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Part of Western Governors University

April 19, 2011

Making a study guide for your online degree.

Creating a study guide.

Effective studying before a test is the difference between proving your knowledge and crumbling under the pressure of reproducing it. Creating an organized study guide can give you the confidence needed to successfully prepare for your online university tests and assessments. Read on for an example and some tips on how to construct this helpful tool.

Gathering information.

1. Take time to gather all the necessary information you need to create your study guide.
     It can usually be found in places like

  • Your notes
    Identify the key terms and concepts to highlight in your study guide
    Highlight and group similar information together
  • Your textbook
    Make note of the pages where review is necessary
    If applicable, read the footnotes and the review questions at the end of each chapter

2. Look for holes and find the information to fill them. 

3. Write down any questions you have and find the answers before the test.

Structure (The main topic, e.g. "Science").

The structure of a study guide allows you to place main ideas, supporting ideas, and additional information into groups. For example:

1. The headings below the subject with the leftmost indentation represent the main ideas of the topic, such as "Chemistry."

A. This group represents the supporting ideas of the main idea, such as Protons

B. Neutrons

C. Electrons

  • Additional information may be placed in bullet points under the supporting ideas. For example, "electrons are negatively charged"
  • Electrons have energy levels and sublevels

2. Indent each heading to provide a visual separation of the terms and their types.

  • As you can see from the example above, a study guide is an easy way to organize what you know in order to prepare for a test. By incorporating this process into your study time, you will be more confident and one step closer to your online degree.
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