Study Skills

Attitude is the most important thing about studying!

Be alert. Get the most out of every situation (class, lecture, book assignment, shop demonstration, etc.).

General Suggestions – Equip Yourself

General Suggestions for Learning are based on the assumption that all students come to Lanier Technical College with a positive attitude toward learning. Attitude is the most important thing about studying. Be alert. Get the most out of every situation (class, lecture, book assignment, shop demonstration, etc.).

Equip Yourself

  • Pen, pencil, and notebook
  • Personal calendar for assignments, due dates, and test dates
  • Special tools where necessary
  • Formal time for studying. Take a short break!
  • Make study time quality time
  • Formal place for studying
  • Time for self
  • Time for work
  • Develop a notebook and include information like vocabulary and equations
  • Class handouts
  • Class notes

Personal life must be set aside for learning to take place. Learn to say “no” when friends want to interrupt your studying. Try to do everything day-by-day. Don’t leave assignments or preparation for tests until the last minute. Self-discipline is a MUST!

Taking notes in class will help you learn ideas and remember them. Develop your own system for keeping and recording information in a notebook.

Suggestions for Organizing your Notes

  • Date and title your notes.
  • Allow space to add information.
  • Use abbreviations.
  • Keep notes brief. Use an outline form. Listen, Look, Review, And Question.
  • Be an active listener. When taking notes, listen for “verbal clues.” Example: “Remember this,” or “This is important…” Listen for key words or ideas.
  • Watch for “nonverbal clues” from your instructor. Example: pointing while demonstrating something in class. Nonverbal clues can indicate important topics. In note taking, concentrate on key words and ideas when listening or reading.

Read it!…Repeat it!…Review notes frequently in preparation for tests. Repetition is necessary for reinforcement. Ask your instructor questions when you don’t understand something in class or in the textbook. Remember to write down all of your assignments and their due dates.

Test-Taking Tips Before the Test

  • In preparation for a test, learn what kind of test you will be taking.
  • Study your notes from class and textbook. Review homework assignments and class handouts.
  • Anticipate questions prior to the test. Make up your own questions that you think may be asked.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before a test.
  • Be sure to take more than one pencil or pen to the testing session.

Test Taking Tips During the Test

  • Read all directions and each question carefully. Read each question more than once.
  • Answer the easiest questions first, then return to the more difficult ones.
  • Note test questions of different value (points) and develop a time schedule to allow more time for questions of greater value.

Test Taking Tips After the Test

  • When the test is returned, note which questions were missed. Learn what the correct answers should have been.

Types of Tests

Multiple Choice

Read all of the choices carefully and select the most suitable answer.


Do the ones you know first and cross them out. Make your best matches with the remaining ones.

True/False (T & F)

Read the statement carefully. Look for questions with words like “all,” “only,” “always,” and “never”; they are usually false. Remember all parts of a statement must be true for an answer to be true.

Short Answer

Part of an answer is better than no answer. If you don’t know the exact answer, then write down related information to the subject. You might get partial credit.

Essay Tests

  • Read through the directions to find out what is expected
  • Read each question several times to understand what is being asked
  • Allow enough time to answer all sections of the essay question
  • Answer the questions you are most sure of first
  • Look for clue words which will help you with the answers

Clue Words

  • Compare: show how things are alike
  • Contrast: show how things are different
  • Compare & Contrast: show how things are alike and different
  • Analyze: separate and discuss the parts of the topic in detail
  • Describe: explain how to do it or what it looks like in detail