How to Get the Most Out of Studying: Part 4 of 5, “Putting Principles for Learning into Practice”

Hi, I’m Dr. Stephen Chew. I’m a professor of psychology here at Samford
University in Birmingham, Alabama. This is the fourth in a series of five videos
on studying effectively in college. Effective college study is more just a matter
of a desire to learn and devoting sufficient time and effort. Students have to utilize effective learning
strategies. If they use ineffective learning strategies,
they can study long and hard and still fail. In earlier videos, I described the levels
of processing framework, which says that shallow processing, which focuses on, meaningless,
superficial aspects does not lead to effective learning. Deep processing, which focuses on the meaning
and implications of material, does lead to connected learning. Then I discussed basic principles for achieving
deep processing. Effective study strategies employ some or
all of these principles. You can use those principles to develop good
study strategies that work for you. This video will give you a starting point. I will describe for you some study strategies
that are based on these principles. Think of study strategies as an orienting
task, that make you process information at certain levels. Good study strategies make you process information
at a deep, meaningful level focusing on comprehension and implications. Poor study strategies focus on a shallow level
which focus on superficial, meaningless information. Here are three research-based strategies for
achieving deep processing while reading.. The first is question generation. After you have read a chapter or reviewed
a section of notes, generate some questions over the material. Try to make the questions as meaningful as
possible. Questions about facts are OK, but questions
that make you compare and contrast, analyze, make connections, to think about implications
or generate examples are even better. Here’s a list of questions that you might
generate based on the videos so far. The first question is purely factual about
the definition of a term. That’s OK as long as you don’t just memorize
the definition without understanding it. The second and third and fourth questions
that are also about content, but they are asking about key arguments in the videos,
which go to a deeper level than a definition. Question 5 asks you to compare and contrast,
leading to both elaboration and distinctiveness. Finally, Question 6 asks you to relate the
information to your personal experience. Just generating the questions will help your
depth of processing. Reviewing the material to answer them is even
better, and you can always ask your questions to teachers. At first, generating questions will be a bit
awkward, but like anything, with practice will become easier and more automatic. The second strategy is to create a concept
map of the ideas you are studying. A concept map is a diagram of nodes and links. The nodes are concepts or facts that are linked
together. Here is a concept map I constructed for levels
of processing. Concept maps take time and effort to do, but
they don’t have to be neat and perfect and the very act of creating them helps you process
information deeply. The third method is to practice retrieving
and using the information in ways that your teacher expects you to be able to do. There are really two parts to this study strategy. The first part is to practice retrieving the
information without referring to your notes and book. So close your notes and book and just practice
retrieving the information. Explain it to someone else or write it down. The second part is to use the information
in the way that your teacher expects. Some teachers test for facts, some teachers
test for concepts. Is your teacher using multiple choice? Is your teacher using short answer or essay? Practice using the information in the way
the teacher is going to test you. But just practicing recalling the information
and thinking about how it might be used will be useful to you. You can take advantage of review questions
in the textbook. Oftentimes companion websites for the textbook
will have review tests that you can use. After you have practiced recalling the test
or recalling the information, you can check yourself against your textbook and your notes. This will help you identify weaknesses in
your understanding of the material. Now, what about taking notes during class? Note taking has three functions. First, it provides a summary of key points
from the lecture that you will need to understand and recall later. Second, you are creating a set of retrieval
cues or memory cues for the information that you didn’t record. You are only able to write down a small percentage
of the information presented in a lecture. Your notes help remind you of what you missed
writing down. The third function is that note taking is
an orienting task. Taking notes engages you in the class, and
how you take notes determines if you process the information in a deep, meaningful way
or in a superficial way. Note taking that makes you process the information
at a deep level will help your learning. So as the lecture goes on, think about key
concepts, key distinctions, and key relationships and be sure to write down examples. On the other hand, if you think of note-taking
as writing down as much of the lecture as possible without thinking about it, then you
are processing at a shallow level and your note taking will not help you to learn. This is especially a temptation if you take
notes using a laptop computer. I actually prefer taking notes by hand because
the flexibility in the format of taking notes. But, the real danger of taking notes by laptop
is the temptation to browse the internet or check your social networks during the lecture. This kind of distraction not only reduces
your learning, but it distracts those people around you. A few other things… If you miss information during a lecture,
be sure to get it right away either from the teacher or from the classmates around you. Second, taking good notes is very effortful
and usually requires your full concentration. If you have trouble writing fast enough, then
consider asking the professor if you can record the lecture. Next, borrowing notes from another student
is a poor substitute for missing a class. You are much better off attending class and
taking your own notes. Finally, notes are only helpful if you actively
organize them, review them, and think about them. Let’s now turn to using deep processing
while reading a textbook. The same principles for deep processing apply
here. A lot of students like to highlight while
they read a textbook. Highlighting can be seen as an orienting task. You can highlight for deep processing which
will help you to learn the material or you can highlight for shallow processing which
will actually hurt your learning. Consider the following paragraph, which was
modified from an old psychology textbook. It is tempting to go right to the bolded terms
and highlight them. It’s fast, easy, and pretty much useless. You’ve skimmed over important information
and you’ve set yourself up to memorize isolated facts, a terrible study strategy. Here is how to highlight for deep processing. Read all the text, then be selective about
what you highlight based on its importance and how it relates to other information. Highlight connections, key distinctions, and
applications. Don’t highlight complete passages; leave
out unnecessary text. Good highlighting requires multiple readings
of the text and meaningful decisions. It is slow and effortful and, to be most effective,
you have to go back and review what you highlighted. Here is how I would highlight the Freud passage. The first line of highlighting contains the
main theme of Freud’s theory. I highlighted the key parts of the definitions
of conscious and unconscious and the breakdown of the unconscious into preconscious and unconscious. I have the definitions and the distinctions
between them. Students may highlight a passage differently
because they have different perspectives. The important thing is that you highlight
following the principles of deep processing. Finally, I want to talk to you a little bit
about group study. If the group uses effective study strategies
and the norm is that everyone works hard, then you will learn in group study. However, if the group norm is that everyone
uses bad study strategies and there are a lot of distractions, then you simply won’t
learn. Studying in groups is one of the easiest ways
to fool yourself into believing you have really learned when you actually haven’t. Here are some principles for effective group
study. First, remember group study is a business
meeting. Like all business meetings, there should be
a goal for the meeting and an agenda. Everyone should come prepared and ready to
contribute. So, set a goal for the meeting, for example,
we will review chapter 8 of the textbook. Set conditions for participation. Everyone should have read the chapter and
have three questions ready to ask about it. If you aren’t prepared and can’t contribute,
then don’t come. Everyone keeps the ultimate goal of learning
in mind. Everyone has a chance to ask and answer questions
from other group members. The result should be that any member can express
the understanding of the whole group. In this video, we’ve discussed some concrete
ways of using the principles of deep learning to guide your study strategies in common learning
situations. Developing the effective study strategies
for you will take time and effort, but with practice, they will become automatic and will
be effective for you. But there will be setbacks along the way. What happens if you blow an exam? That is the topic of the next video


  1. evolvtYon

    February 23, 2012 at 1:21 am

    @Mojoman1 cylons…


    March 8, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Why is Seabiscuit listed on the right side of my screen under associated videos?

  3. strawberryFUSION

    March 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    lol !! I actually got distracted when that girl went on facebook…D:

  4. valflyinf

    April 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    This series is nothing short of amazing.

  5. J. Dillon Mumford

    April 9, 2012 at 4:24 am

    stephen !

  6. ITPCD

    April 11, 2012 at 6:19 am

    i did, cause it dosn't work for grad level math

  7. skunktheshrink

    April 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    He is so monotonous I fell asleep while watching this.

  8. Bo Condon

    April 24, 2012 at 1:46 am

    say prossing ONE MORE TIME! (Samuel L. Jackson voice)

  9. Sixta Hall

    May 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Excellent instructions, easy to follow and are skill developing…Thank you for these videos.

  10. Javier Ortega

    May 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Now that you ask it, im number 12!

  11. Aditya Wicaksono

    June 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    nice videos, this is very helpfully for who always get a bad grades. ^_^

  12. Aadityakiran S.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    One of the best vidios on studying I've ever seen.
    Discussed all the relevent aspects of learning
    Based on concrete facts and proofs
    Just what students need
    Well In India,where I come from,we have a hell load to study……I hope the release some vidio On how to study a lot of things in a short time and one on how to study during exams

  13. exec9292

    June 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    deep processing lol wt a tool

  14. avatar098

    July 2, 2012 at 5:09 am

    12 people never survived college

  15. Ian Hollis

    July 14, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Shouldn't the text book leave out "unnecessary text" in the first place? Most text books I read are just full of unnecessary, uninteresting, waffle.

  16. idkausername11

    August 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm


  17. Lemontree23

    August 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I'm such a superficial learner! ๐Ÿ™ Wish I saw this video earlier! But happy I did find it anyway/

  18. hugequads1

    August 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    that girl who always wears a grey stamford t shirt really studies bad

  19. Lolzorpantz

    August 20, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I hate group assignments cause I always get fucked over by lazy group members.

  20. fridafireworks

    August 24, 2012 at 2:06 am

    so helpful! thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. phirephaxL

    August 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Sir, how do I apply this to anatomy? All my professors said that you have to memorize, memorize, and memorize.

  22. Rosie Rose

    August 31, 2012 at 8:39 am

    i want him to be my teacher

  23. Brian Lee

    September 1, 2012 at 1:43 am

    When I studied biology for the first time,I also memorized every single words before. However, I realized that biology is not something that I can master just by memorizing a whole bunch of terms.Instead, it's important to understand the concepts and try to apply them in real situation such as symptoms of diseases..

  24. Brian Lee

    September 1, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Also, if you relate concepts from each chapter, you might have better understand of the subject. After doing these, my biology exam scores significantly improved in my high school… My high school teacher gave us questions which are similar to MCAT questions.. Evil man…:(

  25. Izaac Wopz

    September 4, 2012 at 7:42 am

    thanks; i need to learn kinbaku by tomorrow night.

  26. Coffeeisnecessarynow

    September 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    A racist man!

  27. DP FPV

    September 20, 2012 at 3:10 am

    wow i alrdy forgot what metacognition was :/

  28. lunaballz

    September 25, 2012 at 3:01 am

    What the heck is that kid doing? Who looks at someone else's facebook page? And why is she ok with it?

  29. Grasshoppa065

    September 26, 2012 at 6:15 am

    What's funny is that these videos are a paradox. They are intended for people who need help with learning, but how would someone learn effectively from these videos if they are bad learners?

  30. lahiru Chamara

    October 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    You made my sucess mr.chew..thanks soo much

  31. _scions

    October 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I can't stand group studying. I'm a selfish student.

  32. spanionneo

    October 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

    At least he's sharing his knowledge…You should run along, little nigga, and kill someone or steal something. We're not interested in your views on academicians.

  33. Ahmad Hani

    October 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Well These videos are too simple to need good learners to learn them

  34. MekonenMeteor123

    October 22, 2012 at 2:17 am

    This is awesome

  35. Trent Stark

    October 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Taking notes about note-taking

  36. Kevin Huang

    November 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Note inception

  37. 1234Colt

    November 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    They just have to apply those discussed ideas immediately..there should be no problem with that. Now that the tools are on the table, ppl should be able to use them^^

  38. Boxer4542

    November 23, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I'm starting to enjoy these videos, after watching 3 I'm starting to feel like hes my best friend ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Lowndes Taylor

    November 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    his posture is awful

  40. opalescentstorm

    January 27, 2013 at 12:37 am

    He says basically the same thing in all 4 videos so far. Ughhhh I can't believe my teacher's making me watch this. I'm a straight A student. Any decent student already knows all this shit. Okay, rant over.

  41. Sunny Mathaun

    January 31, 2013 at 4:43 am

    So I will be doing Pre Med next year because I am a senior in high school this year. How should I study for all my classes each day and study for tests or exams??

  42. MonteCarlo185

    February 11, 2013 at 4:14 am

    That's the fun part. It helps us decide which are much more important than the other.

  43. Kcub

    February 12, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Thank god I can play it at 2x the speed! ๐Ÿ˜€

  44. KevinDrakeFitness

    February 16, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Thank you for this. It's helping me became a better human being

  45. SaintPuppet[S]

    February 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    So, we actualy have to test teacher.

  46. Zizek21

    March 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

    just in order to make the book thick lol

  47. Larry White

    March 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    higher learning= advanced study habits/ dedication. Pretty simple

  48. Tanj ah

    April 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm


  49. 360felix

    April 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    God damn it, why does no one teach 'how to study' ever in school or college. It's the most important skill that a person should have.

  50. kimlarc

    April 25, 2013 at 5:10 am

    thank you sooo much……very helpful…..

  51. Dario Scanferlato

    May 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    The unconcious is divided into the preconcious and the unconcious. So the unconcious is divided into the preconcious and itself?

  52. Ana

    June 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    It's just for you not to end up highlighting everything ๐Ÿ˜›
    Anyways, I just get the important stuff and note it down.

  53. Muhammad Kashif

    June 4, 2013 at 6:26 am

    How to check and avoid plagiarism? Plagiarism Software is a free online plagerism checker for checking articles, essays and website content

  54. Rick D

    July 2, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I agree what he's teaching and the method but when he asked the question " what's the most important factor in successful learning" he chose "what you think about while studying". The number 4 answer was "time spent". To do all that he ask requires a significant amount time. No method of studying works without time spent.

  55. John Smith

    August 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    He says long and hard. lol

  56. Yuilen

    September 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I REALLY wish I had these videos in 2008 when I turned 18.

  57. Joshua Barnes

    September 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    This man is a genius, I have adhd and am starting to cope with it and I honestly believe that these techniques work, not meaning to sound cheesy or anything like that

  58. Joshua Barnes

    September 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    @yulien me too I wish I had these in 2011 when I first started college, I would've been a lot better off

  59. Cameron Nichol

    October 17, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Excellent series. I'm sending this our staff

  60. Emily Blais

    October 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I love how he comes out of the building every time, wearing the same outfit. Rock that yellow collar shirt !

  61. Afronadian

    October 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Thank you so much for posting this video. I have looked all over the internet on how to effectively study and nothing has given any realistic tips until this video!

  62. Andres De Avila

    December 22, 2013 at 5:16 am

    I don't like highlighting, period. I believe that's the lazy substitution of taking notes from the book. The point is trying to trick your brain into believing as much as possible that the information you are learning is important for your survival.

  63. Taffeta Darling

    January 11, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Thanks for these videos~very helpful !

  64. Safaee Michael Binieam

    March 15, 2014 at 9:02 am

    It ย just doesn't seem like an efficient way of learning. There's got to be another way.

  65. Josa Rodriguez

    April 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm


  66. MissKriekentaart

    April 30, 2014 at 6:44 am

    I use highlighting mainly for bringing structure to a syllabus or powerpoint (some professors are surprisingly bad at this), eg. highlighting titles of different sections in blue, highlighting subtitles in green and finally using a yellow highlight for marking important concepts. This way I'm forced to think about how different sections relate to each other. I think highlighting can be a greal tool when done right, but it's never going to replace the actual studying.

  67. Withme Whostoned

    May 8, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I read the paragraph about Freud. And as I was reading I created an image of the concept in the question. When I compared the concept of iceberg to the highlighted parts, it was obvious how highlighting, in this case, fails.

    And speaking of the "Freud" paragraph. First part is just a background information, pretty irrelevant for understanding the concept itself. Relevance of the concept starts with the Iceberg. I wouldn't even use highlighting as suggested by the professor Chew. Probably wouldn't even bother remembering the titles of categories (conscious, preconscious, uncouscious) unless they were easy to remember. I'd opt for understanding the concept only.

    I wanted to study psychology so I bought some books about it, and it was like those school books, full of alien terms I didn't understand. I bought books from OSHO and got the explanation I wanted lol.

  68. Aaron Johansen

    June 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    This guy is quite the comedian! I enjoyed the video even though he joked around a lot. What a character!

  69. Mathias Greywolf

    July 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I don't know how this joker has a job teaching. What a total hack. Any student who gets stuck in his class needs to get a refund!

  70. Kiki Anas Ahmad

    August 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    again. i say thank you doctor chew. i really appreciate the study tips

  71. Adam Schmitt

    September 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    this dude has swag

  72. Adam Schmitt

    September 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    yay what an amazing video 4 all yunginz $$

  73. Helga H.

    December 3, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Though very interesting he has such a dry style I felt myself drifting.

  74. Vince P

    December 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

    This guy is fantastic; extremely clear communicator

  75. Yiu Kitman

    May 19, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    This only works if theย professor tells you these information and you have enough personal experience . Sometimes the teacher who is teaching us even don't understand the subject.

  76. Lauren Canose

    August 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    FS 101 01 Make connections and use examples while you take notes. Notes are only helpful if they are well written, well thought out, and reviewed.

  77. Salma Saif

    August 30, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Wow, longest video Dr. Itaya's studnts, we're almost to the end!

  78. Bogdan Bogz

    October 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Dr. Hackett, you really want us to write a paper on this?!? CMON!!

  79. Bogdan Bogz

    October 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Lets be honest, most subjects can't be deep processed. How am I going to connect a math equation to something significant?

  80. Raise up

    January 9, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Very helpful all 5 videos. Thank you.

  81. TatTvamAsi

    March 28, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I will never do group study ever. No one ever comes prepared, people only want to "study" together because they don't want to study.

  82. Natethesandman1

    July 6, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Helpful hint.
    2x Speed
    You are welcome.

  83. Ashley Mussio Marquez

    October 2, 2016 at 12:24 am

    This is so helpful, especially for my biology class. Thank you so much! =)

  84. Sonia Mackay

    March 15, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    The lecture is excellent. Thank you very much.

  85. Anaond Shanbbhag

    June 19, 2018 at 11:02 am

    That is quite lucid and well explained Prof Chew….Thank you very much….I shall pass it on to many others who are embarking on academic journeys or helping their kids form optimal learning habits…

  86. X XX

    August 25, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Amazing and completely true. I would like to have a transcript of the video, if possible. thank you very much!

  87. Sharkattack20

    September 6, 2018 at 12:24 am

    I was here

  88. Joseph Gsell

    September 10, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    0.5x speed is hilarious.

  89. Jenna Picard

    September 16, 2018 at 3:56 am

    I thought this was very interesting and made me rethink my study habits because I typically just highlight definitions.

  90. dreck

    October 23, 2018 at 7:43 am

    i was forced to watch this by my college class but i actually learned a lot about effective study habits so thanks dr. chew

  91. Kimberly Vazquez

    November 7, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Can someone help a girl out and summarize this video, please?

  92. Emely Reyes

    February 10, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Yo… This guy is trashing all the ways that actually help me learn. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  93. Hailey Phillips

    February 17, 2019 at 1:14 am

    this guy is drier than a pile of flour

  94. Aubrey S

    August 26, 2019 at 2:53 am

    is concept expressed in this one deep procession?

  95. Michael Sherwood

    September 12, 2019 at 5:44 am

    whose here for Mr. Kurtz AP World

  96. jettdestin

    September 23, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Why does he always hold his hands up like a Trex? Is it a tick or something else?

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