Student Success Stories: Sarina O.
Sarina O.'s Academic Success Story
I learned a lot of my study habits from high school so not much has changed from high school to college.
My overall study method: I'd say I do a lot of writing, reviewing and memorizing, usually I study alone. I usually start the studying night before a test.
My test study method: I do have different strategies for different subjects. Some subjects such as language, I like to study in a group or with someone. Most other subjects I like to study on my own and figure things out on my own. For math that helps a lot for me to sit and figure it out even if it takes forever! The feeling of when I finally get it is a great one. I like to repeatedly write definitions out on paper because I feel I will remember that better. I usually end up writing out my study guide and I use that to study with until I take the test.
My time management secret: I'm actually not that great at managing my time. That is something I work on a lot by trying to make a list of what I should be doing and what I have to get done in the day. Still hard for me.
How I study for multiple exams, deal with multiple projects: I usually get the one that is the easiest and fastest to do out of the way and concentrate on what I believe is most important for me to get done. Most important meaning if it is due the next day or is a big percentage of my grade.
My overall study method: I definitely have a few massive study blocks. Like I said during the time management question, I have a hard time spreading it out over several days.
How I've overcome an initial bad grade: It usually drives me to work really hard for the next tests. I don't dwell too much over bad grades. Instead, I try to find ways to earn back what I've lost to make the grade I want in the end of the course.
My strategies for written assignments: Just start writing whatever comes to mind about the topic and then go over it and fix it as you go along. The hardest part is starting it and that's how I deal with it. I don't think too much before I write. I start to think when I'm in the middle of writing. I do a lot of rearranging, cut and paste, and deleting when I write.
How I succeed in team projects: Always show up for meetings! Voice your ideas and opinions to get involved. Communicate well with your group members so that you know what is going on. I know that it can sometime be hard for me since I consider myself to be pretty shy and it is hard to voice what I'm thinking. I have been in a lot of groups by now and gained a lot of experience from them. With one group, no one was doing anything to get our presentation done, so that forced me to step up and lead the group, which I have never done before. So never pass up an opportunity to lead. Remember, your grade depends on the group and their grade depends on you so try your best to make it work. I learned a lot about myself that I didn't know before working in groups.
My greatest academic success happened with a math course. Math has always been a subject that was hard for me. As a result, I did not like it. So in my freshman year of college, I had to take a math course. My professor was starting some sort of program and he chose students that were not strong in math to take part in it. I was one of them, of course. I had to go to a review session with a group every Monday afternoon; in addition, I had to meet him in his office every Monday morning to go over what I did not understand. I devoted a lot of time into this course by going to the tutors they provided most days of the week and worked on assignments. I studied like crazy! As a result, I was able to get a 93 out of 100 on my second test. But what I loved the most about getting that grade was the look on the professor's face when he handed me my test. He told me congratulations which made me feel great, of course. I felt like my hard work paid off. It is probably one of my most proud moments with tests even though I ended up with a B in the class because of other not-so-great grades. I was fortunate to have a great professor that really worked hard for his students. I go to tutoring or review sessions whenever they are offered for a class as a result of how well they worked for me.
English, math, foreign language tips: For math, just do lots and lots of problems to practice. Don't give up on a problem just because you can't figure it out. Keep trying until you do, and if you think your going to end up having a melt down, go to someone for help.
Here are my final words of wisdom for students who want to get better grades in college: Go to every class. I think if you just show up every class, it will make a big difference in your grades and performance. That is half the battle and is what I try to do every semester. Also, go to review sessions and tutors whenever they are available! This also shows the professor that your making an effort and trying your best in the course when you show up everyday and devote extra time.
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