Reading and studying

Best tips by Union students


Reading helps me understand any material that I had trouble picking-up in class. If I do not get something, then reading it from another perspective helps; it is a good way to reinforce the material. [Cregg Brown]

  • Better to do some reading than none.

If I really feel that there is not enough time to finish a particular book, then I skim it and look for quotations or factual data that I could include in my paper. [Rebecca Butterfield]

  • To reduce study time, listen carefully in class, take good notes, do homework.

I find that I do very little actual "studying." But I take VERY careful notes in class and do all the homework. Usually that's enough. [Cregg Brown]

  • Review notes after class, highlight notes.

Although I think reviewing your notes after class is a great idea, I must admit that I rarely actually do it. I do, however, try to review my notes at least once a week so that they are relatively fresh in my head. [Rebecca Butterfield]

  • Set your own pace
    Not everyone learns the same way.  Know your strengths and work with them.
  • Don't read everything at once.  Look at the Table of contents, chapter headings, etc.   When you know how the text is structured and what the most important ideas are before you read, you increase comprehension, reading speed, and retention!

  • Read the chapter before coming to class.  Or at least preview it (as above)!

Sometimes it's hard for me to do this when I know I can get away without doing it. But knowing I'll be better off in the end makes it worthwhile. I find that at least familiarizing myself with the terms and concepts in the text prior to class makes the lecture easier to follow and also makes my notebook neater. [Kathy Klemm]

  • No, go to class before reading the book

I am a slow reader so it pains me to have to sit down and read the assignment. Listening to the lecture before reading the related literature helps make the reading go faster since I am reading material that I've already seen or heard. [Ryan Lee]

  • Read other books on the same topic, especially if the book is difficult.

I try to collect books from professors or ask around for books on similar topics and then try to read from them all. This makes me understand the material much better and not just from an exam point of view. So for exams, I am prepared for virtually any kind of problem. [Preeti Upadhya]

  • Read out loud if you're having trouble concentrating.
  • Find a quiet place to read.

I try to change my study places as often as possible because studying in the same place makes me become too comfortable, and I tend to doze off.

I like doing math with music on but with other courses, I need absolute silence. [Preeti Upadhya]

  • Decide whether you want to study alone or in a group. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

I like helping people a lot and discussing the problems and questions. I feel that if I relate what I know to someone else then my own understanding of the subject matter is greatly increased. [Preeti Upadhya]

  • Know your class mates. Know who you can study with.

  • Take breaks, but not too many. Avoid TV.

  • Study in short segments of time rather than long stretches.

  • Study for a while. Nap for awhile. Study again to retain more, keep mind fresh

  • Actively process new concepts.  Use them.  Talk them out or apply them.

  • Allow enough time. Study in advance. Little by little is better.

It helps me to skim the book (or relevant chapters) before class, to see what we will be doing. Even after class, it helps to read the especially troublesome topics. Overall, books are a good reference, especially if the professor explicitly assigns chapters. [Cregg Brown]