The faculty at DCCC is committed to your success. Here are some study strategies the faculty recommends:

  • Use the 20/10 Method: for every 20 minutes of study time, allow yourself a 10-minute break.  The average adult attention span is around 15-18 minutes, so building in a break maximizes your brain power and improves your efficiencies.
  • Though you may believe that music and TV help you focus, they really don’t.  Try to limit any distractions and only use quiet music to mask any ambient noise that would be more of a distraction.
  • Increase your awareness of how you use your time.  Time is your friend when you use it to your advantage, but it can turn on you quickly.  Make a weekly schedule of how you use your time and work to avoid wasted time.

Ideas for reading college textbooks:

  • Read the “Chapter Summary” or other end matter BEFORE turning to the beginning of the chapter.  This gives your reading focus and purpose.
  • Note the questions at the end of the chapter and look for the answers as you read. (Use the scanning skills of looking at headings or marginal information to guide you to these answers.)
  • Look at the course outcomes/objectives on a regular basis to guide your reading.  If you’re supposed to “know” something by the end of the course, you should be looking for what it is you should know as you read.

Ideas for managing lecture material:

  • Jot down key words/phrases; do not try to write down everything.
  • Make notes of anything you see in a PowerPoint slide show or that is written on the board.  This information will be important if the instructor wrote it for you.
  • Review your notes as soon as possible after the class and clarify for yourself what you’ve written (e.g. make sure you understand your abbreviations, that you’ve spelled words correctly, that you’ve accurately noted references to the textbook or other materials).
  • Color-code your notes with a highlighter to aid your memory.  For example, use red or pink if you are studying the circulatory system in biology OR use colors to indicate your assessment of importance of your note materials: red is critical to know, blue is “cold” and probably not a “must know” idea.