Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Be Prepared for Finals

     Once more we get to that time in the semester where we worry about upcoming finals and fear that we may not receive the grades that we hoped to. Here are some ways to prepare for finals (provided by this website).
Start early
Preparation for exams should begin earlier than the day before the test. You can’t cram an entire unit of information into an all-nighter. Get started at least a week before the exam.
Begin by making yourself a calendar outlining a daily schedule of topics for review. Cover a small amount of material for each class each day. Every time you complete a topic, give yourself a mini review.
Once you have decided what you need to study and how much time you need to spend studying, it is time to actually study. One of the best ways is to make succinct outlines. As you read over your textbook and class notes, write a brief summary for each topic. Highlight the areas in your outline that were most troublesome. When you have finished with all the material, you will have an outline you can review.
Make flashcards
Similar to outlining, making flashcards is a really helpful technique for studying. By writing down the information from your outline, you are already doing half the studying. Once the flashcards are complete, you will have a portable study packet to look over.
You need at least seven hours of sleep a night to function. Tests are designed to make you think. If you are sleep-deprived, you won’t be able to remember any of the information you worked so hard to cram into your brain.
Stay calm
Do not panic at the exam! Even if at first glance the test is overwhelming, remember to breathe. If a question seems too hard, answer all the questions you know, then return to the ones you left blank. Remind yourself that you are prepared.
Don’t rush
You have spent at least two weeks studying, so what’s another couple of minutes? Work through the exam slowly and read all the questions before answering them. If you are done before the time is up, look over your answers.
Relax post-exam
Don’t let panic overwhelm you. Even if you think you bombed the exam, worrying will not change your score. It may, however, affect your mindset for your next final. Zone out the last test and stay focused on the next one. Odds are, you didn’t do as badly as you think.
     Other ways to prepare can be planning your schedule out (doing this can make you feel secure about things that have to be done that week), and utilizing the sources that are available to you. Campus has sources available for a reason: so you, the student, can be successful. Hopefully these tips will help you prepare within the next few weeks before finals!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It’s getting closer and closer to the end of the Spring 2012 semester. Students who have slacked off at the beginning of the semester are now kicking it into high gear to raise their grades before this semester ends. One thing that I have learned this semester is to make sure you keep track of how many days you can miss, and if you’ve gone over that limit. Also, keeping track of tardies is also a good thing - some professors count two tardies as an absence. At this point in the semester, I don’t think that students want to end up dropping out because their tardies added up and caused them to fail a class.
In comparison to last semester, I feel that I’ve improved a lot as a student. Keeping my grades up hasn’t been a problem, but getting them to where I want them is now my goal for the rest of the semester (along with passing finals).
If you’re unaware of your grade in a class, I would suggest emailing your professor asking them what your grade is and, if it’s low, how to improve it. It may seem like improving your grade will be an extremely hard task, but it may be as simple as getting a good grade on the next exam (depending on your grade and where you want it, it could be harder than that).
For some students, dropping out seems like the best option. However, despite that it may seem like the best and easiest option, it is not the only option. It is best to improve your class standing now rather than later, as there would be less pressure/stress.
Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is 10, or something.” -Dennis Rodman

Monday, April 2, 2012


Have you ever had one of those assignments that you thought you could let slide for a few days? You think that you have enough time to do it but end up procrastinating till the very last second. The entire time you’re thinking, “I can finish this tomorrow,” but you keep pushing it off until it’s a few days before the due date. I see nothing wrong with this, however, when it starts to pile up - that’s when you know it’s time to stop.
I’m going to be completely honest, I’ve pushed homework off until the last second like most people. You have an essay due in two weeks. Rather than doing it a week in advance, you’re sitting there the night before typing everything up and lying about the date it was written. I’m positive that everyone has done that at least once in their lifetime. The only problem with doing this is that your work tends to suffer; whether it suffers a lot or a little all depends upon the person and the quality.
As we near summer, I’m starting to do this more and more. There’s an assignment due in two days, but rather than working on it then - I choose to push it off until the day before. There’s that moment when you feel like what you have to do is more important than the work itself; but trust me, it’s really not. Suffering grades are not something that everyone wants to experience.

Here is a list of things to do if you cannot stay focused on your homework and the due date is approaching.
1. First off, stay away from the television. Unless, in some odd way, it’s a part of your assignment. The best thing to do is to turn off the TV and focus primarily on the task at hand: homework. You may think that you can focus while watching TV, as you are a great multi tasker, but trust me when I say that it’s for the best.
2. Turn off the computer. Of course, some may have online homework - in which case, close everything but the homework. The internet can be a great place but it can also be your downfall.
3. If you’re in a loud or crowded area, head for the library. The library can be a fantastic (and quiet) place to get work done and study. You won’t have to worry about anyone shouting, any noises (including a stereo being played) disrupting you, or neighbors being obnoxiously loud.
4. Put away everything but your school books. I believe this one is a bit obvious. It’s easier to focus when you just have the work in front of you and no distractions.
5. Turn off your cell phone. If it’s important, they will call/text you back later. There’s no cell phone involved excuse that should make you miss your homework. Cell phones can be used as a way to avoid your homework on purpose; don’t do it. Just turn the phone off and put it out of sight until the homework is done.

Hopefully my tips have helped you in avoiding putting homework off. If not, and you find tips that do work for you, please let me know! I would enjoy to hear some other ideas on how to avoid procrastination.