How to Make the Best Out of Your Semester

Most students worry about making the best out of their semester which is usually gauge by the lessons you have learned throughout. But a more important thing is – how?

Organization This is usually self-explanatory for college students who have a hard time coping with time management and even studying. But here are some practical things you can follow –

•Take notes – “A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind.” This is usually one of the greatest adages that you can follow about studying and learning. There are things that your sharp mind tends to miss later on but when you write everything down on your notebook or post-it papers you enhance your chance at remember it later on.

•Agenda list – It is important that you make a regular weekly list of itinerary. Your agenda should give you sense of direction and purpose making everything better every day.

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•Real time inbox – This is a figurative term which simply refers to a permanent place in your room or apartment where you study. This is where you will place all your notes, books and assignment papers.

•Get to know your professors – Search engines usually give you short biography on your teachers. Alternatively and more accurately, you can search about them in your school library. Learn about their research interests and knowledge.

•Study partner/mentor – The secret to success is not about being alone but being able to find someone who can understand your habits and study style.

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How to Survive a Pop Quiz

Some professors like to torment their students with surprise quizzes and in-class assignments to see if they’re paying attention and keeping up with homework. If you haven’t been paying attention and you aren’t a good test taker, you may fail the assignment. Here are some tips to give you a chance at passing a test you’re not prepared for.

Multiple Choice

  • If two answers are extremely similar, it’s usually one of these two
  • Correct answers will almost never spelling or grammatical errors
  • For numbers, you’re safest choosing a number in the middle
  • Watch out for absolute answers, such as “always” and “never”
  • More often than not, “all of the above” or “none of the above” is correct

True or False

Some professors like hiding trick questions in true or false exams, so be extra careful when reading the questions. You only have two choices, which mean that you have 50% chance of getting the correct answer.

  • Lookout for small contradictions or inaccuracies. If one detail is false, the question is false.
  • Take note of qualifiers in the sentence like most, all, sometimes, never or rarely. They sometimes drive the question false depending on the question presented.
  • Watch out for absolutes – things usually aren’t “always” or “never” (see how I always use most of the time)

How do you handle a surprise exam that you have never prepared for?

I just registered for college…now what?

College is the turning point in the life of most students. But, achieving academic success in college is also a struggle for most. How do other students manage to achieve their goals?

Selecting the Best Place to Study

The most convenient way to study is the dorm room if you are living in one but it is usually a very poor place to learn anything. It is a haven of temptations and distractions from television to friends going about the hall to your bed. Studying in your dorm room is bad enough and lying down on your bed while studying is even worst. Before long, you will realize it’s already morning and you still have not gone further than page 1 paragraph 1 of the book you were holding.

Therefore, the first thing that you need to do is to find yourself a study place. It should be a place that will promote learning, productivity, efficiency and concentration. It should be the place where you spend your time working on your academics.

You can try to experiment on what works for you. Make a set of criteria like the level of noise, availability, cleanliness and accessibility.

Developing Study Skills

Once you have found the perfect place to study, you need to get started on developing your study skills.

  • Break subject matters into manageable chunks
  • Use your free time during daytime to study
  • Spend more time on difficult classes
  • Review notes, ask questions and discuss things with peers

All of these are the basic skills you need to work on. You will achieve academic success in no time if you follow them religiously.

Tips to improve your study habits

If you polled 1000 college students asking their reasons for studying, none of them would say because it’s fun. Studying is one of those things like cleaning the gutters; you do it because you benefit even though you’d rather be doing anything else. Here are some ways to improve your study skills.

Mnemonics
When studying, the easiest way that you can hurdle formulas, definitions and other concepts that need to be memorized is through mnemonics. It is the most common study skill among college students.

Outline
It is stressful to read out one whole chapter from a book. Making an outline of what you are supposed to study will help you study quickly. The main advantage of reading and writing is you will memorize the key concepts quicker.

Exercises
There are test exercises or mock quiz from books or better yet you could make one for yourself. The idea here is so that you can gauge how much you have already studied.

Breaks
Some people say too much and too little of something is bad. This is the importance of taking breaks in order to allow your body to recuperate and your brain to digest the information you have studied. Have you heard of saturation? This happens when no matter how hard you try to retain the information you are studying you can’t. You need to take a short break in between study period to allow memory retention.