Student Study Skills

Study skills are hard to come by. Those who were trained early have a good foundation of the skills necessary to study effectively. Here are some guidelines (not rules) to follow to help develop good study skills.


Let’s be honest, taking notes is somewhat like an art! Students marvel at the student who is able to take good notes they receive from lecture. However, most of us are stuck scribbling everything down the teacher has written on the board, and we swear that the teacher is moving too fast! Here are a few guidelines to give your students to take great notes in class:

  • Write Neatly. (You want to be able to read your notes later on).
  • Develop a format to write your notes. (Notes usually contain: definitions, theorems, examples, and formulas).
  • If you are a visual learner, develop a color scheme for your notes. (i.e. red = definitions).
  • Write notes with the intention of comprehending the material. (Everything the teacher writes down must be assumed to be important).
  • Ask questions while taking notes.
  • Make side notes. (Maybe you want to ask a question later on about a particular topic in the notes, or write the answer to a question you just
  • asked the instructor).
  • Listen to the point the teacher is trying to make before you copy the notes from the board. (You’ll be able to ask better questions if you listen).
  • Rewrite notes later to help reinforce instructors lecture topic and ideas.

Tricks to Good Note-Taking

  • To slow down the instructor, ask them to:
  • Repeat what they just said.
  • Give you an example problem.
  • Tell the instructor you don’t understand.
  • Apologize for not understanding so quickly, and ask them to repeat what they said differently.

Slowing down the instructor will give you the time that you need to write neatly, and process some additional information.

Important Details About Note-Taking

Taking good notes demands:

  • Neatness. So much information is captured if you take neat notes. Messy notes convey confusion.
  • Detailed editing, where you go through and make comments about the things you understand and don’t understand. These are the questions we¬†ask the instructor in class, or a tutor.

Use Notes

Notes should be reviewed regularly to preserve concepts just learned. In addition, the notes the tutees have taken should be used to aid the student in following the instructors way of thinking, and solving problems. Introducing new methods and concepts will eventually confuse the student. Therefore, as a tutor, it is wise to use their notes so that you are helping the tutee as supposed to hindering them.

Listening Skills

“We are given two ears and one mouth, because God knew that it was going to be twice as hard to listen as it would be to speak”

During your tutoring sessions, make sure that your tutee is practicing active listening skills. Actively listening takes time to learn and it does take practice. Make sure the student practices active listening skill during your session. You are able to check if your tutee has understood anything by frequently asking challenging questions.


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