SALMON: Study And Learning Materials ONline
Study Tips for Undergraduate Students

Study Tips for Undergraduate Students

This course can be difficult because the content includes a tremendous volume of information and most people find it hard to learn and remember so much during a single semester. Students who regularly come to lectures, and regularly study generally do well in this course. Here are some general study tips:

  • You should devote at least 6 hours per week (including lectures) on this module.
  • Remember what you learnt in your lectures on Learning about massed versus speced practice and

    Study Often. If you only have a total of 10 hours to devote to studying, then the more short study sessions you have the more you will learn and remember. Two 5-hour sessions is better than a single cram session, but ten 1-hour sessions would be even better. During shorter sessions you will be better able to focus your attention on the material, and you will be able to "consolidate" your memories between sessions, and "reactivate" those memories on subsequent sessions. The best strategy is to study a little bit every day.

  • Decide what is important. There is so much material to learn, you cannot learn it all. You need to select the important things. One guide is the lecture--focus on the material that is covered in lectures, and find the discussion of these topics in the textbook, and study these textbook sections very closely. Don't ignore the material never discussed in class, it will broaden your understanding of the subject and may help you write better exam answers, particularly in the second and third years of the course. In addition you are more likely to remember topics that interest you personally

  • Look at past papers in the Library for a guide to the style of question that is asked in examinations. Bear in mind that questions are selected from a pool of questions that is being constantly revised and updated, therefore you should not rely on simply learning the answers 'parrot-fashion'.

  • Study by producing answers. Exams require you to retrieve information from memory. That is the skill you should be practicing during studying. If you read your notes and textbook you will be storing information, but you will not be practicing the output process that will be necessary on a test. If you cover the labels on a diagram, and say the names of the labeled structures out loud, from memory, you will be practicing one of the skills that will be required of you on your exams. If you study with a partner or in a small group you can ask each other questions. This will help you practice producing answers.


  • These study tips are based on advice given by Michael Stoloff at James Madison University

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