The most underrated study tool is the study guide. I think they’re a really effective way to gather information and understand what you know well and what you need to work on. There are so many different ways to create a study guide but today, I’m sharing with you, how I use my syllabus to create a study guide.
If you’re a consistent reader of B&B, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of using your syllabus throughout the semester to help you study. So it should be no surprise that I like to use my syllabus to create my study guides. At the beginning of each semester, I print off my syllabus and download a copy onto my computer and phone and take note of all the important information, this includes the learning outcomes (sometimes known as intended learning outcomes or subject intended learning outcomes). Learning outcomes are normally a sentence or two outlining what you’ll know by the end of the semester which normally looks something like this: Explain the characteristics of a mood disorder or make and justify accounting policy decisions in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
All I do is open a blank word document, list out all of the learning outcomes, separated by week or topic and then as I make my way through the semester, I type in the information from lecture notes, class notes and textbook readings that fall under the learning outcome headers. I like to use dot points to list out my information since it’s a simple but effective way to keep things concise but also keeps it easy to read.
Study tip #382829276 for university exams – use your syllabus to make a study guide! I break down content week by week, using the learning outcomes as a guide to make sure I'm studying everything I need to! It's my favourite method of collating information! I keep a hard copy to read when I want and a copy on my phone for when I have a spare minute. It's low fuss, no stress memory training basically. (I should also mention I do practice quizzes and use more comprehensive notes as well, but use this as my basic method of information recall for exams!) How do you prep for exams?
Now when exams roll around I have a comprehensive study guide ready to go. Quick warning, using this method, it becomes really easy to disregard information that doesn’t seem to fit under a specific learning outcome and not include it in your study guide even though it may be examinable content or important to know. At the same time, you also don’t want to include every dot point on a lecture note or every sentence from your textbook as that defeats the purpose of the study guide. Make sure you’re keeping things simple but all encompassing, it’s better to skim over a paragraph in your guide that you fully comprehend than it is to not include the information and forced to guess answers on your exam because you didn’t deem the content important enough to include.
Obviously, this method only works if you’re learning outcomes are listed in your syllabus, which doesn’t always happen. If this is the case, check out your lecture notes as they often have learning outcomes for that lecture or ask your lecturer/professor/subject coordinator for them (I’ve found they’re more than happy to send you a copy or direct you to where you can find them!)
Once you’ve got your study guide, it’s important to use it. Personally, I print off a copy and keep a copy on my phone for easy access. This means that I can read through the information whenever I want – on the bus, in line at the bank, in bed or waiting for classes to start. I also use my study guide to get friends and family to quiz me and so I can quiz myself.
There you go, that’s how I make my study guides for end of semester exams! Do you use study guides? If so how do you create them? Let me know in the comments below!