How do you study? ECC student Kelly Cieck gives insight on study techniques

Ava Pollock, Staff Writer

Kelly Cieck hard at work in her biology class. (Ava Pollock)

It’s the spring semester of 2022. Of course, a new semester of college means a new semester of learning new content. Once a student learns something new, they have to study for a quiz or a test.  Usually many students aren’t entirely thrilled about getting back to studying for quizzes, tests, and exams. However, Elgin Community College student Kelly Cieck uses some study tactics that may be helpful for other students.

This current semester is Cieck’s fifth semester at ECC. One of the classes she is currently enrolled in is Biology for Contemporary Society. She is currently studying to earn her associate degree. Because of COVID-19, Cieck decided to take it slow with her general education classes. She is currently taking three classes this semester.

One main tactic that she uses for that class is to take as best notes as she can. Biology is a class where many students may find themselves taking more notes than they would in any other class. It’s one of those subjects that has a lot of terms to remember.

“I definitely try to write down definitions, examples, and formulas,” Cieck said. “And review my notes.”

When it comes to her other two classes, Cieck mostly uses the same tactics. To study, she does what other students would do. Cieck tries to take efficient notes, and read the textbook to make sure that she’s understanding the material. Practice tests are also something that Cieck tries to do as often as possible.

“If I have access to practice tests, I try to do them every once in a while,” she said. “I know that Mastering Biology has a study area.”
Cieck recommends, for other students, to make sure that they read the textbook if one is provided in their class. She also recommends that they listen to what their professor is lecturing on, and go back to their textbook to see if the information matches up.

“That’s usually a good indicator on what’s most important,” Cieck said.

If you’re looking for a good way to study for your upcoming exams this semester, then Cieck’s tactics are a good way to start. However, taking college-level classes is about finding the right study tactics that work for the student. What helps one student retain the most information might not help as much for another.

“I think I need to revamp the way that I take notes,” Cieck said when she asked about what she could improve on with her study tactics. “Obviously I want to try to get the most important information, but it’s kind of like, ‘what is the most important information’?”

Figuring out the right study tactics to use for classes is a process of trial and error. For some, it may be easy to find the right strategy that works for them. For others, it may be harder.