General Study Tips

Understand what you need to study effectively.

Dr. Stephen Chew, Professor of Psychology at Samford University, has prepared five short videos to help you develop better study habits, based on principles of cognitive psychology. Though that may sound intimidating, the videos are easy to follow, and contain valuable information about how you can change your approach to studying to better understand your course material, and be more successful on your exams.

In the first video, Dr. Chew explains the importance of “metacognition,” which is a term for what you think about your own processes for studying:

You can access the rest of the series by clicking here.

Create an environment that supports better studying.

  • Choose a quiet place to complete your work. This should be away from a TV, iPod, cell phone, etc.
  • Be sure to eat before studying or taking an exam, so you are not distracted by hunger.
  • Avoid the temptation to daydream; jot down ideas on scratch paper and get back to work.
  • Take breaks every 20-30 minutes, and alternate subjects.
  • Use materials that are best suited to your learning style (audiobooks, etc.).

Study Tips
How to Develop Better Concentration While Studying
Murder A study system

Know where you stand in your courses.

The Learning Commons has also prepared a spreadsheet to help you assess your progress toward your desired semester grade by using your course assignments and their weighted values. Please read the instructions below before attempting to complete the spreadsheet.

Course Progress Calculator Instructions
Course Progress Calculator Spreadsheet*

*You will need to download the spreadsheet from Google Documents before editing it. Click “File,” then “Download As…” and then “Excel” to save the file to your computer.

You may also find these online grade calculators to be helpful:

Calculating Your Grade in a Course, Tool #1
Calculating Your Grade in a Course, Tool #2