The Best Study Tips for any Course: For Students

I was always a good student in school, and now I'm a teacher. Here are study skills to get good grades in school, and advise my students to do as well.

Show up for class.
Of all study tips this is most important. It is easier to study when you know what the professor has taught each day!

Listen and take notes in class.
If you use tutoring programs they can help you go through your notes. You need to pay close attention to what is said to know what is important to study. Also, you need notes in order to have something to study later. This is easier than trying to study the whole textbook.

Ask your teachers questions if you don't understand something.
You need to have the right answers to study. Tutoring programs will help you learn content. But only your teacher can give you insight into her expectations.

Use study tips for your learning style
Provided you follow those 3 prerequisite study tips, you should have the information you need to study. Decide what type of learner you are. Good tutoring programs help you figure this out and capitalize on it. Do you learn better by listening, writing, reading, or moving around? Are you very musical, social, or quiet? Narrow this list to a few possibilities, since most learn through more than one modality.
  • If you learn best by listening, tutoring programs would suggest that you read your notes aloud or get your books on tape.
  • If you learn best by reading, read your notes over.
  • To learn by writing, underline parts of your book (assuming you own it!) and write your thoughts in the margins. If you don't own the book, make photocopies to annotate. Or, stick Post Its in the pages.
  • If you're energetic, you read aloud while walking around, or listen to books/lectures on tape while you clean. This might sound contrary to many study tips that say you need to be still to focus. But for some it works!
  • If you're musical, make up chants to go with lists of notes you need to memorize.
  • If you're a social person, join or organize a study group. Just make sure the sessions are really focused on studying.
  • Alternatively, if you're a quiet person, study somewhere alone.
Try one or more of these study tips. If they don't work, try others. If you're still struggling, repeat step 3 and ask more questions, because you might be misunderstanding the material. Look into tutoring programs for personalized help. If you'd like more ideas on how to study, I've included resource links on this page. Good luck and try your best!

Final Thoughts:
Do NOT watch TV when you study. Instrumental music is fine for some people because they can read their notes with background noise. But you can't see your notes and the TV at the same time, plus the conversations only interrupt the words on your page. It's distracting.

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