Videos on How to Study

Dr. Stephen Chew, Samford University Psychology Professor and Chair

My approach is different from the popular collections of tips, gimmicks and folk wisdom one sees in most books and videos on studying. I present basic principles of how people learn and I try to correct counterproductive misconceptions so that students can improve their learning by devising their own effective study strategies.”

This quote captures how I teach study skills, but it’s not by me! It’s by Dr. Stephen Chew, who’s the chair of the psychology department at Samford University and the star of the world’s most respected videos on study skills. He’s describing the origins of his How to Study video series, which have been viewed millions of times and which I love.

In seven short videos, Dr. Chew presents “10 Principles of Effective Studying”. He’s very convincing, probably because you can tell that he wants to help and that he’d never lie to you. For example, when he talks about “Beliefs that Make You Stupid”, you end up feeling both dumb and excited to get smarter.

You should really watch the videos. In fact, when clients ask me how they can prepare to make the most of working with me, I tell them to watch these videos first!

However, if you know for a fact that you have certifiably great time management skills and you’ve already determined that you don’t have time to watch an hour of videos, here’s my paraphrased summary of Dr. Chew’s 10 principles:

  1. Work hard.
  2. Work smart.
  3. Master the basics.
  4. Be strategically pessimistic.
  5. No distractions!
  6. Plan ahead.
  7. Learn from your mistakes.
  8. Learn all the ways.
  9. Learning can be hard and stressful.
  10. Value what you’re learning.

Now, go watch the videos anyway!

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