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Study Strategies

Understanding your concepts. In your own words, being able to explain your topic to someone else by comparing and contrasting will help you to gain a deeper understanding of your subject.  This will allow you to be prepared for a class discussion or either a short answer or essay questioned test. 

Memorizing facts. Being able to recall certain facts or definitions combined with your understanding of a topic will allow you to refine your answer and give specific details on any type of question.  This useful when eliminating answers to multiple-choice questions. 

Study Smarter not Harder

Just as there are different learning styles, there are different study techniques. 

Review past tests. Your instructor's feedback on previous assignments will give you an opportunity to go over questions that were incorrect.

Create flashcards. Flashcards have been proven to be very effective in self-testing when memorizing and recalling information.  

Use mnemonics. Use keywords, songs, rhymes, images or acronyms to help remember and recall difficult information more easily.
For example, the word HOMES is used to remember the 5 Great Lakes, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior 

Study as a group. Brainstorming and quizzing each other. Take turns teaching a subject to the group will not only help you, but the group as well.

Don't wait until you have a test or exam. Instructors often give extra review assignments that won't be marked, they do this for your benefit. Technical courses such as math, chemistry, and physics, concepts builds on each other and these assignments allow you to practice the early concepts as you continue to learn new ones. 


  • Remove distracting items. Such as phones or TV, and close social media.
  • Have everything you need. Pencils, calculator, notepad, books.


Taking Tests

Multiply-Choice Tests

Cover the answers. Try to answer the question before looking at your choices. The choices can be distracting and make second guess yourself.

Be careful of absolute words. Words such as "always" and "never" are less likely to be correct.  Look instead for "Usually" or "probably." 

Short Answers or Essay Tests

What is the value mark. This will give you an idea of how much information they are looking for. 

What action is needed. Define, identify, describe, relate, demonstrate or evaluate. These words tell you what to do. 

Make an outline. Knowing how you want to tackle the question will help you stay focused and stay on track. 


  • Arrive/log on early. Set up everything and give yourself a minute to relax. 
  • Avoid making small mistakes. Take the time to read the instructions carefully.
  • Start with what you know and what is worth the most.  
  • Check your work. If time permits, make sure you have fully answered each question.
Printable Handout

Study Resources

When it comes to studying it's easy to get overwhelmed so here are a few apps and websites that will help.

GoConqr  Android/iOS/Web, Free

Access great learning resources like Mind Maps, Flashcards, Quizzes, Slides and Notes, or use the GoConqr app for social learning and connect and collaborate with friends, classmates and learners in Groups.

Cheg– Android/iOS/Web, Free

Take a photo of your question and get See step-by-step how to solve tough problems. You can also search through their library to find similar homework problems and solutions.

StudyStack app IconStudyStack – Android/iOS/Web, Free

Create flashcards and play the games that get automatically created from your cards, and finally quiz yourself to see if you have mastered the information. Share your flashcards with your class and you'll be the class hero.

Quizlet app iconQuizlet – Android/iOS/Web, Free

Makes simple learning tools that let you study anything. Start learning today with flashcards, games and learning tools. 


How to Excel in Online Learning I Student Guide to Digital Classrooms is a great website discussing how to avoid common mistakes as a new online student.