Step 1: Set Clear Goals
Create goals that are SMART! Remember, SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Step 2: Determine what to learn and how to show it on a test
Refer to the learning outcomes for your course, and individual modules within the course. You may find these:
- In your course outline and work plan.
- At the beginning of textbook chapters and Brightspace module.
- In course notes provided by your instructor.
Step 3: Identify Active Learning Strategies
There are many ways to learn the material. Finding an active learning strategy that works for you is important.
|Develop and answer self-testing questions
|Use flash cards for key concepts
|Make your own flashcard or use an app to create flashcards
|Create mind maps
|Create charts that compare/contrast key course concepts
|Develop mnemonics to help you memorize important information
|Write outlines for potential essay questions
|Complete practice questions from your textbook/course materials
|Develop practice exams with a study partner or group
|Create summaries of course notes
|Develop a daily study plan that includes goals and rewards
|Develop case studies and connect them with course concepts
|Review previous quizzes, noting your strengths and areas for improvement
Step 4: Identify resources that can help you succeed
You don’t have to do it alone! There are many resources available to NSCC students to help you succeed.
- Contact your instructor with questions.
- Form/attend a study group.
- Check out Study Groups and Group Work in the NSCC Study Skills Subject Guide for more information.
- Attend Peer Assisted Learning Supports (PALS) sessions:
- study groups, drop in sessions and one on one tutoring (NSCC Office 365 login required).
- Get help from a tutor.
- Consult with your Student Accessibility Specialist (NSCC Office 365 login required).
- Use supplemental online resources such as LinkedIn Learning (NSCC Office 365 login required).
- Use Library Subject Guides designed specifically for your program.
- Use Learning Supports Guides to further help with college readiness and academic skills.
Step 5: Create a study plan
A study plan can help you organize your time to make sure you cover all the material you need to learn along with strategies to support your learning. Think of one test that you’ll be writing soon.
- what you need to learn, and
- 1 or more active learning strategies that you’ll use to study the content.
Use this information to create a study plan. The chart below provides an example of what might be included in a study plan. What might your study plan include?
|Study Session Date
|What I need to learn
|Strategies/resources for learning
|Psychology Chapter 3: LOs
|Venn diagram (compare/contrast types of memory)
|Compare/contrast types of memory (semantic, episodic procedural)
|Review vocabulary in flash card app
|Describe the stages in recording new information in long-term memory
|Self-testing questions on memory
|Explain the role of the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebellum in memory processes
|Draw and label diagram of brain re: memory
|Explain the role of Pavlov, Skinner and Watson in the development of behaviourism
|Create a mind map of behaviourism/ behavioural psychologists
|Compare and contrast classical and operant conditioning
|Review vocabulary in flash card app
|Create a model to demonstrate how learning occurs through a process of conditioning
|Develop scenarios that explain the process of classical/operant conditioning
|Write questions for study group session
As you complete your study plan, track the Learning Outcomes you’re comfortable with, and which are still difficult for you. As your test date comes near, spend extra time in areas that are still challenging.
Which tests or quizzes are you preparing for now? Create a study plan using the Strategic Study Plan Template.
A mnemonic, also known as a memory aid, is a tool that helps you remember an idea or phrase with a pattern of letters, numbers, or relatable associations. Mnemonic devices include special rhymes and poems, acronyms, images, songs, outlines, and other tools.