To create a successful study guide for yourself, you need to:
- Format your study guide to your style
- Find out what information the tests include
- Go through your study materials
- Gather and translate notes
- Seek out additional definitions, explanations and resources
- Highlight difficult information to return to
- Create a study schedule
Study Guides are one of the best ways to help prepare for your tests. It is your personal study tool that includes a collection of notes from your subject, customised to fit your learning style.
The purpose of your study guide is to not only help you gain a better understanding of your work, but greater results too.
There are many different study guides, each suited to different types of learning styles.
You need to pick a format best suited to you in order to make the most out of your study guide.
Taking into account which type of learner you are can be extremely helpful when creating your study guide. This way you will be able to determine if you should include loads of visuals, examples or perhaps make an audio study guide.
You can include the following throughout your study guide to help you:
Speak to your lecturers, or take a look at past papers to find out what information the tests usually include.
This way you can save time and effort studying unnecessary information and focus on things that are more important.
Usually tests focus more on the most recent chapters studied. However, this does not mean the other chapters won’t be included.
The most important source of information for your subjects is your prescribed books and textbooks.
Oftentimes textbooks outline the most important topics or concepts to study, which makes them a great tool when creating your study guides.
Make sure after you have read a chapter in your textbook that you scan for main ideas to include in your study guide.
Gather class notes, or find summarised notes online to include in your study guide. Most times, these notes can be more helpful than the actual textbook.
Read over the notes and highlight important sections and main ideas. Add the highlighted sections to your study guide.
This will save you tons of study time!
Additional Definitions, Explanations and Resources
If you do not understand something completely, additional research can be extremely helpful.
Keep an eye out for some past papers, notes or study guides.
If you are having trouble remembering certain parts of the work, highlight it in a specific colour or make a note to return back to that section.
When you do your test revision, you will be able to easily locate sections you struggle with. This way you will know which parts to focus more on when revising.
Create your study guide as early as possible so that you have enough time to study it before your test.
Set time aside each week for specific chapters in your subjects that you will study on the allocated day. Prioritise subjects that will be written first.
This is to make sure that you have enough time to study everything without falling behind.
Tips when Creating a Study Guide
Here are some tips and things to include in your study guide to help you throughout your studies.
Include a Table of Contents
Make studying simple and topics easy to find by including a table of contents at the beginning of your study guide or before each chapter.
You can do this by adding a list stating where to find each section in your guide.
Also, use bigger headings for different sections, or add bulleted lists to find what you are looking for quicker.
Make a Vocabulary Section
Tests usually have questions where you need to write a definition for a term, answer if the definition is correct, or pick the correct definition.
Therefore it is important to know key terms and definitions. At the beginning or end of each chapter list these so that you can include them in your studies.
Oftentimes, these are highlighted in each chapter of your textbook.
Handwrite your Study Guide
Although writing your study guide by hand takes longer than typing it, it usually forces you to actually think about what you are writing.
As a result, this helps you absorb the information you need to study while creating your guide.
Use your Own Words
Do not just write the information down word for word. Try and put it into your own words.
Writing in your own words will help you to take in the information a lot better and ensure that you understand what you are writing.
Add Some Visuals
Visuals are proven to help students remember information better.
Include diagrams, tables, pictures and drawings wherever you can. This will help you to visualise what you are writing and make it easier to learn and understand.
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Author: Kayla Preston
Last Updated: 04 January 2021