How to study effectively

While there is no "one size fits all" approach to effective learning, there are several methods you can use to improve memory and long-term memory.


Remember: everyone has different study skills. What works for other students may not work for you.

Keep trying until you find the best way to learn.

If you are a student at the University of Victoria, we will help you reach your full potential by developing your confidence, academic ability and study skills. With our support, you will get the essential skills you need for university. Find out how you can access our Learning Center in person and online.

Here are some great tips to help you study effectively.

Students at Footscray Park Learning Commons

Learn how to study effectively with these 10 tips.

1. Get organized

Taking the time to get organized will prepare you and help you achieve your educational goals.

Best study tips:

Invest in a notepad and use it to keep track of due dates for current tasks.

Bring all the materials and equipment you need to attend class so you can participate. It may help to pack your bags the night before so you'll be ready to go first thing in the morning.


Find out how to study at VU

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Check out our study tips from the inside.

2. Don't skip class!

Skipping classes can harm your learning and the achievement of your educational goals. This leaves gaps in your comments and your knowledge of the subject.

The Block VU model is designed to give you more time to devote to work, social life, and other obligations.

You cannot juggle four subjects at once, but have to focus on one unit (subject) during a four-week 'block'. You will participate in 3 sessions of 3 hours per week. The rest of your time you can use to study, work, make friends - whatever is most important to you.

Remember to practice active listening by focusing on what the teacher is saying in class and taking notes as needed.

3. Take notes

To keep your brain active in class, make notes that you can refer back to later as you improve your study skills.

Notes help you store information in your long-term memory, right in the classroom. These notes are important to refer to when completing assessments and assignments.

You may find it easier to summarize your notes after class so that they are clear and easy to read. Underline or highlight key points. If there is something you don't understand, you can ask your teacher for clarification.

You can also create visual aids, such as flowcharts and mind maps, to help simplify the information. For some students, these visual aids can help them remember complex information and learn more effectively.

If you missed class, ask a classmate or classmate if you can look at their notes. This will ensure that there are no gaps in your notes.

4. Talk to the teacher and ask questions

In a way, your teacher is a resource to use!

VU block models allow you to focus on one topic at a time. Study in studio-style classes where you'll have the chance to get to know your teachers.

You can take advantage of this interactive learning environment by asking questions during or after class to get quick feedback.

The teacher can clarify any topic that you find confusing. You can even get an insight into the assignment before applying.

There is no doubt that your teachers will be impressed by your initiative and will be happy to help you.

Learn more about how the block model works and the benefits of small class sizes.

      Learning space VU City Tower

Improve your learning style by asking questions in class.

5. Determine the study time

One of the most effective ways to learn is to make room for study sessions.

If you spread out your study assignments over several days, you will retain the information more easily than if you cram it into one long lesson.

This can help anchor the information deeply so that you can retain it for the long term.

You will find that you get better results for this.

6. Create a study plan - and stick to it

Creating a schedule or plan is one of the most important study skills.

It is great for time management and can help you achieve your study goals.

The curriculum will be:

This will motivate you to study as you will make time to study

It keeps you organized around work, hobbies, and other commitments because you can plan ahead

Divide your research workload into manageable parts

This gives you time to complete tasks, making sure you don't rush them or do them at the last minute.

Are undergraduate studies very different from secondary studies?

The main difference between undergraduate studies and secondary studies is responsibility and autonomy.

High school teachers are likely to go to great work. When you're in college, the burden is more on your shoulders to get and pass your work.

During high school, there may be periods when studies are concentrated, such as free time or homework expected to be done after school or on weekends.

College gives you more freedom, allowing you to plan your day. You choose when to study independently, around commitments such as class, work, exercise, and any social event.

This is one of the main reasons why curricula are so useful. Learn more about how to create an effective curriculum.

Students find motivation to learn in their own learning space.

Find motivation to learn

Learn how to overcome procrastination to set learning goals.

7. Never read again, learn

When you read and re-read texts and notes, you are not learning. This is because you are not dealing with matter.

If you don't use active learning methods, you will have a hard time remembering class notes.

Instead of reading, try:

Create concept maps and diagrams

Explain the concepts to yourself step by stepby step

Craft questions that you can go back to and create a valid test for yourself

Become a mentor, study group mentor or partner and learn the course material by explaining concepts to them.

Students study at the Footscray Nicholson Campus.

Use active study techniques to really engage with your notes.

8. Set up a quiet place to study

It is important to have a study area that is free of distractions and allows you to study effectively.

When you enter the study area, you know you are here to study. This mindset will help improve your overall motivation to learn.

Choose a quiet, bright place to study with little traffic. For example, don't study at the dinner table because roommates or family members come in and out of the kitchen, distracting you!

If you don't have a suitable study space at home, try your local library or university. Libraries are inherently quiet, and many libraries have study areas. The University of Victoria has seven libraries on its campuses. Check the opening hours schedule to find a time that works for you.

You can also try out the student lounges and study spaces at the University of Victoria.

For many students, the biggest distraction is their cell phones. It can be helpful to put your phone on silent mode — or even turn it off — while you study.

You can also use apps like Freedom (link is external) or FocusMe (link is external) to block unwanted apps from your phone while you're trying to study.

9. Check yourself

Hiring someone to test you - or yourself - is a great exercise to remember. This study technique helps you store information in long-term memory and retrieve it easily when needed.

Memorizing answers to questions improves learning, as does writing them down - keep them in mind.

It can help to create flashcards each time you learn a new topic. Flash cards can include questions about them or prompts that lead to retrieving relevant information. Ask a parent, friend, roommate, or classmate to quiz you using flashcards. Creating them yourself will help you retain information better and is an effective study technique.

10. Find a study buddy or join a study group

One of the best ways to learn is to share experiences with others.

Finding a study buddy can be helpful - or even starting a study group with like-minded students.

Students/teams can:

keeps you motivated

Helps you stay accountable

Quizzes and tests for your course material

Read your business for advice

Sharing resources, such as textbooks, and cutting expenses.

Find out how finding a study partner or study group can improve your score and study more effectively.


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