NTK Study tips and resources

Saige Heyer

Making the transition between high school and college can be a difficult and stressful, especially when it comes to studying for your classes.

Not only are the staff at the Academic Success Center at the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center available to help students learn how to effectively study for exams or take notes, their website also has a variety of handouts available for students to print out for their own use. These can be found at dso.iastate.edu/asc/resources and include handouts for study skills, managing time, listening and note-taking, reading skills, writing skills, test taking, goal setting, health and stress, memory and math and sciences.

Here are some basic tips for making sure you make the most out of your studying.

Budget your time. Prioritizing the things you have to study and setting aside a certain amount of time to study for each class will make things go a lot smoother.

Find your preferred method of studying. Different people have different ways of studying. For some people, using notecards to review information such as terms, concepts and people works well. For others, writing down the notes in class and then typing them up at home works better. Try a few different ways to find out what works for you. Remember, if you’re having trouble finding your preferred method of studying, visit the Academic Success Center.

Get a tutor before it’s too late. If you’re struggling in a class and need help from someone who is familiar with a particular subject, consider getting a tutor. They will have knowledge on the topic and can help you figure out the best way to study.

Join a study group. This will help you connect with your fellow classmates as well as bounce ideas and information off each other. If there isn’t already a study group for that class, start your own.

Plan for plenty of time to study for a test. As much fun as it is to cram the night before a huge exam, it’s not a very effective way to study. Give your self plenty of time to read the text, take notes and review the notes.

Carry your notes with you at all times. If you do this, you’ll be able to get some studying done while waiting for or riding on the bus, while eating in the dining center or between classes. You can also study while waiting for appointments or your food at a restaurant.

Set smaller goals to finish bigger projects. If you have a project you’re working on, split it into smaller, simpler tasks and do them one by one rather than trying to do the entire project all at once. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time before it’s due to allow for mishaps. Murphy’s Law loves those that procrastinate.

Commit things to memory, don’t memorize them. Take the time to actually learn things and not just memorize them for the test. Just because you have something memorized, it doesn’t mean you will actually remember it when it comes time to take the test.

Take advantage of the TA for your class. If there is a TA, or Teaching Assistant, for your class, do get their contact information and don’t hesitate to get ahold of them if you need help with the class or assignments.

Request a study guide for the test. Most professors will provide a study guide a week or so before an exam. However, if your professor does not provide one, ask for one. Showing interest in preparing for an exam never hurts.