Study Skills

December 27, 2021


Emma Perlstein

Volunteer Manager

As a student, you may feel blindsided by test dates, final exams, and quizzes, wondering when the material will start to make sense, when the study guides will actually help. You find yourself lost in a world of Photomath and Quizlet, ending more confused than when you first started. This prompts the infamous question, “What should I do to study correctly?”

Sadly, there is no right answer to this question; there is no “correct” way to study. Every student is different – some learn best from review sheets and videos, whereas others must reread textbooks and handwrite vocab. Truly, it all depends on what works for you. That leads to the question, “What study skills will work for me?”

Yet again, there is no right answer to this question. Knowing what skills work for you is simply based on trial and error. Learning how to study “correctly” takes time, and it’s important to understand that some methods will work while others won't. Therefore, it’s your job to execute those working methods… to plot out time before your next assessment to test what you know and don’t know.

That highlights the first study skill: time management. Allotting time for studying is very important. Cater the amount of time to the gravity of the assessment – a less important assessment should mean less studying. Whether you sit down for 20 minutes each day for a week leading up to a test or sit down for one hour for 3 days, you need to have time to review information. This time, also, should be broken up. Your brain retains information better in chunks, instead of all at one time, and, as you review in sections, the information builds (study one section one day, study another section and review the first section the next day, and so on).

After you set aside time for studying, there are plenty of ways to actually study. Thanks to the internet, there are hundreds of resources at your disposal. First, if you find yourself retaining information better after a lecture or need vocal explanation, teachers and tutors tend to upload YouTube videos on a wide variety of topics. Also, websites like Khan Academy and Fiveable are super helpful, with videos, study guides, and topic breakdowns. Next, if you’re like me and need topics written down, make your own study guide. Begin by filtering all the information that you know about the unit, then, go back into your notes or textbook to fill in the missing information; this tells you what you should focus on most when later reviewing. Additionally, if you need the information written out in detail, there’s no shame in textbook reviewing. Take out some sticky notes, a note card, and a pen and start marking the book up. Decipher what information is important, what information you don’t understand, and connect the textbook to your notes, inserting facts and definitions in the process. A textbook can be extremely helpful if used resourcefully. Lastly, roleplay is a great study method. Sit down with your parents, siblings, friends, and pretend to be the teacher. Teach the information, explain it in detail, and truly test if you know what you are talking about. Through this method, you get a true grasp of the information.

Of the methods mentioned above, one is not better or more efficient than the other. Apply one method or all the methods, as long as you can retain the information. Like I said, it all comes down to what works for you. If you find yourself digesting textbooks and watching countless YouTube videos to review or participating in a study group and teaching the information back, that all is great. When you find the method and strategies that work, studying becomes easier, like clockwork; you’ll understand what you need to succeed.

As always, if you have any questions or ideas, email us at