Introduction:

What is a study guide?

A study guide is a resource and technique specifically designed for studying and improving long-term information retention. It can take many forms depending on the topic you're studying and how you most effectively learn.

Why should I make my own study guide?

The process of reviewing your material and translating it into a study guide you can later use as reference is a valuable exercise onto itself. It forces you to reflect on the information, reduce it into its main points, and synthesize it into something you can use to teach yourself afterwards

What's the point of using a study guide template?

Using a study guide template is an efficient and effective way to ensure that you're following tried and tested methods when studying, but also giving you the ability to customize the template to better suit your material and personal needs.

A study guide template saves you the time and energy that you may normally waste practicing inefficient or lazy study methods and allows you to spend that time on actually reflecting on and internalizing the material.

With this Process Street Study Guide Template checklist, all the research on how to best study is already done for you and all that's left to do is input all the information you need to study, follow the process step-by-step, and you'll be acing that exam in no time!

Once you're finished using this study guide template checklist studying a particular topic, you can then just run the checklist again whenever you may need to study another topic in future.

But keep in mind that a study guide template is only as useful as the information you put in it. So make sure you're following the process carefully and including all of the information you'll need to succeed on your exam (or whatever else you may be studying for).

Feel free to make any changes you may need to our process so that it best suits your needs and the topic you're studying.

Record information

Before getting started on creating your study guide, you should record some basic information in the form fields below to keep all of your study guides organized.

Summary sheet:

Divide paper into two columns

Now that you've recorded your information, it's time to get started on putting together your study guide. 

You'll first want to begin by organizing all of the information from your class notes into a digestible summary sheet

A summary sheet not only allows you to easily and effectively quiz yourself, but also requires that you review your notes as you rewrite them into your study guide, making sure that you're most likely to retain the information after the fact. 

Now for your first step, simply divide your paper (or digital document) into two columns, making sure the right column has more space than the left.

Feel free to use the form fields below to take any notes and/or upload your document (if you're working digitally).

List most important concepts

Next, on the right side of your paper (or digital document), take some time to list the most important topics/concepts covered in your notes

Feel free to use the form fields below to take any notes and/or upload your document (if you're working digitally).

Provide summaries/descriptions

Now that you've listed the most important concepts, provide a brief summary/description underneath each of the concepts.

If necessary, you may also want to include examples from the source material that will help you remember the information.

Feel free to use the form fields below to take any notes and/or upload your document (if you're working digitally).

Write cue questions

Next step is to think of some corresponding cue questions for each of the concepts and write them on the left side of your paper.

Feel free to use the form fields below to take any notes and/or upload your document (if you're working digitally).

Depending on what you're studying, it may be more effective to organize your study guide in a different way.

For instance, if you're creating this study guide for a history exam where you need to remember a series of events, it may be best for you to create a chronological timeline of the events to help better understand the context in which each event took place.

Organizing your information in a timeline allows you to more easily memorize the events in chronological sequence, so it can be an effective study guide for classes such as, history, anthropology, political science, music/art history, etc.

[Conditional] Create a timeline

This is a conditional task that will only appear if you've selected 'Yes' in the previous dropdown selection.

Take some time to organize the source material's important events into a chronological timeline. 

You can organize the timeline similar to the summary sheet: divide the paper into two columns and list the dates on the left side and the events (and descriptions) on the right side.

Feel free to use the form fields below to take any notes and/or upload your document (if you're working digitally).

Quiz yourself

Now that you're finished creating your summary sheet/timeline, it's time to put it to use and quiz yourself!

To do this, simply cover up the right side of the paper and try to answer the questions on the left.

Quizzing yourself in this way will allow you to easily pinpoint which concepts/terms/events you may need to spend more time on. 

Feel free to use the form field below to take any notes, if needed.

Concept cards:

Write key idea/concept

An example of how the front of your concept card might look.

Kinesthetic learners may find it difficult to study using the traditional reading/writing approach and are more likely to retain the information when they're able to apply their learning into practice.

This is why I've provided the option to create concept cards in addition to the summary sheet.

In simple terms, concept cards are “flash cards on steroids”, and all you need to create them is index cards that are 3x5 or larger.

To begin, write the main concept or term you'd like to learn on the front of the card.

Organize term

An example of how the front of your concept card might look.

Next, write the organizing term in the upper right-hand corner of the front of the card.

The organizing term should allow you to easily determine how your main concepts or terms are organized.

Feel free to use the form field below to take any notes, if needed.

Source the information

An example of how the front of your concept card might look.

After you've written the organizing terms, write the information sources (textbook page, lecture date, etc.) on the front of the card as well.

Feel free to use the form field below to take any notes, if needed.

Write what is most important to learn about concept

An example of how the back of your concept card might look.

Now, on the back of the card, write what is most important to learn about the main concepts in your own words.

Try to include examples and synthesized descriptions of the main concepts, in addition to more straightforward definitions, to make sure that you're building a deeper understanding of the subject-matter, rather than simply memorizing.

You may also find it helpful to include supplementary visuals, such as: timelines, diagrams, etc. to further your progress.

Feel free to use the form field below to take any notes, if needed.

Quiz yourself

Now that you've put together your concept cards, it's time to quiz yourself!

To do this, only allow yourself to look at the information provided on the front of the cards and try to remember what is on the back of the cards.

This is most effective when speaking aloud

Similar to the summary sheet, quizzing yourself in this way will allow you to easily pinpoint which concepts/terms/events you may need to spend more time on. 

Feel free to use the form field below to take any notes, if needed.

Approval: Final Approval

Will be submitted for approval:
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  • Quiz yourself
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Sources:

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