How To Create A Practical Study Guide

Oct 19, 2022

A study guide is a document containing a list of helpful information and resources when you study for an exam. Often, people create this for bigger and more comprehensive exams, like the middle-term and end-of-term exams. There’ll be a lot more to study for every subject, so a guide helps set everything in order. With a study guide, it also becomes easier to create a study schedule. You can then divide your study hours based on the topics to cover, as designated in the guide.

That said, writing a study guide isn’t necessary, but having one is a plus. When you decide to use one, be as comprehensive as you can when writing it. Otherwise, if you depend on an incomplete and error-filled guide, the success of your study hours and effort might also be futile.

Suppose you’ve decided to create a study guide. You can learn tips from educators like Kathleen Jasper on how you can develop a study guide that helps you study smarter by helping you build a deeper and better understanding of the topics you have to study for.

Know What’s Going To Be In The Test

practical study guide

As you’ll expected, teachers will provide which topics they’ll cover for every examination. Often, some teachers provide the page numbers if you have a specific textbook in class. That way, you’ll have a general idea of what you should and shouldn’t study based on what your teacher provides.

Once your teachers let you know the exam coverage, check your books and notes to make a list of topics to include in your study guide. You can always ask if your teachers haven’t told you about the coverage.

List All The Questions From Previous Exams

When you get back your exam papers, keep a folder containing those exam questionnaires and answers per subject. Those exam papers are one of the most valuable resources when creating a study guide.

You won’t have 100% assurance that the questions on that bigger exam will be taken from the smaller quizzes throughout the term. However, some teachers actually repeat the questions. This is especially the case for questions about important and major concepts that teachers want their students to remember.

After creating a list of all the topics, creating a section dedicated to practice questions in your study guide is a plus. With that, you can also practice answering those questions after studying for each subject. This tests how much you know and remember before the real exams.

Gather Your Class Notes

Perhaps you’ve learned by now that the best preparation for exams isn’t just the studying itself but begins during every class. This fact is the reason class attendance matters. Not only will you grasp concepts better, but listening to your teacher’s discussion enables you to make notes.

Those personal notes come in handy when creating a study guide. It becomes easier to understand challenging concepts when you’re able to take notes of them in your own words, in plain and simple language.

Paraphrase As Much As You Can

study guide

In the absence of personal notes, paraphrase as much as possible when creating a study guide. Avoid copying everything. Doing this won’t help you grasp and remember the concepts you’re studying.

When summarizing information and typing or writing it in your own words, it might be easier for you to remember those specific concepts. This is because it’s easier to remember and memorize common words than technical jargon.

However, the only exception to this rule is when you have to memorize definitions word for word, such as acronyms or specific definitions of technical concepts that you can’t paraphrase. This depends on what subjects you’re studying. Forr one, legal, medical, and engineering terms are some of those that belong to this category.

Use Flash Cards For Terms To Memorize

Flash cards are usually created using small index cards. That’s precisely the reason why those flash cards still exist up to this day and age, despite other digital modes of studying. It may be easier to memorize concepts when separated into individual flashcards for you to scroll through individually when studying.

If you’re studying with a group, you can use those cards to quiz each other. Or you can cycle through those cards during your idle time. It helps when you write and paraphrase those definitions too.

The Bottomline 

Study guides are there to help you study before the big exams. When you have one, it should help you study more efficiently by understanding the lessons rather than confuse you. Some teachers provide students with a study guide, but not everyone does this. Use the tips in this guide to learn how to create a study guide to give you the confidence to ace your exams. Good luck!

Article Posted in: Academics

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