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Study Strategies for Better Grades (and More Learning)

Handouts for Students

Study Strategies for Better Grades (and More Learning)

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How do you study for exams? Are you using evidence-based strategies? Did you know there are ways to study that improve exam scores? Educational psychologists and others have researched study strategies extensively, and their findings show that some approaches consistently produce higher test exam scores. Here’s a list of evidence-based study strategies and ways to maximize their effectiveness. Some you may be using already, but are you using them in the best possible ways? Others you may not know about. Will they work for you? There’s only one way to know. Try them out.

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Note: Here’s a handout you can share with your students. Click here to download an editable Word copy. Feel free to modify the content, the format, or both. For a related assignment involving study strategies, see here. You can explore our other handouts to students here.


How do you study for exams? Are you using evidence-based strategies? Did you know there are ways to study that improve exam scores? Educational psychologists and others have researched study strategies extensively, and their findings show that some approaches consistently produce higher test exam scores. Here’s a list of evidence-based study strategies and ways to maximize their effectiveness. Some you may be using already, but are you using them in the best possible ways? Others you may not know about. Will they work for you? There’s only one way to know. Try them out.

Frequently, students make the big mistake of assuming that learning is easy. What you are trying to learn may be hard, sometimes less difficult, and occasionally easy. It depends on the course. It’s also true that some students learn some kinds of content quicker than other students. But most of the time, learning is hard, messy work. It takes time and effort and usually involves misunderstanding, not understanding, and making mistakes. But brains are big, efficient, and designed to learn. Like muscles, they often prefer to relax rather than work out, but also like the rest of our bodies, they can be trained. Once they’re in shape, watch out for awesome accomplishments.