Study skills or study strategies are approaches applied to learning.
They are generally critical to success in school, are considered essential for acquiring good grades, and are useful for learning throughout ones life.
There are an array of study skills, which may tackle the process of organising and taking in new information, retaining information, or dealing with assessments. They include mnemonics, which aid the retention of lists of information, effective reading and concentration techniques, as well as efficient notetaking.
While often left up to the student and their support network, study skills are increasingly taught at High School and University level.
More broadly, any skill, which boosts a persons ability to study and pass exams, can be termed a study skill, and this could include time management and motivational techniques.
Study Skills are discrete techniques that can be learned, usually in a short time, and applied to all or most fields of study. They must therefore be distinguished from strategies that are specific to a particular field of study e.g. music or technology, and from abilities inherent in the student, such as aspects of intelligence or learning style.
Rote learning - Methods based on memorization
One of the most basic approaches to learn any information is simply to repeat it by rote. Typically this will include reading over notes or a textbook, and re-writing notes.
Methods based on communication skills e.g. reading and listening.
The weakness with rote learning is that it implies a passive reading or listening style. Educators have argued that students need to learn critical thinking - questioning and weighing up evidence as they learn. This can be done during lectures or when reading books.
A student studies for his final exams using the PQRST method. One method used to focus on key information when studying from books is the PQRST method. This method prioritizes the information in a way that relates directly to how they will be asked to use that information in an exam. PQRST is an acronym for Preview, Question, Read, Summary, Test.
1.Preview: the student looks at the topic to be learned by glancing over the major headings or the points in the syllabus.
2.Question: then questions to be answered once the topic has been thoroughly studied are formulated.
3.Read: reference material related to the topic is read through, and the information that best relates to the questions is chosen.
4.Summary: the student summarizes the topic, bringing his or her own ways of summarizing information into the process, including written notes, spider diagrams, flow diagrams, labeled diagrams, mnemonics, or even voice recordings.
5.Test: then the student answers the questions created in the question step as fully as possible, avoiding adding questions that might distract or change the subject.
There are a variety of studies from different colleges that show peer-communication can help increase better study habits tremendously. One study shows that an average of 73% score increase was recorded by those who were enrolled in the classes surveyed.