There is a world of difference between a high school and a college. New friends, a whole new experience and leaving the nest are bound to have repercussions on the studies. Add here no control from adults and unexpected responsibilities. Hardly surprising, many students face issues with grinding away with their books. After all, high school graduates do not receive prompts how to study in college life filled with temptations. And that’s when a study guide enters the stage. Lucky are those students whose teachers have given them well-rounded instructions for the successful educational process. However, it does not happen very often. In the real world students have to complete such training manuals on their own. No need to worry, it is not a rocket science. Here we will show how to make a study guide in college from cover to cover.
Why is it so important?
Developing such instructions is a very useful skill. First and foremost, they help to organize the studying process insuring that all important aspects won’t be forgotten. Next, it is a great way of gathering all essential data in one place. Plus, it helps to learn the subject more efficiently. What are the other advantages of study guides?
All disciplines deviate and no one will compare Math with English literature. Naturally, the guides for these subjects, as well as for many others, will also differ, meeting the requirements of the specific discipline. It is essential to choose the most appropriate format.
How to choose the perfect sample study guide format
Browsing through the Internet you may find dozens of samples created specifically for a certain subject. Some subjects require customized approaches like creation of concept maps.
For example, you can create a comparison chart in case if you need to process bulks of information that need comparing. Such charts help to build connections between categories or characteristics.
Concept cards are another guide format. They are brilliant for subjects like Math, Science or History. Here you write a key idea with the used source on the front and comments and supporting information on the back of the card.
Summary sheets are more appropriate for the Literature lectures. Here all you have to do, is summarizing all core ideas expressed in your notes.
Look through the examples of good study guides to find out what format will meet all your requirements and present the information in the most appropriate way.
How to create good study guide templates for college students
Any great guide starts with the collection of all the needed sources of information. They include:
In case of textbooks, use section headlines as an outline. Reread the chapters to separate out the key ideas.
Look through the homework tasks. There is a pretty good chance that similar tasks will be on the test.
Previous tests show the kinds of questions your teacher focuses on.
Creating a study guide template does not take much time. Especially when you create an empty version of it, fit for every subject. For example, there are plenty of samples on the Internet that are shaped in the table form. The variations may be slightly different. But all of them contain sections named The Subject and Test date on the top of the sheet, planned time for studying and what topics you are going to cover during that time. Thus you streamline your studying process and won’t miss your test date.
When creating the template, make it condensed. The guide should be laconic, precise and not very long, otherwise it will be a mishmash of facts and keywords. Such prolonged guides will bamboozle you.
Developing great guide calls for a precise knowledge how much time you get before the test. You will be able to plan ahead your work properly. And do not set unrealistic hours. If your test is on Thursday and today is Monday, do not expect that you have 72 hours for studying. In the real world these 72 hours will shrink to 6 hours max.
Make a calendar of studies. Thus you visualize your plan and make it more precise.
Do not neglect reviewing time. If you have quite a long period of time dedicated to the studies, there is a pretty good chance that you will forget something. So review may be helpful in such situations.
Stick to the schedule but do not be afraid to adjust it. Sometimes you will need more or less time to learn certain chapter and it is perfectly fine, unless you were distracted by your Facebook or Instagram.
How to make a study guide for teachers?
Teachers often create study guides for their students. It is not an obligatory option, however, they can take an advantage of it to simplify the process of preparation for the students. Teacher’s version does not differ much from students’ one. But here much prominence is given to the major points of the course, without the emphasis on the gaps in knowledge that particular student has. That is why usually teachers prepare some kind of a template with listed key ideas and some additional space where students can inscribe points that require additional attention.