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Study Strategies

Reading Comprehension 

Being an active reading is reading a book with the intent of pulling something out of it. It's different than passively reading a text to experience it, like when you read a novel.  Here are a few ways to be an active reader:

Scanning. A technique where you quickly look at each paragraph in the chapter to see which paragraphs have the most important information. You can also start at the end of the chapter where the summary, definitions or review questions are. Pay attention to any bolder headings or vocabulary lists. 

Chunking. This means breaking the text down into smaller parts. A paragraph can be chunked into phrases and sentences, while a reading of several pages can be chunked into paragraphs or sections.

Reading to teach. Try to explain aloud what you have been studying, you’ll transfer the information from short-term to long-term memory, and quickly know what you understand and what you don’t.


  • Highlight as you read - Only highlight key information, over highlighting can be distracting.
  • Read out loud - This gives your brain another way to think and remember what you have read. 
  • Write in the margins - The physical action of writing helps your brain store the information.


Taking Notes in Class

Trying to listen, think, and write notes at the same time is difficult and can be a learning process in itself. So it can be helpful to cut down the amount of notes you take in lectures and do more listening:

When your instructor uses slides - these are usually available on Brightspace or in a handout. These will capture the main ideas which allow you to write down more specific details.

When your instructor gives a lecture - if you find it difficult to write notes and listen at the same time, consider asking your instructor ahead of time if you can record it to listen to later at your own pace. Committing to of course not post it anywhere



  • Listen for clues - Phrases like "We will be looking at…" "I am going to discuss five main aspects…"  "I want to emphasize…"  "To sum up…"
  • Identify keywords or phrases - Underline or circle those that seems to be really significant, repeated or that sums up the overall message?
  • Be an active listener - Connect what is being said to what you already know. Ask yourself, do I agree? How does it relate to what I already know? How did the instructor get to that conclusion?
  • Ask questions, if you are unsure of what is being said, ask. The more you understand the topic the easier it is to remember and make clearer notes.

What is your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style and using some simple tips could help provide ways for you to be a more successful student. 

Reading Resources

Dragon Dictation – iOS, Free

Just start talking into Dragon Dictation and it’ll convert everything for you digitally, which you can paste into other apps, send as an email message, or save it for later. – Computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Enter hard sentences (or whole chapters) into the yellow box at the top of the page. (You can also enter a website URL.) Click Rewordify text and you'll instantly see an easier version, for fast understanding.


Note-Taking Resources

Notion – Android/iOS/Web, Free

Take notes in class, organize research for assignments and have a to do list together in the same app to help keep you organized. 

OneNote – Android/iOS/Web, Free

OneNote is included in Windows365. You may already have it on your laptop. Organize your class notes into different OneNote notebooks and access them on your laptop, phone or another device. OneNote allows you to add notes in text boxes anywhere on the page and even change the background to look like a ruled notebook.