In the modern classroom, many students ask how to study effectively. They don’t want to waste time with ineffective methods. When you have to learn something new, it’s a great idea to look at the best way to learn the topic rapidly, with good retention. Capture the big picture and then drill your way down to the specifics.
When you know the concept and structure in your area of interest it can help you divide a large area of study into manageable chunks. Let’s take a look at how to study effectively by using some free printable study tools that can make your study time more productive. These in conjunction with some helpful study tips and techniques will help you take better notes, get better grades, and do better on tests.
1. Capture Information
When gathering information, it’s good to capture ideas, keywords and action steps in one area. To do this, I’ve created visual/keyword data acquisition sheets. These allow you to visualize ideas as well as capture keywords, ideas, and action steps. If you are in a lecture, webinar, or other general sessions, start with a general capture sheet like the one below.
Big Picture Worksheet
This sheet has a large visual area, with some fine cross hairs to visually capture ideas. You can use the whole area, or divide it into smaller chunks. As key ideas are presented, enter text or keywords on the side. There is a check box next to each where you can check off items as they are completed. Possible action steps go at the bottom. There are two different sheets in our free download. One has a blank box at the bottom for action items, the other has a ruled area. Print the one that suits you best.
This classic brainstorm wheel works well with a small group or in a meeting session. It’s simple to use. Write down your question/topic in the center circle, set a time period of one minute, and go around the room getting responses from everybody. Write down the responses on the end of the lines. This works well to develop key ideas for the Big Picture Worksheet above.
If you have a group, have one person as the moderator and writer so the ideas will flow unrestricted. Set a rule that there are no wrong answers. Sometimes the crazy ideas are what really work. If you are using it alone, set the timer for no more than two minutes and capture everything that comes to mind. There are no wrong answers at this stage.
2. Cornell Note Taking
For informational meetings or seminars, the Cornell method provides a systematic way to condense and organize notes. The Note Taking Worksheet is divided into two columns: the note-taking column (on the right) is twice the size of the questions/key word column (on the left). There is a space of five to seven lines, at the bottom of the page for your summary.
Notes from a lecture or class are written in the note-taking column consisting of the main ideas of the session. Extensive ideas are paraphrased. Create short sentences; symbols or abbreviations are used as shorthand. For future study, relevant questions or key words are written in the key word column. These notes can be taken from any source of information, such as applicable books, video, lectures, text books, etc. (These should be recorded as soon as possible so that they will be fresh in the student’s mind) [Read more…] about How To Study Effectively