Maybe you’re a freshman with no idea where your academic interests lie. Or a sophomore planning to change majors. Or a junior thinking about dropping some classes because they cut into practice time for your new band. Or a senior with a serious case of indecision. Whatever your situation, you may be considering adding a fifth year to your program.
Archive for Academic Success
Want to improve your college study skills? Want to do better on tests?
Making cheat sheets can help.
Notice I said make and not use – – big difference.
How do you get something you want from a family member or friend? Whether you realize it or not, you use what you know about that person’s interests, values, and motivation. You make a deal with your parents by offering something you know they value. You get your roommate to drive you to class by promising to help her with an assignment she’s been dreading. When you understand what makes someone tick, you’re much more likely to get what you want from that person. It’s not manipulation, just a great survival skill.
To be as successful as you can be academically, it’s not enough that you study. You need to make good decisions as to where and when you study. Let’s focus on where.
At the risk of boring you with common sense or sounding like somebody’s mom, let’s first talk about where not to study. Anywhere there is a TV, talking, loud music, or a lot of movement can be quickly eliminated. Let’s face it. You’re not that fired up about Statistics. You probably enjoy it about as much as a trip to the dentist. Given that, you’ll settle for just about any distraction possible to pull your head out of your notes. Said another way, if you study any place where you can be distracted, you will be. And that means one of two things: either you won’t do well on the exam, or you’re going to spend a whole lot more time studying for it than you would have otherwise.
If you haven’t tried the library, I’d highly recommend it. Find an out-of-the-way corner and plan to stay for a while. Just avoid the “Social Section,” the area where hordes of “C” students gather for literally hours at a time to talk about how unprepared they are for the exam tomorrow. You’ll know the “Social Section” when you see it. Avoid it like the plague.
Get serious. Focus on what you’re doing so you can maximize your results with a minimum amount of effort. No friends, no phones, and no potential candidates for a big date on Saturday night.
You’ll get your studying done faster and then be able to concentrate on these other highly important issues.
Of course, showing up to class is one of the most important college tips that you can receive, but making college count is much more than just being present in class. Some classes in college have a participation component. The professor might encourage feedback from students during class. You may have to discuss the reading you had to do for homework, or participate in a class policy discussion. Take a closer look at your syllabus. Chances are there is a breakdown of the grading in the class and part of it (especially for smaller classes) is a participation component. This component of grading is no joke. It can take you from a B to an A or, from a B to a C, depending on whether you participate or not. Because of this importance, class participation is key to college survival. Read more