I have been sharing a lot about the strategies I used to raise my GPA and I realized that I hadn’t mentioned anything about the actual studying, which is why today I shall be sharing with you five simple steps that will help you create your study guide.
Before I get into it, however, I should mention a few things. Study guides will differ depending on your discipline.
Study guides that primarily involve the study, write and review method are wordy disciplines. If you are doing a math course, I shall save you the trouble of reading this and tell you right now that the only study guide that works for math courses is practice and lots of it.
Alright then, hoping that the rest are all doing theory-based courses, let’s continue.
Table of Contents
1. Organize your materials
The first thing you’ll need to do to create a study guide is to gather your materials. I shall give you a little story time of how I learned this the hard way. I still remember the class code, it was BUS4008, and I ended up tanking the finals. Not because I hadn’t studied, but because I didn’t take the time to gather all the materials. Don’t be like me.
When I say gather your materials, I mean, whatever your reading book is. If you were given additional reading materials that your professor said will also be tested, then add those to the list as well.
A good rule of thumb is to have a list of all the materials you have been using for the class. Check them off as you take them into your study inventory list and keep the list available for when you get to the study & write step.
2. Create a schedule
Okay, here is a secret to college, you read all the time.
I know I’ve just lost half of you at that truth, and that’s okay because the half who are still with me know I’m saying the truth, and they will ace their course because of it.
In college there is nothing like studying for exams only, there are quizzes that can be random or announced, and there are reading assignments and writing assignments. Reading is therefore continuous.
Okay, with that out of the way, you will need to create a schedule or timetable for when you’ll be reading in preparation for the exam.
Keep in mind that this will have to take all your other activities into account like your actual classes, your commute, cooing, and chores. This is why you shouldn’t save studying for the last stretch.
3. Study & Write
This is the actual study guide. You will need several sheets of paper and the same pen along with some highlighters or different color pens.
I typically use different color pens but if highlighters are more your speed then do you, boo.
The way to create the actual study guide is by first understanding what it is, it is a sheet of paper or several sheets of paper with condensed information.
The way I do it is that I divide the A4 sheet of paper in half and write the information in a compressed, summarized way in there.
I use different color pens for chapter headings, topic headings and subheadings, and the body of the work. This will make it easier for you in the last stage of creating a study guide.
4. End each chapter with possible questions
Here is one tip I learned towards the end of my undergrad. You need to end each chapter with possible questions.
Where will you get these questions from?
Good question. Thank you for asking that. You will get them from your course text. You will also get them from past papers if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some. I wrote a post on the magical abilities of college course advisers, they help with finding past papers and stuff. You can also get them from the chapter learning objectives
5. Review & Practice
Although this isn’t the most important step, it is the one that counts because if you don’t review the material and practice answering the questions, then it’ll all have been for nothing. The best time to start studying for your midterms or finals is two weeks before.
Take the first week to create your study guides and the second to memorize and understand the material. Come exam day, all the material will be at your fingertips.
And there you have. be sure to take advantage of these things right off the jump, and you will always have an easy time navigating our college exams.