Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | June 14, 2008

How to Study: Six-Step Study Summary


How to Study: Six-Step Study Summary


  1. Studying begins with an acceptance that learning is active.  It is not sufficient to simply sit in class, listen to the teacher and expect to learn.
  2. Good note-taking skills set you up for active learning.  Use the Cornell Method (or better yet, the Modified Cornell Method).  Desriptions of the Cornell Method can be found here: Note-taking 1, Note-taking 2, and Note-taking 3.  Take notes on what your teacher says in class, and also take notes on what you read in your textbook.
  3. Copy your notes over.  It takes time to do it, but the action of doing it counts as studying and helps you to learn the material.  See the link ‘How to Study’ under the section Study Tips in the column on the right.
  4. Review your notes regularly and frequently—not just when an exam is scheduled—using the Cornell Method (covering up the material on the right of your notes and using the cues on the left to recall them from memory).
  5. Question your notes—be curious—i.e., determine what are fact, opinion and inference.  Question how different pieces of your notes fit together.  This helps you to both remember and understand them.  Also, question your study procedure and your critical thinking skills.  Check to see if you are studying enough or missing anything.  Do this regularly.
  6. Complete your studying at least 24-hours before the exam.  Use the last 24-hours to relax and leisurely go over your notes.


***  *  ***


 Study Skills Checklist:


Links to Note Taking:


A great PPT presentation on the Cornell system is provide by the San Diego County Office of Education—





Good reading skills are a prerequisite to effective reading.  The best way to improve your reading skills is by reading challenging material.  The Weekly Read-Along, posted every Thurs/Fri on this blog, provides links to well-known historical essays.  Making a habit of reading those essays is a great way to increase the amount of reading you do.


Also, your ability to focus your attention and avoid distractions is critical to academic success. Read this post to learn more about concentration—


  1. […] by reading the postings in the ‘How to Study’ category in the column on the right, particularly and .  Also, be sure to […]

  2. […] by reading the postings in the ‘How to Study’ category in the column on the right, particularly and .  Also, be sure to […]

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