Study Skills

  • Set aside a specific place for you to do your studying (for example, the library, desk in your bedroom, etc). Try not to use this place for other things such as writing letters, social conversations etc. Have all of the needed materials (books, pens, highlighters, etc) available before you begin studying.
  • Be sure that your study area has the following:
    • A large space to for books, notebooks, etc
    • Comfortable chair
    • Good lighting
    • Free from distractions such as a television, loud stereo or friends who like to talk a lot
  • Estimate the amount of time needed for each subject then make a list of assignments/studying you want to get done for the day. It might be helpful to break assignments up into smaller pieces. Be sure that the goals you set for the day are realistic.
  • Determine your alert times of the day and complete your studying during those times.
  • Schedule study blocks for every day of the week. Do not leave all of your studying till the day before a test.
  • You may find it helpful to not study for extended periods of time (for example, more than three hours). Plan frequent breaks while studying (for example, a 10 minute break for every hour of studying). The breaks will allow you to clear your head before resuming your studying.
  • Keep a reminder pad near you while studying. When you think of something that you have to do while you are studying, write it down. This will allow you to go back and look at it at a later time and not let it interfere with your studying.
  • Form study groups with classmates if you think it will benefit you.
  • While you are studying, come up with questions about key sections that you can use later to test yourself on course material.
  • If you are having trouble remembering that material you are studying, try linking it to material you already know.
  • Chunking: Helps to simplify information by dividing it up into smaller sections and then combining all sections together.
  • Mnemonics: A memory assisting technique that helps you to associate new information with something familiar. For example, when learning a list of items, take the first letter of each word and create a sentence that will help you to recall the original material.
  • Try using the SQ3R method when studying/reading textbooks to increase your memory of the material.
    • Survey: get an overall picture of what you're going to study by looking at the table of contents, introduction, chapter introductions and chapter summaries.
    • Question: Make a note of any questions on the subject that come to mind, or particularly interest you following your survey of the material. Use these questions to help you make sense of the material. Questions should focus on the who, what, where, when, how and why of the study material.
    • Read: Read the chapter to answer the questions you have asked. This may take a good amount of time to do. Be sure to pay attention to bold or italicized print and to tables, graphs and charts in the chapter.
    • Recite: While you are reading through the chapter, occasionally stop and recall what you have read. Try to put the material into your own words and relate it to previous material you have learned.
    • Review: Take the time to review by rereading the chapter and go over your notes to help clarify things that you don't understand. You might also find it helpful to talk the chapter over with a classmate.


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