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Study Skills: Strategies


  • Break your work into small chunks by using a stopwatch. 
  • Try the Pomodoro method- get started with one 25-minute block of work time. Then, take a break. 
  • Having a hard time getting started? Tackle your homework with one shorter session- even 5 minutes can help you to get started! 

Study Groups

Image: Group of Students

Working with others is one of the best ways to learn! 
Forming a small study group with classmates helps with motivation, 
retention and overall success. 

Book a study room in the library or Student Achievement Center for a private space to work with others. You can even set up a recurring booking for the same day and time each week. 

Book a study room

Quick Links: Study Tools

*Current Madison College students can use Brainfuse for free online tutoring in a variety of subjects. Math support is available 24/7! Access Brainfuse via your student BlackBoard page. 

*Free app with versions for iOs, Android and the web. Sync your notes across devices, study on the go by using your phone. 

Chegg Flashcards 
*Find flashcards from other students or create your own set. Free resource, includes the option to quiz yourself with multiple choice format questions. iOs, Android and web. 

*Free text to speech software that can read text out loud to you. See this page for detailed instructions. 

Image: Find what works for you

Featured Study Strategies

Madison College's Student Achivement Center
offers free tutoring to current students. 

Get help in a variety of subjects! Make an appointment
to meet in person or remotely. Tutoring is also available
in the Student Achievement Center on a walk-in basis. 

Peer Tutor & Academic
Engagement Partner Schedules


Book a Tutor




 Image: Student Achievement Center logo


Image: Student working with a peer tutor



Video Link: Pairing Strategy with Gretchen Rubin

Video: For Habits, the Strategy of Pairing with author Gretchen Rubin

The strategy of pairing helps to reinforce habits (like studying, exercising, cleaning- or really anything that you need to do, but have a hard time getting started on or doing regularly) by creating time to do something you already love to do with something that you need to do.

Check out the chart below for some ideas- what activities could you easily pair with studying? 

Walking, stretching or another low impact exercise Listening to pre-recorded lectures
Doing simple arts & crafts like sketching,
cutting paper for collage or making pom poms
Watching films or other
content for class
Making yourself a special hot beverage as a treat: 
think hot cocoa with marshmallows and whipped cream
Attending online live classes
or catching up with
online classwork
Self-care tasks like doing your nails,
face masks, etc. 
Quizzing a friend from class in
person, or over the phone
Going out to a favorite coffee shop  Getting a rough draft of
a paper done
Ordering your favorite take out or having
a pizza delivered
Studying for midterms or finals


In the Pomodoro method you break your work into 25 minute chunks. By focusing more directly on one specific task for 25 minutes, rather than multi-tasking or allowing yourself to get distracted by other things, proponents of this technique say it allows them to accomplish more by planning breaks and separating working time into smaller segments. 

Why "Pomodoro"? Italian for Tomato, the creator named the technique after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work while he was in college. 

The Pomodoro Technique



The Spaced Repetition Learning Method asks you to space out your studying of a topic in intervals,
allowing you to spend less time studying. Adding spaces in between learning a subject increases retention 
and can help greatly with difficult subjects or courses that rely on memorization. 

Lifehack: How to Use Spaced Repetition to Remember What You Learn

Ali Abdaal- How to Study: Spaced Repetition and My 'Magic' Spreadsheet System



Study Playlists






The Guardian: Does Music Really Help You Concentrate? 

Lifehacker: The Best Sounds for Getting Work Done

WIRED: The Most Glorious Video Game Music to Level Up Your Workday

Spotify: Playlists and pocasts for students


The Leitner System uses spaced repetition to help you memorize more efficiently. 
Using a simple box with index cards, you can turn your studying into sort of a game this way. 
Compare your prior studying to use of this method, and you're sure to see an improvement. 


Leitner Boxes: The Game Schedule- Printable PDF schedule for setting up and using a memorization box 

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