Study Better In College | The Study Cycle

Want to become a more efficient learner? Put the Study Cycle to work for you. This five step approach helps students create a process for learning that can be easily adapted to their coursework. The five steps are: Preview, Attend, Review, Study, and Check. Repetition is the key: Preview, Attend, Review, Study, and Check. Step 1: Previewing. When you preview before class, you will get the big picture. Skim through your text, PowerPoint, or videos. Note any bold and italicized print, formulas, graphs, and other images. When you have the big picture, details become more obvious and lectures become more interesting. Step Two: Attend. Go to class. Although obvious, attending lecture is an essential step. Combined with previewing, you’ll feel more connected and better prepared to take clear concise organized notes. Step 3: Review. After class or within the same day, take 8 to 10 minutes to review your notes. This process helps strengthen and transfer information from short-term to long-term memory. Reviewing after class helped me to reinforce new concepts, which really made me feel more confident. Step Four: Study. To connect and reinforce new material, review your notes or read textbooks, work problems, make concept maps, view videos, visit the tutorial center, or form a study group to reach higher levels of learning. Ask yourself how, why, and what if questions, and remember: reputation is the key. Step 5: Check. Checking the process of reflecting in evaluating your mastery or level of understanding of new material. Ask yourself, “Am I confident with this this material? Is the information making sense? Can I teach this to someone else?” Periodic checking will have you refocus and realign your learning if needed. Checking my learning is something that has become very important. Getting feedback helps me understand where I need to improve and what direction I need to go. The Study Cycle is designed to work the way your brain learns best. It will help you become a more confident learner as you reinforce new content.

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