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Learning Strategies

In this section, you will learn about:

  • Different study techniques
  • Different note taking techniques
  • Test taking skills
  • How to successfully manage your time

Important Contacts:

  • Office of Multicultural Student Life – Frieson Black Cultural Center (865-974-6861)
  • The Student Success Center – Greve 324 (865-974-8285)
  • The Writing Center – HSS 212 (Grammar Hotline: 865-974-2611)
  • Math Tutorial Center – Ayres G012 (865-974-4266)
  • Chemistry Tutorial Center – Buehler 513 (865-974-3413
  • Counseling Center – Student Health Building, 2nd Floor (865-974-2196)

Time Management

ssc-counselingTime management is one of the most important and most difficult skills to develop as a college student. However, with a little thought and planning, any student can master time to create a productive and effective schedule. As with many of the learning strategies discussed in this section, time management is all about you. Figuring out what works best for you is the first step in managing your time. Answer the questions below to help create a schedule that can maximize your time. There are many resources that can help you manage your time, including the ones listed below and campus resources such as SSC Academic Coaches. Remember, nothing replaces a scheduler/daily planner and a task list. These two essentials will help you achieve your academic goals and have more free time as well!

Time Management Questions

What steps do you currently take to manage your time?

Tip: a planner can help you map out your week and assignments and a to-do list will help you prioritize your tasks.

What steps do you take to avoid procrastination?

Tip: regardless of your learning style or personality, waiting until the last minute to begin a task is not ideal.

What aspects of your time management do you want to improve?

Tip: make a list of things that cause you to have difficulty managing your time and make a plan to deal with those challenges.

Time Management Resources

Time Management Tips

Note Taking

NoteTakeAs with study skills, taking notes in class is essential to success and can be tailored to fit your own learning style. Taking notes not only gives you something to refer back to later when you are studying, it also helps you stay engaged during class and solidify your understanding of the material. In other words, taking notes actually helps you learn and make meaning of course content. There are many different methods for note taking. Answer the below questions to determine how you can take the best notes, and be sure to see the resource links below. Remember, the best note takers develop a system that works both for his or her own learning style and that also fits the class content and material.

Note Taking Questions

What type of learner am I? Do I learn best by hearing, seeing, experiencing the material?

Tip: utilize note taking methods that fit your learning style. If you are a visual learner, draw diagrams. If you are a verbal learner, write short-hand notes.

Do I work better with or without technology? Should I take notes with pen and paper, or do I need a laptop or tablet?

Tip: reference your syllabus for policies on technology in the classroom.

Note Taking Resources

The Cornell Method

Parallel Note Taking

Mind Concept Mapping

Note Taking Apps

Maintaining Focus

Study Skills

SQ4RStudying is an essential step to achieving your academic goals, and there are many ways to study. The key to effective studying is to develop a study system tailored to you. Answer the questions below to determine how you study best, and make a study plan that fits your needs. Be sure to see the below links to study resources and locations. Most importantly, plan to study and stick to your plan.

 Study Skills Questions:

At what time of day am I most alert?

Tip: plan to study when you are most alert and to enjoy free time when you are least alert.

What things are most likely to distract me from studying? Am I likely to be pulled from my studies by my roommate, friends, online media?

Tip: make a plan to deal with distractions in advance.

In what type of location am I most likely to maintain focus?

Tip: plan to study where you are free from distractions.

Do I need a quiet space, or do I study better with background noise?

Tip: some students study better with music playing, while others need silence.

How do I study best? Do I need flash cards, group review sessions, notes from class?

Tip: different types of course content requires different types of studying. Choose a way to study that fits both you and the course content, and see below for additional resources.

Here are some awesome studying resources:

Basic Study Techniques

Want a cool place to study? How about:

Hodges Library

The Student Success Center

The Frieson Black Cultural Center

Residence Hall Open spaces

Open classrooms

Test Taking

5dayTaking notes and studying are the first steps to successful test taking. If you have been proactive throughout the semester, then you will find it much easier to prepare for your exams. There are many things to consider when preparing for tests, such as how to study for different types of tests and how to deal with test anxiety.  Answer the below questions to find out what kind of test taker you are, and see the below links for additional test taking resources.

Test Taking Questions

What type of test taker are you?

*Tip: think about former success in test taking and utilize those methods for upcoming tests.

What steps do you need to take to perform better on tests?

Tip: think about habits other than studying, such as sleeping, eating, etc.

Test Taking Resources

Test Taking Strategies

5 Day Exam Study Guide

Test Anxiety