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Microsoft 365
August 10, 2021

How to make an online study guide

Studying for an exam or presentation can be stressful. You may have a textbook, notes, and homework to review, but it’s hard to know where to start. An online study guide can help.

a person writing studying notes on a tablet

Read on to learn how to create an online study guide—and knock your next test out of the park.

What is a study guide?

A study guide is a studying tool. It includes summaries of materials learned in and out of the classroom.

People make and use study guides for all sorts of purposes.

  • Prepare for a school exam
  • Get ready for a certification course
  • Practice for a driver’s license test

Study guides differ from person to person. You need to create one that fits your learning style and needs.

What are the benefits of making an online study guide?

A hand-written study guide can focus your review. Creating a study guide in the first place will help you start learning. Consider an online study guide providing these benefits and more.

An online study guide:

  • Transforms messy notes into clear text
  • Allows you to adjust your guide as you learn new items
  • Makes studying more engaging
  • Empowers you to study with others

What should an online study guide include?

Your online study guide should include all of the materials that might show up on your exam or presentation.

You may want to include:

  • A summary sheet. A summary sheet features sections divided by topic or terms. You might add relevant class notes or textbook quotes underneath each term. The summary sheet will encourage you to review all of your observations and homework.
  • Retyped notes.Rereading and retyping your notes can help you remember what you wrote down in class. You’ll also have an easy-to-read document to review once you’ve typed everything out nicely.
  • Practice questions. A study guide should include a practice test. Review homework questions and write them down again. Focus on those that you struggled with. Also, brainstorm and write down potential essay prompts. Then, take your test and see where you can improve. According to research, pre-testing improves test results more than merely reviewing materials.
  • Diagrams or charts. Diagrams or charts can help you picture a topic or put it into perspective. Consider creating comparison charts, Venn diagrams, or other visualizations.
  • A glossary. Creating a glossary is a great way to review key terms. Define each term in your own words. Having them in your own words will help you remember them even better. Plus, you may have to do the same in an essay.
  • A last-minute review sheet. You’ll want to do a last-minute review before your final test. Create a boiled-down review sheet at the end of your study guide. You can tweak it as you study, adding topics that need the most review.

How do I create my study guide?

You can use multiple tools to create your online study guide. All you need is a program that allows you to type up your notes and summaries.

Some tools make it easier to create a compelling study guide. Microsoft Word, for example, allows you to create various formats. It can help you create complex tables or add photos. Using OneDrive with Word also empowers you to:

  • Save your study guide automatically
  • Access your study guide on any of your devices
  • Share your study guide
  • Allow others to contribute to your study guide
  • Enable others to ask questions about your study guide
  • Restore your study guide if you delete it or someone makes an unwanted change

These features allow you to study with others, getting even more out of your review.

How can I make my online study guide engaging?

You need to ensure your online study guide is tailored to your needs and learning style to get the most out of it.

You can make your online study guide more engaging by:

  • Color coding sections or topics
  • Adding images or visuals
  • Including relevant emojis or GIFs
  • Using a supplementary study tool, like Quizlet

These features can help your study guide go that extra mile, ensuring you rock your next test or presentation.

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