How To Create A Great Study Guide

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Finals are coming up within the next month and I know a lot of you are stressing (including me). Something that I like to do around this time is to start making a study guide. I like to make my study guides this early because I won't have to stress when it comes to studying for finals. Here are some tips that I find helpful when making a study guide!


Creating an outline is essential to making a study guide. It helps you be able to visualize what you need to know for the exam quickly without having to look things up right away. It also helps you be able to organize the material in a way that you find helpful. I like to bold the key concepts and then list the terms under each concept without defining them right away. Defining them goes with the "real" study guide. This is just an overview of what needs to be learned and memorized.

Color Coding

This is soo important for when it comes to the actual study guide. For me, I like to take the key concepts and list the terms underneath it. However, this is where I actually write down the definitions and the extra material that will be needed for the test. Color coding is my favorite study tool. I use colored pens for everything. Key concepts are in one color and the key terms are in another. Sometimes under each concept I make each term a different color to help differentiate between all of them.

Leave Room For Other Notes

There are a lot of times where we either forget to write something down or learn something later on after making the study guide that we want to add in. Leaving extra room is very important for this. It makes it a lot easier to keep all of your notes in order without having to look around for a term when you need it.


Writing down examples when you're able to is a great study tool. Whether it's an example that helps you learn what you need to learn or whether it is an example that might be a question on your exam. Examples are great ways to learn your class's material. Having multiple examples increases your chances on getting a better grade on the exam!

Practice Questions

Practice questions are great to add at the end of the study guide to take you to the next level in studying. There are soo many ways a professor can ask a question on an exam. Having practice questions that will stimulate your brain are great ways to learn.

Memorize, Memorize, Memorize

Now that you're study guide is made... it's time to start learning the material. Going over your study guide once before the final isn't going to make the grade. Going over the material is going to be super important when studying. This is why I think it's best to make your final study guide a few weeks in advance. I know some of the material hasn't been covered yet but that's why we give extra space... to add more information in! Typing the study guide helps too! Studying what you've already learned now probably will bring you a step ahead of the other students. And who wouldn't want a better grade?! I know I do!

I hope this helps everyone! Good luck getting ready for finals in a month!