How to Make a Study Plan

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*My fall quarter starts on September 24th. Professors started posting textbook information, test information, syllabus, etc. on the course websites a couple days, so I thought it would be a good idea to prepare for each class before it starts *

Once you have your textbooks, a little bit of information on the website, and the syllabus, start preparing your study plan for the quarter.

1. Read the course syllabus. Professors know exactly what they will be teaching, how big the workload will be, exam schedules, reading material, etc. Once you read the syllabus, you are already mentally prepared for the class, and it won’t seem as overwhelming on the first day.

** Important information to take away from the syllabus:
– Homework load
– Class schedule, test information
– Retake and make up policy
– Any class- specific information

2. Look up your professor on RateMyProfessorsBy reading other students’ reviews, you can get a preview into what your classes will be like. It’s important not to believe every word you read there, simply because every student has a different (or no) relationship with his professor.

** Info to take away from Ratemyprofessors:
STUDY TIPS. A lot of students write what they’ve done to be successful in the class
– How to professor teaches the class. What materials to use
– Homework/ work load

3. Write down your goals for the course. Whether it’s a specific grade you want to earn or the information you’d like to learn, it’s good to have something to motivate you.

** More info:
– Create a Work Document, a poster or just some random sheet and write down your goals on it
– Hang in somewhere where you’ll see it as a reminder and motivator

4. Note exam dates, reading schedule, etc. Look over the syllabus or a schedule chart, if one is available, and assign yourself pages to read a few weeks ahead. You can always modify this list as the quarter progresses

5. Attend the first few Lectures. Probably the most important thing you could do to prepare for the future classes.

** Info to take away:
– Professor’s teaching style
– Plan a note-taking technique
– What you’ll actually need to read/ do to succeed.
Talk to the professor, ask for tips on how to study for his/her class!!

How I plan to Study

My freshman year of college didn’t go too well for several reasons.

One, I had no idea what I was getting into: how the classes go, how to prepare for them, how to set a schedule, etc.

Two, I didn’t know how to study. I tried so many different things, different techniques, took notes in various ways, made flashcards.

But it turned out that jumping around like that only made it worse. Without having a steady, set way to prepare for each class, I couldn’t remember the information very well and ended up not doing too hot on the tests.

So now I want to actually set some goals for myself. Maybe these will be helpful to you guys too!

1) In class:

  • Always take notes, using 1 method: Cornell, Mapping, or Outline (on paper or on an iPad)
  • Listen actively, connect new information to something I’ve already heard or know
  • No mindless writing: take notes in my own words. This keeps your mind working during the lecture.

2) At home:

  • ALWAYS read textbook material before class. That way I’m already familiar to what’s being said in the lecture and could get some clarifications on what I didn’t understand.
  • Follow a study/reading schedule
  • Work when I’m most awake. Usually during the day and go to sleep early (here’s why)

I’ll be in Russia visiting family until September, but I’ll check for messages often!

About Memorization

Learned this the other day in BioPsych:

The reason why flashcards are a great way to memorize concepts and terms is because when you study with them, you make your brain work hard to retrieve information from your memory.The more you do this, the better it stays in your long-term memory.

—> To remember things better, you must make yourself retrieve that information several times. 

This is also the reason why simply reading over your notes a thousand times won’t help you study. Because you’re not working hard to retrieve any information, the info is not consolidated in your long-term memory and stays in your working memory (only up to 5 seconds max).

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Multiple Choice Exams

Quick Tips for Answering Multiple Choice Questions

1. Read question and underline what it’s asking you.
2. Cover the answer choices (a, b, c, d) with your hand and try to answer the question yourself, without any help. Seeing the answer choices will just confuse and distract you.
3. Use the Process of Elimination: 
– Eliminate what is obviously a wrong answer
– Now only focus on what’s left. Now you won’t pay attention to the wrong answer choice and it won’t distract you anymore.

Note* Strongly-worded answer choices are rarely the right answer! See example on the picture :)

My econ professor told us a few of these- you still have to study, but these techniques makes it easier for you to find the right answer among all the wrong ones that distract you.

** If you have any more tips you’d like to share with us, Submit them to me and I will post them and credit you, of course, or comment below!

The Power of Naps

Power Naps are a great way to boost your energy in the middle of the day!

If you are feeling drowsy and tired and still have a ton of homework to do, take a 20-30 minute power nap! It doesn’t take too much time and helps increase productivity.

1. They are most effective if they last 15-20 minutes;
2. They are good of alertness and motor performance
3. BETTER than caffeine. Caffeine just postpones your fatigue, while power naps actually get rid of it.

Best time of day to take a nap: 1-3 p.m. If taken after 4 p.m., you may disturb your sleep at night.

Sources + More Info: 1, 2, 3

Happy napping!