Study Notes for Students | Your Key to Effective Studying

Overcoming Anxiety

Remember the tortoise and the hare? Learning doesn't come like a flash in the pan. Understanding a particular concept make come quickly, but college is all about learning a particular concept and then gaining understanding about other concepts and how all of these concepts can inter-relate and how they react against each other. That's what brings a broader base of understanding and knowledge.

This is why the encouragement here is to review your notes regularly. You may want to start each of your regularly scheduled study periods with a quick ten to fifteen minute review of areas discussed the last time this class met and decide whether your notes bring you the recall you had hoped. Check the text for key words and phrases. Another time during the week you may want to read through a portion of your course notes that you took earlier in the term looking for key concepts and ideas. Go to your text and look through chapter headings and subtitles and terms printed in bold. Be on the lookout for those key phrases that bring important concepts to your attention and review them briefly to keep your recall up to date.

Regular review of material helps spot those areas where you have some uncertainty or confusion. You can address the situation and improve your understanding. If you choose not to review regularly, you are likely to simply forget a good portion of what you knew, even if you thought you understood the material. This results in your final study time being a time of re-learning instead of review. This is a good place for test anxiety to build.

Look over past assignments, exams and pop quizzes for clues as to what the instructor sees as important. It is always a good idea to attend any group tutoring sessions that may be offered in courses that give you difficulty. Class review sessions and study groups are also good choices if available. See what other people, including the instructor, may advise as important to know.

Your goal is to take the concepts and terms that you learned in a particular class early in the term and use those as a base on which you build further concepts which inter-relate. So as you go through the term and gain understanding you are consolidating details that you learned earlier and merging them with new information to build a broader knowledge base of the subject. As you do this anxiety starts to wane and confidence starts to build. Anxiety is overcome with regular and diligent time and effort in the subject matter. It is not overcome with a pill.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013


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