Do you start studying for most exams one or two nights before the test? Do you complete most of your homework problems the night before they are due? Do you put off going over lecture notes until you begin preparing for an exam? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you are not using effective study techniques and are therefore not getting the most out of your classes. You are not alone. Most university students do not study in a manner that results in meaningful, long-term learning of concepts and development of problem-solving skills. The good news, however, is that these strategies are simple to learn and generally result in an immediate improvement in your learning and your course grades.
These study strategies involve getting the most out of your lectures, your homework assignments, and your tests and quizzes, as well as your professor and fellow students. In order to achieve a high level of success in science courses, you will need to implement a variety of learning strategies. Some of these are listed below.
If you use these strategies regularly, you will find that your studying will be more efficient and you will achieve success in all of your courses, including the ones in science. Students who use these strategies faithfully can experience a dramatic increase in their GPAs.
The keys to making any improvement strategies work for you, however, is to start using them and then to use them consistently. So, it is imperative that you begin implementing these study strategies immediately. Begin right now by prereading the material for your next lecture, or by calling friends to set up a study group, or by visiting your professor during her or his next office hours, or by resisting the temptation to use the sample problems to do your homework. The important thing is that you begin now, and watch your performance skyrocket.
Longman, D. and Atkinson, R., Study Methods and Reading Techniques (Wadsworth Publishing Co., Belmont, CA, ed. 2, 1999).
Ellis, D. B., Becoming a Master Student (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, ed. 9, 1999).