School of Medicine and Public Health students 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.


Past experiences help us learn new material because they allow us to see connections between the old and the new. Especially when subject matter is quite different from what you have encountered in the past, it may be hard to make relevant connections. Working with others can help 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. Student Academic Success Services (SASS) can help you find an upper-class student who has been through the material before to assist you if needed.