Center for Academic Success

The Study Cycle

Jefferson is a unique academic environment with challenging learning demands.  To meet these challenges and new demands you will need to of course work HARD, but you will also need to work SMARTER than you ever have before. Your studies at Jefferson will require you to build upon your strengths as a student and develop new and more efficient strategies and habits of studying and learning.

Our review of the study cycle provides an opportunity to consider strategies for adjusting each stage of study to improve efficiency and to incorporate elements of active study earlier and more often. On this page you will find an overview of the cycle, as well as handouts and materials for each stage.

For a more detailed discussion of active study and the stages of the study cycle, please view our series of short videos, available on the Workshops and Webinars page

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Stage 1: Previewing & Pre-Reading

This first pass is brief and is designed to strategically survey resources to improve readiness to listen well and take effective notes.

Stage 2: Lecture & Note-Taking

The second stage of study takes place in class (or possibly with viewing of a recorded lecture) and involves active listening and strategic note-taking.

Stage 3: Processing New Information & Planning Subsequent Study

This third pass should happen on the same day as lecture, maybe the day after, and the goal is to summarize your understanding, to locate best resources, and to plan subsequent study.

Stage 4: Active Study & Self-Testing

This stage of study includes multiple passes spaced out over days before the exam and includes a variety of practice-based, question-based work and self-testing (as well as review of source material as necessary to answer questions and fill gaps).

We encourage you to follow up with an individual consultation. Book an appointment with Center for Academic Success to discuss practical aspects of how best to apply strategies for each stage in specific courses.