1. Be prepared
2. Find out what you already know
3. Utilize your textbook
4. Make a study guide
5. Study effectively
What is a study plan?
A study plan is a way of outlining study times and goals for learning and exams. This plan includes times set aside for studying, as well as all dates and times of quizzes, exams, papers and projects. It is also recommended to add any extra curriculars or work commitments. Study plans allow you to visualize how you're spending your time to ensure that you have ample time to learn and study.
Tips for creating a study plan
1. Analyze your current study habits and learning styles
It is important to understand the way that your brain retains information so that you are effectively using study time. Think about what works for you currently: Are you most productive in the morning or at night? Can you study for long blocks or do you get distracted after half an hour? Do you retain material better if you study right after class or do you need a break? Identifying your learning style, which will be discussed below, will help you find an effective studying method.
2. Learning styles
There are four well researched learning styles. Although within each of these categories there can be overlap in the way that you best learn, these four are a good place to start if you are unsure of your learning style. The four categories are:
1. Auditory: learn new material best through listening and speaking. Will benefit from listening to lectures and group discussions. Repetition can be a beneficial study technique. Additionally, auditory learners can benefit from the use of mnemonic devices (creating acronyms and phrases for important information such as "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally," or PEMDAS, for Parenthesis, Exponent, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.)
2. Visual: learn with the use of diagrams and drawing out concepts and charts, as well as using photographs. Visual learners would likely benefit from a study plan.
3. Read and write: learn best through words. You may take copious notes in class and enjoy reading class texts.
4. Kinesthetic: also known as hands-on learners, learn best by figuring out concepts by hand. For example, learning how a clock works by putting one together.