- Design a study routine. Pick a convenient time and a place without distractions. Stick to the same time and place everyday.
- Take a 5-10 minute break every hour.
- Set reasonable study goals and reward yourself.
- Use a reading strategy to read textbook chapters.
- Study alone first; then study with a buddy.
- Try to predict test questions.
Reading Strategies: SQ3R and PORPE
Do you have problems concentrating on your reading? Do you forget what you read the minute you finish? Following the five steps of SQ3R can help you to process and remember what you read.
Survey the piece of writing to establish its purpose (what is it trying to get across to the reader?) and to get the main ideas.
Surveying the information includes looking at the following:
- Introduction and conclusion
- Bold or italicized print
- First and last sentences in paragraphs
As you are surveying the piece, a good way to decide what you will be reading for when you do read is to question as you survey.
- Writing down questions keeps you alert and focused on your work.
- Divide a sheet of paper in half lengthwise
- On the left half, write questions as you are surveying the piece.
- Turn the titles of sections into questions.
After you have surveyed an entire chapter, you are ready to start reading. To make your reading effective, apply the following five principles.
- Divide and conquer. Break up the reading into manageable pieces of seven to ten pages. Dividing the material will help you maintain a high level of motivation and concentration while you read.
- Read to answer your questions. Keep the questions you created in mind. This will help you locate key points more quickly. Each time you answer a question from your survey you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Revise your questions if necessary. If the author addresses questions other than the questions from your survey, make more questions. Raising and revising questions while reading forces you to dig into the material and think about it in depth.
- Make predictions. Making predictions serves the same purpose as posing questions. To decide whether or not your predictions were correct, you have to pay attention to the author's words.
- Write while you read. Under line key words in a passage. Write key points in the margins.
Reciting immediately after reading is a great way to test your understanding. If you can recite the key points in a chapter section, you've taken a crucial step toward remembering what you've read. Write out the answers to your survey questions; do not just recite them.
- Reviewing the entire chapter after you complete it is a critical step. Reviewing tells you which chapter sections you understood and which ones you need to reread.
- Look over the headings to see what you remember.
- Skim the words you underlined and see if you know them.
PORPE is an approach to studying textbook materials in which you create and answer essay question. It takes time, but it is an excellent tool for preparing for essay exams. PORPE is broken down into five steps:
After reading the chapter, predict possible essay questions from the information contained in the text. In the formation of these questions, you should avoid questions that begin with "what" or "when" and do not include analysis. Some key question words are "explain", "discuss", "criticize", "compare" and "contrast." Predict more questions than the exam will actually have.
Organize, summarize, and synthesize the key points of the chapter using your own words. Then outline the answers to predicted questions.
Recite aloud the information and quiz your memory. This step helps you place the key ideas, examples, and overall organization in your long-term memory.
Practice answering your predicted essay questions from memory. You can sketch an outline of the essay or prepare a complete answer.
Evaluate your own work by asking the following questions: Do I have enough concrete examples? Is my answer complete, accurate, and appropriate? Is there anything I should study (going back to step three) before taking the exam?
Call the counseling office to make an appointment. ACCUPLACER will be given in the Tutoring and Testing Center on:
Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m.