Tips for Studying: Study to Teach

Note cards. Highlighting. Reading the book over and over again. All of these are great study tools but they don’t guarantee you will actually learn.

The Best Study Tip: Study to teachMy best study tip for students is this – “study to teach”.  Ask yourself this question – if your instructor invited you to teach his class the next day, would you prepare the same way you study for a test? The answer is almost always a resounding no! You’d want to make sure you knew the material so well that you wouldn’t look stupid in front of his class.

“Study to teach” – how do you do this?

Here’s the process

  • Get a timer, your notes, and some blank paper or a white board, and choose a time when your brain is most alert.
  • Set the timer for 15 minutes and take out your first page of notes. For the next 15 minutes, study only that page… any way you want, whatever works best for you to learn.  Maybe you will want to draw things out on the white board or paper, for example.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the notes over and pretend to teach them to an imaginary person.
  • If you can do that successfully, go to the next page of notes and repeat the process.  If you don’t know it well enough yet to teach your imaginary friend, review that page again and try to teach it again.
  • Keep this up for at least an hour.  Then take a break for 20 to 30 minutes and go do something you really want to do to refresh your mind.
  • Do this study-and-break once or twice more and then quit for the day. Do it again tomorrow the same way. Daily studying like this trains your mind to efficiently learn new information.

Does this work? Yes! Is it easy? No, but it gets easier with practice. And you will really learn. The result – better grades!

What are your thoughts?

These study tips are brought to you by Dr. Wood, Professor of Biology. Are you interested in a degree in biology or pre-med? We’ve got you covered. Stop by for a visit, and see if UMHB is right for you.
Kathleen Wood, Ph.D.

Kathleen Wood, Ph.D.

I've taught biology and done research with students at UMHB since 1999.While genetics and cell biology are my focus, biology as a whole is tremendously fascinating to me.
Kathleen Wood, Ph.D.

Latest posts by Kathleen Wood, Ph.D. (see all)

Kathleen Wood, Ph.D.

About Kathleen Wood, Ph.D.

I've taught biology and done research with students at UMHB since 1999. While genetics and cell biology are my focus, biology as a whole is tremendously fascinating to me.