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The 5 Types of Studying
By Dennis Congos, University of Central Florida
This is a great resource for a handout to help students understand that studying involves more than rereading, and rereading, and rereading.
Many learners don't realize that there are 5 Types of Studying needed for academic success. As a result, many learners are not able to use their full potential to learn and earn higher grades. Using the 5 types has the advantage of keeping studying time to a minimum to earn whatever grades for which one chooses to work. The 5 Types of Studying are most effective when used regularly from the day of the 1st assignment or lecture in each class.
If lack of knowledge about the subject matter has held your test and final course grades down, maybe it's because you haven't been using All 5 Types of Studying in your learning.
Type #1. Studying to Gather Information.
The purpose is to formulate a complete and accurate set of textbook
and lecture notes. This requires a means to determine if notes are
complete and accurate. Some ways to do this are:
b. Organize, condense, and record information in a format that promotes learning such as using notecards, the Cornell System, or outlines. Many other formats inhibit learning.
c. Verify the completeness and accuracy of your notes. Simply thinking, assuming, feeling, or believing notes are complete and accurate doesn't make them so.
Too many students erroneously believe that they learn from lectures and textbooks. In reality, it is what is done with the information from lectures and textbooks that results in learning.
Type #2. Studying to Learn Information.
The purpose is to move information from short-term memory into long-term memory. This requires a means for repeated recitation of material to be learned. Some ways to do this are:
a. Make times in your schedule to do repeated recitations of your lecture and textbook notes.
b. Make a notecard with the details on one side and the main idea on the other.
c. Look at a main idea with the details hidden from view and recite aloud, as if lecturing a class, all the details you can remember, without looking.
e. Then, look at the details to check for accuracy and completeness of your recall.
f. If you recited completely and accurately on the 1st try, put that card in the "I know this" pile or mark that material as learned and review this material 2 or 3 times per week to prevent the normal process of forgetting.
g. If your recitation was incorrect or incomplete, read the details aloud to yourself until you "think" you can recite the details correctly from memory and then repeat steps c - g. Once you can recite the details completely and accurately from memory, place that card in the "not yet learned" pile and move on to the next notecard or mark the material as "not yet learned" and move on to the next idea.
h. Recite material in the "not yet learned" pile, at least, every other day until details can be recalled completely and accurately on the 1st try that day.
How many total recitations are needed to learn information varies with each learner. Some may need 3-4 times while others need 6-10. This is normal and has no correlation with intelligence.
Type #3. Studying to Check for Learning.
The purpose is to identify what has and has not yet been learned before a test is taken when something can still be done about it. This requires a means for self-testing. One way to do self-test is to recite 2 to 3 times weekly on your own or in a studying group. Go over material you "believe" has been learned as follows:
a. Look only at a main point and hide the details. This is easy with notecards.
b. Recite aloud the relevant details without looking, as if lecturing a class.
c. Look at the details to check for accuracy and completeness of the recitation.
d. If all the details are recited correctly on the 1st try, you know immediately that the material has been learned.
e. If the details are recited incorrectly or incompletely on the 1st try, you know immediately that the material has not been learned. In this case, go to step "c" in Studying to Learn Information.
Type #4. Studying to Refresh.
The purpose is to prevent forgetting. This requires a means for regular recitation of material already learned. Two ways to do this are:
1. Make regular times in your schedule to review material already learned. This combats the Fading Effect. Fading occurs when knowledge is not used or repeated often enough to prevent normal deterioration of the memory of that knowledge.
2. Regularly review material already learned at least 2 or 3 times per week individually or in a study group.
Type #5. Studying to Improve Learning Skills.
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