All posts tagged: school

Before our Classes Begin: A Checklist

A quick checklist to prepare for the upcoming semester. 1. Office supplies. The most important step of all (probably not, but why can’t it be?). Go out and get yourself some cute stationery! Journals, pens, pencils, highlighters, extra paper, sticky notes, etc. 2. A planner. I don’t know about you, but a few weeks into any quarter I stop using my planner completely. I feel confident enough in my memory, despite the numerous times I’ve forgotten to turn in assignments. A new year is the best! time to go out and get a new planner. Some posts: Free printable weekly to-do template, planners online, filofax love, chronodex planner, bullet journal. 3. Check the classes Make sure to take a look at the class websites and read the syllabi (syllabuses? that sounds weird). Take a look at the textbooks and see if there are any assignments that need to be completed prior to the first day. See some reviews on ratemyprofessors.com, get an idea of what to expect from a class. 4. Have some note-taking options This …

Study for Multiple Choice Tests

When preparing for a multiple choice test, it’s quite easy to relax and think “Oh, this test will be easy because all the answers will be on paper.” Unfortunately, this kind of thinking often sets us up for failure. Professors and teachers are familiar with such attitude, and make the tests even harder and more confusing. To avoid this, it’s important to study as if the test will have open-ended questions.This means that you have to practice in a way that will let you understand the material, not merely recognize familiar terms on paper. There are a few components involved in this kind of test prep, and if you do a little bit of each, the knowledge and practice will add up in the end to form a bigger picture. This is the procedure I’ve been going by in the last couple of months, which has been working out quite well for me: 1. Go over and annotate all notes and textbook readings Start doing this as soon as the quarter/semester/class begins. It’s easy to get …

Studying When Sick

I get sick at least 3 times a year (good old Seattle rain and wind), and all I do during that time is sleep and nap and feel pretty miserable. Of course, no work gets done at that time, and grades suffer. I’ve done some research and compiled a few ideas on how to keep yourself together while studying. Obviously, to feel better sooner we need to drink a lot of water, rest, drink a lot of water and some medicine. In my opinion, if you’re going to avoid doing homework (which you should, nothing good will stay in your head if you study in such a bad condition), it’s best to work ahead a little bit. I discovered that reading all my textbook chapters on the weekends significantly reduces the homework load on the weekdays. a) Start studying for exams at least a week in advance. You don’t know what’s gonna come up in the last couple of days before an exam, and the last thing you want to do is fail because you simply …

How to Make a Study Plan

*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 RateMyProfessors. By 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 …

What Is “Studying”?

“Studying” has at least two components: what you do in class and what you do at home: … 1) In class your job is to listen very actively, participate and take notes. It’s important to understand the new concepts IN class, so you’re not too lost at home. 2) At home, it’s a good idea to read the textbook (before you come to class so the amount of new information in class is not overwhelming), review your notes from previous classes and doing practice problems and tests. Important note: Everyone studies differently. You don’t have read, take notes and review in that same order I told you: you have to develop your own system for studying, that will work for you and produce good results. These are just ideas and some things I know everyone does in one way or another. Another important note: Don’t cram and do all of these the night before a test. This should be done consistently throughout the week. That way, if you have short study sessions everyday, it will be less stressful and useful than having one …

Small Things That Affect Your Concentration

  Humans can’t pay full attention to two things at once: it’s a fact! (Source 1, 2, 3). While we think we can do two things at the same time, like doing homework and watching a TV show- we’re actually doing neither. Thus, when there are distractions around us, we cannot fully focus on our work no matter how hard we try. Small things that we usually don’t think about affect our concentration, but are easy to control: 1. Cell Phone -put it on silent, out of reach and check only once an hour. It can totally wait and whoever texted you can wait a few minutes. 2. Mess -It sets the mood. The messier your room, the less organized YOU are! Clean and organize your desk, make your bed, and make a schedule everyday. 3. People -I’ve found that if I study at home, everyone always bothers and distracts me because they know I’m home and can answer a question, clean something, drive, etc. To avoid the same fate, go to the library! Bring …

Remember Better: Active Recall

To remember new information better, we have to look at studying at a more biopsychological level. When new information enters our brain, it is first processed in the working memory. This type of memory is not very big- with it we only remember things for about 30 seconds. Example: when you do a math problem, you think about the numbers you’re working with. However, when the problem is solved and you move on to the next one, the numbers are forgotten immediately. In some cases, the information (now a memory) moves to the short-term memory (STM), where it is kept for a few minutes longer. However, if this memory is not recalled enough times, it will be forgotten. That’s why when we procrastinate and leave the memorizing and studying until the last minute, we don’t remember that information after the exam. Now for the final part, to transfer the new memory from STM to Long term memory (LTM), we have to use something called active recall. Basically, it’s like quizzing yourself: the more times you …