El Camino College Torrance | 2017-2018 Student Handbook - page 41

Study Skills
Start off the school year with a study routine that you can use throughout the year.
• Choose a study place with minimal distractions for uninterrupted study time. Hang a
DO NOT DISTURB sign if needed. A quiet, well-lit environment is best.
• Be sure to have all the materials needed in your study place before you get started.
Have a supply of pens, pencils, erasers, calculators, paper, etc. available.
• Ask questions. If you do not understand an assignment, be sure to know who you can
go to with questions. Some teachers are available via email or phone.
• Use note cards and note-taking techniques to organize ideas into an outline.
• Learn and apply test-taking techniques to organize ideas in an outline.
• Apply new study strategies, including the use of note cards, flash cards, color-coding,
and study guides.
• Use an encyclopedia and the Internet for research and to create a bibliography.
• Utilize all parts of a textbook to complete homework assignments.
• Use a study guide if given to you by your teacher.
• Don’t wait until the last minute!
• Review what you have done in class each day.
So you’ve made the right choices so far and attended all of your classes. For each class, you
have a shiny new notebook and a color-coordinated folder that has your syllabus and all of the
important documents that you were given on the first day of class.
Now, you want to know how to get a good grade in your class. The answer, quite simply, is to
mindfully and diligently take notes by hand. Forget your laptop, especially if you are in a large
lecture hall. It will only serve as a distraction as you maneuver it around your lap in your tiny
fold-up chair, only to force you to search for a place to power it up when the battery gets low.
And if your school’s lecture halls have wi-fi, avoid using your laptop in class like the plague. It will
only tempt you to plug in and tune out.
Good Note-Taking Habits Include:
• Actively listening to your teacher’s lecture and jotting down the main ideas in an orderly,
easy-to-read outline.
• Writing down in the margins of your notebook any subject-relevant questions, areas of
confusion, or interesting connections that pop into your head.
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