Students at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will find many different ways to study.

Study methods

If you find you lose concentration, try using a different method to take in information. Depending on your learning style, trying a method outside your usual method can help with retention.

  1. Study webs/mind mapping: Without looking at your text or notes, write down a main topic and branch out into details. Then go back and check the information against notes and fill in gaps. The gaps are what you need to study. Repeat the process the next day, again to decide what ideas need more study time.
  2. Compare and contrast grid: Create a grid and fill in the appropriate information.
  3. Flashcards: Write vocabulary, statements or questions on one side, with answers on the other side. Great to carry with you and review anytime in a quick manner. Color-coding information may help you recall connections.
  4. Study groups: Working with one or more people gives you a different perspective on material, especially if you choose someone with a different learning style than your own. Explaining and teaching others is a great way to retain information.
  5. Notes/study guides: Your notes should be a combination of lecture, readings and discussion information. If the ideas are repeated many times, there is a good chance you will be tested on it. Many students spend more time creating study guides than using them. Make sure you allow time to actually study your material. Also, if you use someone else's material, make sure the information is correct before you learn it.


We have past experiences that we bring to new learning situations. Those experiences can help us learn new material because we're able to see connections. Sometimes you may find yourself struggling more than usual with a subject. Ignoring it won't help matters. Especially when subject matter is new and different, it may be harder to make relevant connections. Sometimes new vocabulary can hinder our learning.

Working with others can help us make those missing connections. Whether we study with one colleague or a group of students, having others to talk over ideas with can help our understanding. Remember, teaching others helps you learn, and sharing different learning styles helps us see different perspectives.

Student Academic Success Services is always a place to talk over academic issues. They can help you find an upper-class student who has been through the class.