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Learning Portal - Study Skills : Deciding What to Study

Deciding What To Study

This module will help you determine what material to study, and what order you should study it in. Before you start to study, it’s crucial that you figure out what you should study. You will cover a lot of material over a semester and focusing your attention on the right material will make studying easier and more productive.

Top Tips 

✓ Pay attention. Your instructor may give clues or instructions about what material you should focus on, either in class or in assignment guidelines/provided study materials.

✓ Start with the hard stuff. Use the stoplight approach if you are having problems applying or understanding key concepts (see the related video on this page for more).

✓ Check your learning objectives. Look at the learning objectives for your class and your assigned readings for an idea of what to focus on.

How to Decide What to Study

Watch this video (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2020) to learn strategies that you can use to decide what to study and where to start.

How to Use the Stoplight Technique

Watch this video (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2016) to learn how to use the Stoplight Study Technique to prioritize your study material.


Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution. 

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