Desperate Need For Study Skills. Help!


  1. Best Option?

    • Make your own review
    • Read/Highlight
    • Summarize
    • Study Group
    • Flash Cards

37 members have participated

Hey y'all!

I just finished my first year of college, and I seriously do not know how I managed to finish with a few C's and a bunch of A's and B's. My study skills are literally in the crapper. I can't focus, and I certainly can't read and highlight stuff for the life of me. High school really wasn't challenging me, but college is a hole 'nother thing. I would like to know what you guys do to study?

I have a bunch of really important courses now, and I cannot afford a GPA below 3.5. Can y'all help me out? I will try anything and everything y'all throw at me!

Take care & God bless

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

What are your current study habits? Also, what courses are you taking this semester?


1 Article; 1,265 Posts

Specializes in Hospice. Has 3 years experience.

I've read a few tips on here which make sense to me. Read the summary of the chapter first. That way key points will stand out to you. Take the practice tests/quizzes after each chapter. If you get easily distracted from your reading and end up reading the same paragraph again and again, read aloud to yourself, that way you will still on task and you are also reading and hearing the material.


460 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 2 years experience.

I'm starting nursing school this fall, but we already have assigned chapters to read for Fundamentals before August.

It's sad, but I use a variety of the options you listed in your poll. It really depends on the material- if I have a strong grasp on something already (based on previous experience), I won't go the extra mile and create flash cards because then I'm wasting time that I could be using on material I need to focus more on. I always make sure to read the front of the chapter- where it outlines the chapter objectives, provides any key words, etc. and then finally start reading. I read a few sections at a time, and then go back and outline. I always make sure to include the key words in my outline because they're "key" for a reason. I also look at the questions at the end of the chapter for further clarification of my understanding. At least having an outline will help prepare me for lecture- IF these assigned chapters are even lectured by the professor in August.

Outlines always help me because they make me summarize everything, but also make me read the information. Too often we find ourselves skimming chapters just to get through them, but for me, it helps when I read and summarize.


258 Posts

When you can summarize know it! I use notes and the text to help me summarize first then I do it again using only my brain. You can summarize aloud and record or you can write/type it.

I'm very visual so I like finding videos/games online covering the same information.


789 Posts

There is a test you can take which helps to narrow down your study type: visual, audio, reader, tactile, etc. It takes about 10 minutes and it will help you to narrow down your study type.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,560 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day:

I'm finding applying multiple types of study methods and tools improve how well I do in class.

I'm a firm believer that consistency matters always, no exceptions. So as you pick up multiple methods, try to only pick up those that you know you can consistently apply. Of note, it is ok to use different methods /combinations for each class (in my opinion, just be consistent).

Thank you.


789 Posts

I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time. My professor told me to get up like once an hour, study in the library so I can see other people studying, and also it helps me to study with music. The music helps me to focus better. I can study better if I am engaged in my study. That is if I am watching a youtube video on what I just read, maybe see a person talk about what I read and how it affected them, if I draw, and even use computer tools to make a sketch or animation. The trick for me is to make the study session interactive not just reading. If I read, I can draw what I am reading, make up questions to see if I get the content, take quizzes on the section I just read to make sure I comprehend, etc.

Has 8 years experience.

Google "active learning". Those are the best methods for studying, they involve things like teaching the subject to another person, case studies, group projects etc. To me, nursing school has been all about understanding the whole concept. I was a note card GURU in my prereqs, but they did not work in Nursing School because you have to understand the big picture not just memorize stuff. What I do, instead of spending time summarizing and outlining, is for every subject, I write a paper. I pretend that it is an assignment that I have to turn in, and I will cover everything on the disease process (risk factors, physiology, patho, Rx). I do this during my study time, and as I go out and ACTIVELY look for the information, I learn it.