Study skills – after units 8/9/10 – Getting the most out of classes

What do you do:
– to prepare before you listen in class;
– during the class;
– if you don’t understand something in class?
How often do you speak in class?
What are you thinking about while the professor of your classmates are speaking?
  • Do any assigned reading from handouts or the text book before class.
  • If you have questions about the reading, write them down before class.
Stay focused
  • To keep  your mind from wandering, focus on understanding three main ideas.
  • Listen for answers to the questions you wrote down before class.
Listen actively
As the professor is speaking, ask yourself:
  • Do I understand this idea?
  • How is it similar to other ideas we have studied in class.
  • Do I agree with the professor’s point of view?
Ask questions
  • Some professors prefer to answer questions as they go, while others take questions at the end of the lecture.
  • If there is an opportunity for discussion, share your views.
  • Listen respectfully to your classmates’ ideas and try to understand them.


A good approach to revision requires creativity, interactive study techniques, a high degree of motivation, time management, working well with others, writing skills, and being able to use your powers of selectivity, critical thinking, and memory.
Tick the boxes beside specific revision activities listed below of you consider that they would help you.
  •  Make your notes clear, visual, colourful, dynamic, and memorable. Leave lots of space to add new information later in the term.
  •  Make up index cards of key information as you go along.
  •  Go over your work at regular intervals so that you have less to do at the last minute.
Use time carefully
  •  Start as early as possible.
  •  Draw up a revision timetable.
  •  Organize your priorities – make a list and rate them according to how important they are.
  •  Make a time circle for revision by drawing a circle, dividing it into 24 segments to represent 24 hours, and shading it to show how you plan to divide your time.
  • Use spare moments for revision.
Keep positive attitude
  •  Work on your motivation and your attitude towards exams (and not only exams).
  •  Regard difficulties as challenges for which you can devise new strategies.
Work with others
  •  Arrange revision sessions with friends.
  •  Find out from tutors how exam answer s differ from course essays.
Use memory triggers
  •  Research techniques for improving memorization using memory triggers.
  •  Cut down your notes to key points, key words, and memory triggers.
  •  Learn by heart essential information only, such as dates, names, and formulae.
Revise by ear
  • Record yourself answering questions – listening to your own voice can help memory.
Stay healthy
  • Sleep, relax, and take plenty of breaks.
Use exam papers from previous years
 Check which questions come up regularly.
 Brainstorm answers to past questions.
 Make outline plans for as many questions as you can.
 Tme yourself writing some of these, to build writing speed and for general practice.
 Discuss questions with others.
 Work out plans together.
 Consider in advance what detail needs to be left out of exam answers.
Practicing speaking outside of class
– How often do you speak English outside of class?
– When and where?
– When you speak English outside of class, what are your aims?
– Have you ever had a frustrating experience when you tried to use English outside of class? What happened?

Find a language exchange partner of group 
If you’re in the small town, you can still go to language learning website to find people. You can also try luck on University’s community centers coffee shops and other places. You don’t need to find a native speaker to practice English is a language for International Communication. Anyone who speaks the language (or is learning it) can give you an opportunity to practice.

Prepay for your language exchange
Make a list of topics to discuss. You can also choose an article to read in advance and discuss together.
Write down the words and expressions if you hear the world that is useful interesting to you write it down and review it after you are finished talking.
If you can’t find a partner – practice listening many English language radio broadcast movies, tv programs, which are available online.
Choose something interesting and enjoy it.
Don’t try to memorize it word for word.
Have fun! It’s okay if you make mistakes or you don’t catch every word you hear.
Don’t expect your conversation partner to be a best language teacher. Focus on making friends and having a pleasant conversation.
Over to you
  • Which of the things do you already do?
  • Which on the tips do you think will be most useful to you?
  • What are some other ways to practice speaking outside of class.