Effective Strategies to Improve your Study Skills

Excelling at your academic year takes a lot of dedication. You have to put aside a lot of time and energy to make sure that you achieve your academic goals. A lot of this time will be put towards studying the work so that you can perform well in all the tests and assignments you are given.

It’s important that your study skills are effective enough to help you understand the work that you are taught. These strategies will help you improve your current study methods and ensure your academic success.


Essential Study Tips:
  • Ask your teacher what is important to remember.
  • If you don’t understand the question, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Examine your class notes – underline any important information.
  • Read textbook assignments – take notes on important information
  • Study handouts – mark important information.

Add these strategies:

Visualize – form a picture in your mind that will include all the important parts. The more striking the picture, the better. You can also try putting it in a story that’s memorable to you.

Associate – remember how things go together (smaller groupings are easier to remember)

Apply – remember the information by using it in some way

Repeat – read the item, then say it, then write it down. Repeat the process several times.

Use mnemonic devices:

  • Rhyme – form a mental picture of the rhyme
  • Acronym/Abbreviation – form a word from the first letters of items
  • Acronymic phrase – phrase formed by words beginning with first letter of items (eg., Very Active Cat – for blood vessels: veins, arteries, capillaries)
Review your work:

Reread – weekly (reread materials you need to remember)

Recite – immediately recite information out loud

Rewrite – then write information in concise form (using key words and phrases)


Study Strategies for Tests/Exams

  • Determine what material the test will cover.
  • Ask your teacher what types of questions the test will include.
  • Manage your preparation time and begin 5 days in advance.
  • Organize all of your information – use flashcards, summary sheets, outlines, etc.
  • Study the big idea, identify supporting details, look for relationships and applications of the information.
  • Review your text, notes, handouts, etc. at least 3 times before the test.
  • Develop your own test questions and answer them.
  • Review old tests or exams.
  • Recite information out loud to test yourself on what you do not know and then review that material again.
  • Write down any information on the back of the test that you are afraid that you might forget.
  • Preview the entire test before you start and determine how much time you will need for each section.
  • Circle or underline directional words and make sure you answer all parts of the question.


Determine which areas of your study skills need improvement
by filling in the following checklist:

Study Skills Checklist