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Study skills
last modified: 2014/07/25

Manage my Studies

How to study

Do you use an effective study method when sutdying? Do you know how and where to begin studying or do an assignment? Do you find maybe that you rush into it without planning?

What is meant by a study method?

A method is a way of doing something. A study method will have specific steps that you should follow. This will make the whole process of studying more effective.

Is there a specific method that you should follow?

Individuals learn differently and therefore there is not one right study method for everyone. There are different study methods and it is important for you to choose the method that complements your learning style.

What can my study method do for me?

  • It can help you to study systematically and in a planned way
  • It can save you time and cut out unnecessary time consuming activities
  • It can help you to study with understanding and improve your memory
  • It will force you to concentrate

The EFT study method

We will introduce you to the EFT study method as one of the ways that you can use to plan or organise your studies.

Steps in the EFT study method

1 The exploration phase: familiarise yourself with the material and content

During this phase you should:

  • scan your curriculum
  • complete your assignments
  • do additional reading
  • discuss the field of study with lecturers
  • contact fellow students to discuss the learning material
  • make notes for intensive study later on
  • use your study guide to identify questions (turn your learning outcomes into questions)
  • identify and clarify difficult concepts
  • draw up a timetable: long-term for the year and short-term for each week

2 The fixation phase: study the content systematically by making summaries

  • Start by paging through the chapter you are working on and read the headings - make a mindmap to get an overview of what this chapter is about
  • Page through the chapter again, read the sub-headings and add them to the mindmap. Look at the beginning and end of each paragraph to get a quick overview of important points. Take note of keywords in bold or italics. Ask yourself: "Whhat is this chapter all about?"
  • Now start to read for understanding. Ask yourself simple questions beginning with "how", "where", "when", "who" and "which". Ask yourself what the main idea is of what you have read and make sure that you understamd all the words and concepts.
  • Now make your notes - remember not to summarise the whole book
  • While you are making your notes, you should use different memory techniques.
  • Memorise the content by using different techniques such as acronyms and visualisation.

3 The testing phase

  • You should test yourself at the end of each study session - close your books and answer all the possible questions (get them from your learning objectives).
  • Revise your work within 24 hours of studying it. You will find that you have forgotten some of it - go back to your summaries and memorise what you have forgotten.
  • Revise your work every week by trying to recall the core summary and then the schematic summary
What next?