words and definitions

  • Analyze the graphs, diagrams, and pictures

Read about the topic covered in class in your textbook

  • Compare your notes to your text

  • Identify what is missing from your notes, or what is covered more in depth

Edit your notes every night after class

Rephrase complex ideas into your own words

  • Finish any statement or word you didn't finish in class

Write a summary of the notes in your own words (think concepts) at the bottom of the page. This will become a study guide for exams later on.

Review your lecture notes from each class every night

Right before bed, read your notes through. That will help the information find a place in your brain to settle.


Cornell Notes


Source: stingraytales

Tips for Effective Study Habits


Tips for Effective Study Habits 
Plan a schedule of balanced activities.
Using time to think and plan is time well-spent. 
Organize in a way that makes sense to you. If you need color and pictures, use a lot on 
your calendar, planning book, or To Do list. A good first step in planning is to determine 
which items are your highest priorities and schedule those first beginning with those at 
fixed times. Be sure to provide time for an appropriate balance of study, attention to 
personal needs, and social time. 
Plan enough time for studying to do justice to each subject.
Most courses will require 8 – 10 hours of study per week. If you are a slow reader or have other study 
hindrances, you may need to plan more time for studying. Of course, you may also 
find that some classes require less time. 
Provide time for study soon after class meetings.
One hour spent soon after class can do more to facilitate your understanding than
several hours spent a few days later. During that hour, review your notes, class handouts,
or your memory of the class while the class’ events are still fresh in your mind. Write a summary
of what you learned in the class, describe how it connects to the rest of the class material and 
the course objectives, begin practicing any new skills that you learned, and write 
down your reflections on that day’s class activities. Write down any questions that 
come up so that you can review them with your classmates or the instructor. If you 
received an assignment, start work on it while your memory of the assignment is still 
Limit your study time to no more than 2 hours on any one course at any one 
time. After 1½ to 2 hours of study you begin to tire and your ability to concentrate 
decreases rapidly. Taking a break and then switching to another course will provide 
the change necessary to keep up your efficiency. Do difficult work when your mind 
is freshest. 
Trade time—don't steal it.
When unexpected events arise that take up time you had planned to study,
decide immediately where you can find the time to make up the 
study missed and adjust your schedule for that week. Consider the three weekend 
evenings. Most students can afford no more than two of them for recreation, but may 
wish to use different evenings on different weeks. This “trading agreement” provides 
for committing one night to study, but rotating it as recreational possibilities vary.
Eliminate the urgent.
Urgent tasks have short-term consequences while important 
tasks are those with long-term, goal-related implications. Work towards reducing the 
urgent things you must do so you'll have time for your important priorities. Flagging 
or highlighting items on your To Do list or attaching a deadline to each item may 
help keep important items from becoming urgent emergencies.
Conquer Procrastination.
One technique to try is the "Swiss cheese" method 
described by Alan Lakein. When you are avoiding something, break it into smaller 
tasks and do just one of the smaller tasks or set a timer and work on the big task for 
just 15 minutes. By doing a little at a time, eventually you'll reach a point where 
you'll want to finish. 
Provide for spaced review.
Schedule a regular weekly period when you review the work in each of your courses
to be sure you are up to date. The review should cover briefly all the work done up to
that point in the semester. Make sure that you know when all upcoming assignments are
due and that you are on track to complete them on time.