Student Success Stories: Emily B.
Emily B.'s Academic Success Story
Studying in college is a lot different than in high school. I study by reading a lot more than I ever have and I listen in class to make sure I remember what's been talked about in the lectures. I also type out study guides for all of my classes, which I don't think I ever did in high school until it got to final exam time. It is strange, but I find that I am studying less now that I am in college, but I am studying the more important stuff. I have figured out which information is important in a text book, and which information is just a waste of space in my memory.
My overall study method: My study method is usually an early morning one. My mind is fresh and ready to learn in the morning and I usually don't have classes. I find that I do so much better if I up early and study a little bit of each class every day. It is so important for me to review everything as I go along. It is impossible to do well if I cram it all in last minute. I tried that strategy once, not good!
My test study method: I make outlines, and write out the key terms. I look at my notes sometimes during the weeks before the test. I make sure that I have it all down the night before the test, and the next morning I get up for a 2 hour cram study session to get it fresh in my head for the test that day. It works for me most of the time, but I am not the best test taker in the world, I get too nervous! so I study as hard as I can and that's the best I can do as long as I've tried my best.
My time management secret: Keeping busy! I find that if I have nothing to do on a certain day, I am less likely t get things done. If I have a set schedule and a set place to be, I make sure I have things done in order to get the next project done or go to the next event I have for the day. My biggest secret is my PLANNER!! I would die without it! I write everything in it and cross it off when its done. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me get things done and remember to do them.
How I study for multiple exams: I designate times to study for each. I decide which subject needs more attention, and I focus more time on that one. I also take breaks in between. Nobody can study for 5 hours straight without going crazy! I have to get up and walk around, or go running, or paint my nails or something to give me a break from studying every once in a while. That way I will be totally focused when I am studying and not so tired and crazy that I don't understand what I'm reading. It was a hard habit to break from high school!
My overall study method: It depends on the test, but usually I try to study over several days. That is how I have been most successful. I don't do as well when I have just one or two massive study blocks!
How I've overcome an initial bad grade: In a psychology class, I got my first D on a test. It wasn't just a D it was a D -- and I didn't know what to do at first! I was so upset! It was my freshman year, but I thought about it afterwards and decided that psychology just wasn't for me and I just wasn't good at it. As soon as I accepted that I wasn't going to be perfect in psychology I just did my best and accepted the best grade I could get in the class, which was a C+. It was the only C I had ever gotten in my life so far, but I was proud of it because I worked so hard for it! I decided that I would be happy with my grades as long as I was working hard for them.
My strategies for written assignments: These are my favorites!! I think brainstorming is the key to starting off a good written assignment. I think you have to lay your ideas down before you can make sense of what you are going to write. I also think that grammar is so important, and you have to make sure that you at least sound intelligent through what you write.
How I succeed in team projects: Do your part to the best of your ability and motivate your teammates to want to do as well as you. Show them how much it means to you and maybe they will follow your lead. Don't do it all by yourself. I've done this before and it is a lot of unnecessary stress that can be avoided by just making other want to help you. Figure out what motivates your team and make it fun for everyone to work together!
My greatest academic success happened when I got a perfect score on a business calculus test and I got my name called out in class because it was the highest in the class. I had dropped business calculus the semester before because I was struggling so much. It was amazing to me the difference it made in the way it was taught that I understood it so well and succeeded!
Here are my final words of wisdom for students who want to get better grades in college: Find a strategy that works for you and stick with it! Everyone is different.
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