University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Study Strategies

Study strategies come in dozens of types, but the key is to determine your needs or weaknesses, and use strategies that work for you to strengthen yourself in those areas. Most of these strategies are provided by DRES at Illinois (Disability Resources and Educational Services), and can be useful for all students. Which of the following are difficult for you? Click on the bulleted list to see Strategies for overcoming these common challenges.

This resource also covers several of the topics below, Effective Study Skills.

I have difficulty concentrating on homework.

When studying I am uncertain of what is important to study.

  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Notetaking Strategies
  • Tutoring Resources are available on campus.
  • Tip: In class, learn to recognize what the instructor thought was important for that day. He or she will probably think that’s also important for an exam. Write notes to yourself in the margins, for example: “He spent a lot of time on this point in lecture,” or "she was really enthusiastic about this process." Pay special attention to summary points at the end of class and points reviewed at the beginning of class from previous lectures - the instructor thinks these are important.

I often fail to turn in assignments on time.

I struggle with inadequate reading of textbooks.

I am unsure how to study.

I have trouble retaining studied information.

I have trouble focusing in class.

I have difficulty writing papers and essays

  • The Writer’s Workshop on campus can help.
  • Grammarly@edu is an online computerized program that scans writing and provides an in-depth, extensive grammar review (complete with explanations) on more than 150 types of potential writing errors. ACES students may obtain the ACES access code by emailing your UIN to and requesting the Grammarly access code. You will then recevie an email invitation from Grammarly. Follow the instrutctions to login.
  • Purdue University offers an Online Writing Lab (OWL).

I have test-taking problems/anxiety.

I always seem to end up cramming for exams.

Organization is a challenge for me.

I don’t manage my time well.

I don’t apply enough effort toward studying.