Student Success Stories: Amber J.
Amber J.'s Academic Success Story
I had to add study habits once I got to college because I never really had to study in high school. I had to make sure that I set aside time every night to do my homework and review my notes. Reviewing my notes helped me to prepare for the test and ensured that I wasn't re-reading everything for the first time on the night before the test.
My overall study method: I rewrite my notes and form a study sheet for tests. This helps because not only am I reading it for at least the second time, I am also writing it for the second time. I have a photographic memory, so seeing my notes multiple times really helps me.
My test study method: I rewrite my notes and form a study sheet for tests. For classes that use formulas, I make sure that I have all of my formulas written down on one sheet. I also make sure that I write my formulas down with complete words and with the shorthand terms, when applicable.
My time management secret: I set aside at least one hour a night to do homework, study, or prepare for projects. I also write any due dates or test dates in my planner as soon as I get the syllabus or assignment calendar. And using a calendar or planner definitely helps me to make sure I don't over-extend or over-commit myself.
How I study for multiple exams: I tend to study or work on multiple exams/projects in chronological order. And, I don't procrastinate when I have multiple assignments.
One time, I had 4 tests in 4 days. I began studying the week before by reviewing my notes. My tests were on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The Friday-Sunday before that week, I mostly studied for my test on Monday and the first one on Tuesday. On Monday night, I studied for my second test on Tuesday then reviewed for both tests. On Tuesday night, I studied for my Thursday test and reviewed it on Wednesday night. This really helped me to retain everything by studying in blocks.
My overall study method: I usually have a few smaller blocks of studying. I find that this helps me to not feel overwhelmed and to keep my brain from blending everything together.
How I've overcome an initial bad grade: I usually get very upset and immediately wonder how I did so poorly. But, I figure out where I went wrong and how I can correct it for the next test or paper. I usually try to figure it out on my own and go to the teacher to make sure that I figured it out correctly or to help me if I am unable to figure it out on my own.
My strategies for written assignments: USE AN OUTLINE!!!! It helps you to stay on track and not leave anything out. Also give yourself time to do several drafts, so don't procrastinate! You should also re-read your paper multiple times. You can almost always find a way to improve the paper. Finally, have at least 1 or 2 people read your paper before you are done. It is good to hear other people's opinion because teacher's will have a different opinion from your own.
How I succeed in team projects: Start early and set dates to meet. Next, figure out the best way to meet. There are other ways of communicating with each other beyond a physical group meeting. With the power of the Internet, you can create chat rooms, have a discussion group, e-mail, or IM the member of your group whenever the time is best for everyone.
I was in a group where 2 of us lived on campus, and the other 2 lived at home. We used a chat room because 9:00pm was the best time for all of us, but the commuters didn't want to come to campus that late. This also helped because we were all able to look at the same thing at the same time.
English, math, foreign language tips:
- Make sure you understand what your teacher is looking for because papers are usually graded subjectively.
- Use a writing help center whenever possible to review your paper before it is due.
- Give yourself plenty of time to make changes to papers.
- Ask questions if you don't understand something.
- Learn how to really use your calculator.
- Get a dictionary for the language you are studying.
- Get study guides if available.
- If possible, immerse yourself in the culture of the language. (If you can't, just try going to a restaurant of that culture.)
- Find someone in the class that you can talk in that language outside of class.
- Practice using the language with activity books or online exercises.
Here are my final words of wisdom for students who want to get better grades in college: Academic success comes from reoccurring exposure to the material:
- Go to class
- Take notes
- Read notes after class
- Rewrite notes
- Create study sheets for tests
- Study at least one day before the test
- Review notes and study sheet the night before the test
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