Pathfinder: Study Techniques

Tried and True Techniques


  1. Study in the same place all the time. This gets your mind set for studying. Your body gets accustomed to certain things in certain places.
  2. Avoid, or at least minimize, distractions. Never study with the TV on. Isolate yourself. Put the answering machine on; put a sign on your door. Your study time is just that, study time!
  3. Have everything you need in your study area: paper, pencils, erasers, pens, notebooks, books, etc. Continually getting up to get things will break your concentration.
  4. Get to work right away- just do it! Take a few minutes to plan your study time, review what you want to accomplish and get to it.
  5. Don’t study longer than you can concentrate. Study 25-30 minutes than take a short 5 minute break. A short break does wonders for the concentration. Stand up, stretch, and get a glass of water.
  6. Set definite goals and schedule enough study time to meet them. Write your study time into your daily/weekly schedule.
  7. Be comfortable physically. Make sure the temperature in not too hot or too cold and that the lighting is right for you.
  8. Study during a time that matches your biological clock. Some of us are morning people and others are evening people. Know your peak energy time (the time when you are at your best) and study during that time.
  9. Try to study at school, between classes or before you go home. Choose places like the library, study lounge, or lab. Utilize tutoring services and study groups.
  10. Spend 5 minutes every day to review class notes, do weekly reviews of each subject.
  11. Repeat what you are learning at least 3 times in 3 different ways – read it, write it, say it out loud.


Get To Know Your Instructors

Your instructors are a very valuable resource. Most instructors did not choose their profession for the money they can earn. They chose it because they enjoy seeing their students grow and learn. If they see you interested in learning, your instructors will go the extra mile to ensure your success. Here are some questions you can ask your instructors:

  1. How do I really learn about this subject and not just memorize?
  2. I’m having trouble understanding … could you please explain it to me?
  3. I’d like to learn more about this subject . . . any suggestions?
  4. What can I do for extra credit?
  5. How do you suggest I study for this test?
  6. I want to do well in your class. Please let me know the areas I need to work on to improve.
  7. When would be the best time to meet with you outside of class?


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