How to Create Study Guides

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
Study guides are tools that can help reduce the stress of a test. If you're covering a lot of material, it may seem intimidating to consolidate all of the information into one helpful guide. However, with a few tricks for sorting...
Table of contents

Study guides are tools that can help reduce the stress of a test. If you’re covering a lot of material, it may seem intimidating to consolidate all of the information into one helpful guide. However, with a few tricks for sorting information and finding a design that works for you, you can ace your next test and prepare for any exam in the future!

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Formatting Your Study Guide

  1. Step 1 Make the form match the function.
    There are many different types of study guides, each formatted to suit different subject types and learning styles. Whatever you're reviewing for, there's a study guide not only right for the subject but for your particular needs in learning that subject. Organize the information into the most user-friendly study guide you can.[1]
    • If you're a visual learner, consider using color-coded sections in your study guides or using idea mapping to draw out the information and make it more quickly-accessible.
    • If you've got a linear mind, organize the information chronologically, or alphabetically, so you can make learn one thing in a series, and then move on to the next.
    • If you need to connect to information emotionally to understand it, organize your notes into narrative form to study it better. Translate concepts from math into a story that you can connect to, then organize your study-guide like a short-story you can recite to remember the application of the formulas.
    • If you can memorize information quickly, use a format that will help you memorize efficiently, whether it be recording yourself reciting vocab words and definitions, then listening back on your iPod throughout the day, or by creating flash cards and testing yourself regularly.
  2. Step 2 Draw concept maps to connect main ideas and prioritize information.
    Concept maps involve writing each main idea into a separate box, which is connected according to their chronology or importance. Then, connect branches of associated information stemming from the main ideas.[2] This study guide method provides a good visual of how subject material fits together to make a whole concept.
    • An example of a concept map for a history chapter on space flight might involve "The Space Race" as the main heading, which would branch off into separate categories for The United States and the Soviet Union, with trailing data about specific missions, projects, successes, and failures.
    • A formal outline, as you're sometimes expected to write for an essay assignment, is an example of a concept map. If outlining works for you and organizes information in a way you find useful, outline the info to study. Formal outlines can make excellent study guides, but only if you find them easy to write out. If it would be stressful to make one, find another solution.
    • Diagrams of technical information can help to visually represent processes or procedures that take place by way of a series of defined steps. These start with a main concept and are organized from left to right in a way that highlights important key factors in the order in which they must happen.
    • Timelines are good for outlining a series of chronological events, most often used for subjects like history, politics, and biology.
    • When you're studying, it can be helpful to prioritize studying broad facts, formulas, and concepts, and the relationships between them. Then, it will be easier to remember things like historical dates, names, and other details.[3]
  3. Step 5 Write your own sample test to study.
    Writing up a practice test can be an excellent way to make you analyze the content you'll be tested over from two perspectives: if you think about what would be good to include on the test, you'll be thinking like the teacher, and if you can anticipate those questions, you'll be one step ahead. Try to find out if you'll be given a multiple choice test, fill-in-the-blank, or required to answer essay questions. Prepare accordingly by writing questions of the sort you'll be tested over.[6]
    • Use your study materials to help you write the questions. Try to think of it in terms of what an instructor might ask you, then write out the answer to those questions the way you would on your test.[7]
    • Many teachers will be willing to provide old versions of the test, if they're available, for you to use as a study guide. Textbooks will often include sample tests that are an excellent way of studying.[8] While it may seem extra-stressful to take the test more than once, it can be a great way of studying, and might even clue you into which questions will be on the test.
    • If you're studying with another student from your class, set aside some time for each of you to make up an exam. Then, trade the exams with each other and try to answer each other's questions. That way, you'll be more sure you haven't glossed over anything important.[9]
    • Reader Poll: We asked 154 wikiHow readers, and 67% of them agreed that the best way to prepare for a test is to take practice tests. [Take Poll]
  4. Advertisement
Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Choosing What to Study

  1. Step 1 Ask your teacher about what information the test will include.
    The first place to start studying is by talking to your instructor, professor, teacher, or TA, to direct your efforts and attention to the correct place. If it isn't a major part of class discussions, make sure you find out what information discussed, read, and covered throughout class this particular test will include.
    • Some courses are cumulative, meaning the information and skills in class accumulate over the course of the semester, while some courses wait to test over all the material until the final examination, testing instead over isolated topics or chapters. Make sure to ask your teacher about the specific content on the upcoming exam for which you're studying, and only study that information.[11]
    • When in doubt about what to study, emphasize studying new information or skills. While teachers' may delight in throwing an old question at you to test your memory, it's more likely you'll only be tested over the most recent chapters, lectures, and information. Most teachers don't want to trick you.
  2. Step 2 Go through your textbook and other reading materials.
    Depending on the class for which you're studying, the most important source of information is likely the textbook and the associated reading assignments for the class. Many textbooks will have already bolded or otherwise emphasized the most important main concepts, skills, and ideas for you to study, making them excellent resources for study guides.[12]
    • Re-read materials to isolate the main ideas to include in your study guide. When reviewing, it's probably not necessary to read every word of a particular chapter. Instead, scan for the main concepts to remind yourself and mark this information for inclusion on your study guide. This, in itself, makes for a good first step in reviewing for a test.
    • Look for chapter review or study questions to guide the content of your study guide. If a textbook lists possible questions or comprehension checks, copy them into your notes to include in your study guide. Even if the teacher doesn't base tests on the textbook, knowing the information extra thoroughly is an excellent way to review for the questions that might be asked.
  3. Step 5 Focus on the main concepts in each chapter and lecture.
    Identify the most important concepts in a particular section or chapter, and make sure you understand those at the cost of more specific, but less important information. Depending on the subject, some specific details like dates, formulas, or definitions may be important, but the skill or topic is more important.[15]
    • When reviewing for math or science, make sure to have necessary formulas memorized, if need be, but make applying those formulas the more important study-focus. Understand how to use the formula, and when to use it. The concept behind the formula is more important than the formula itself. This goes, as well, for physics, chemistry, or other science courses, in which it's helpful to create practical examples that apply the material to real-life situations.
    • When reviewing for English, make sure you know all the characters names in the book you'll be tested over, but focus more on the plot, the significance of the story, and other themes in the reading, rather than specific details. If you have to refer to "the main character's sister" in an essay test, because you forgot the name, it won't matter much if your essay is thoughtful and well-written otherwise.
    • When reviewing for History, it's common to spend a considerable amount of time memorizing key facts and vocabulary words, but it's also important to understand the themes of the period of history you're studying, and the reason those facts are important. Understand the relationship between all the names and dates, and you'll be in even better shape.
  4. Advertisement
Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Using Study Guides

  1. Step 4 Schedule your studying.
    Create your study guides as early as possible, and set aside enough time to study them before the test sneaks up on you. In the few weeks before the test, divide up your time for all the different subjects and sections of each subject you'll need to study, to make sure you've got enough time to spend on each individual area of information.[17] Don't cram everything in at the last minute.
    • If you struggle with stress anxiety and tend to panic before tests, it can be an especially good idea to get ahead of the game and set deadlines for particular chapters or topics. If you know that you've got to cover the first two chapters this week, before moving on to 3 and 4 the following week, it means you'll have a whole week to devote to that time, and you won't be able to stress about what's in 3 and 4 until later.
    • Put your studies in different compartments, and only focus on one at a time. Don't switch back and forth between five different subjects until you've studied for one and completed it.[18]
  2. Advertisement

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

Download Articles
Do you want to make your studying more efficient, learn more quickly, and remember more information? Check out these expert articles.
1 - Study For Exams
Study For Exams
2 - Study So You Can Remember Everything
Study So You Can Remember Everything
3 - Make a Study Space
Make a Study Space
4 - Create Good Study Habits for Exams
Create Good Study Habits for Exams
5 - Learn Without Forgetting
Learn Without Forgetting
6 - Retain Information when You Study for a Test
Retain Information when You Study for a Test
Download Articles

Total notes of this article: 0 in 0 rating

Click on stars to rate this article