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The Study Cycle

The Study Cycle is a guide to help you build effective studying into your everyday life. Each step builds on the previous one and distributes your learning throughout the semester, making it much more effective than cramming before an exam to study

Preview Open book icon

You're developing the bigger picture by diving into the smaller details. Preview your text and other study materials before class to see what you'll be covering. Skim through the chapter, noting all headings, subheadings, bold words, graphs, pictures and summaries.

  1. Skim the chapter
  2. Look over key terms
  3. Think of questions to ask in class

Attend Business lecture icon

Missing even a few classes can be detrimental to your studies and the learning. Combined with previewing, attending class will allow you to get more from lectures and take better, more concise notes.

  1. Focus in class
  2. Ask questions
  3. Answer questions

Review Glasses icon

Preferably right after class, but at least sometime during the day, take about 10-15 minutes to review your lecture notes. This will transfer the material you learned during class from your short-term to your long-term memory. It also reinforces new concepts and increases confidence.

  1. Review notes
  2. Recall what happened during class time
  3. Explain covered material to yourself

Study Notebook icon

To reinforce new material you learned in class, and to make sure you thoroughly understand the subject matter being taught, take about 30-50 minutes to review your notes, read your text book, work problems, make concept maps, or study with a group. Ask yourself 'how', 'why' and 'what if' questions. Don't forget, repetition is the key. You should schedule multiple study sessions a week to solidify your understanding and avoid cramming. 

  1. Repeat, repeat, repeat 
  2. Study for 30-50 minutes in intervals/sprints to remain focused
  3. Reread notes

Assess Lightbulb icon.

Reflect and evaluate your understanding of the material you learned and are actively studying. Is the information making sense? Are you confident with the new material Do you understand the material well enough that I can teach it to someone else? Assessing your studying from time to time is an essential aspect of learning. If you find you need additional support in mastering key concepts, attend SI sessions (if offered) or meet with an ALTC peer tutor. 

  1. Perform reality checks
  2. Assess study methods
  3. Self-evaluate