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Academic Support

Study Skills Toolkit

Survival Tips for Online Courses



6 Tips for Excelling in Your Online Grad School Classes


  • Find a place to study and keep that area for studying only.
  • Best to study during the day and early evenings, you'll remember better.
  • Stop studying when fatigue sets in or lack of attention, take a break.
  • Keep a pad of paper handy to jot down extraneous thoughts that cross your mind, this way you can get them out of your mind and on paper.
  • Set manageable study goals (I will read 10 pages).
  • Design rewards after you accomplished your goals (I will treat myself to a movie after I read three chapters).
  • Mix up your work, try to avoid boredom (I will read one chapter, and then I will go to the open lab and work on the cadavers).
  • Start with short study periods and build to longer periods.
  • Realize you won't lose friends, respect, or a "good time" just because you're studying. Think of your future goals. THINK OF THE ROAD AHEAD!

Taking Notes Made Easy 

  • You must always attend lectures.
  • Utilize the professor's syllabus with the main heading for lectures as your heading for your notes.
  • Write a lot (3-8 pages for a 50-min lecture).
  • Write legibly; print if you get messy.
  • Write details, examples, explanations, diagrams.
  • Write complete thoughts, not isolated words.
  • Take notes on class discussions as well as formal lecture material.
  • Learn to abbreviate, make up your own abbreviations according to the subject matter (for example b- bones, ss- sensory).
  • Develop your own set of symbols (for example - important, w/- with, - will be on the exam).
  • Write lists down the page, not across, it will be easier to read and to study.
  • Isolate specialized vocabulary. Try to circle the word, and put a "v" (for vocabulary) in the margin next to it.
  • Differentiate fact from opinion; try to put brackets around opinions.
  • Always read and revise your notes within 24 hrs. Use this time to organize notes, finish thoughts, and write down questions for the next lecture.
  • Recite your notes; make sure you've learned the material!
  • What's your favorite note-taking app? Check out how PC Magazine compares some top apps for 2018 here

Study Skills & Test Taking Strategies for Medical Learners

Are you putting in the time and effort, but still struggling on exams? - Review the article Study Skills and Test Taking Strategies for Coaching Medical Learners Based on Identified Areas of Struggle and use the self-assessment tool (Appendix A Learner Common Problems List) provided on the left side of the screen to reflect upon possible areas of opportunity for you to make improvements to your study routine.  Please feel free to make an appointment with a Learning Specialist to learn more about the assessment and how to use it.