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Learning Center - Study Skills

This guide reviews study skills, including effective note-taking, test-taking, and reading.


We know that the more senses you involve in your study habits, the more apt you are to actively engage with the material. Visual note-taking helps you to connect important terms, concepts, and theories to related images and visuals.  As you create the visual images in your notes, you are engaging the senses of touch and sight.  Later, when you go to study these materials or use them for a research project, you will be able to connect not only to the material, but the memories of creating it.  


Here is an example of visual notes:


Here are some Keys to Success for taking visual notes:


You don't have to be Picasso.  You may think that  you have to be "good" at drawing in order to take visual notes or you might be frustrated that your notes don't "look" a certain way.  It's important not to get caught up on your artistic skills, and instead, focus on your learning.  



Connect text and images.  Even though you are taking visual notes, you don't want to forget about the text. You should use text to organize the images and give them meaning.  By connecting texts and images, you are helping your brain to connect with the materials in two different mediums.  Use text to highlight important terms that will draw your attention.


Remember to structure.  Like written notes and outlines, visual notes can get messy if you don't have a structure.  Use boxes, lines, and arrows to help you structure the ideas.  You can also use tables and charts to help organize the material.  Moreover, by learning to structure your visuals, you will also start to see connections in the materials, which will help you synthesize the information.