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 Academic Support Resourcesstudents in Anatomy class

For many students, the study requirements of college compared to high school can be shocking and overwhelming.  Make sure you utilize resources that can help you cope with challenges and put you on the road to academic success. The Center for Student Support Services is an office where you can get assistance with areas such as:

      Time Management  Students gathered to study                           Note-Taking students taking notes

     How to study for a test  students studying together                          Test Anxiety male listening in class

     What is your Learning Style?  sonography students in lab               How to Write a Paper   student in library              

 

GETTING STARTED:   HOW WELL DO I STUDY????? TAKE THIS QUICK STUDY SKILLS QUIZ  

 

7 ACADEMIC TIPS TO LIVE AND DIE BY!

1).  ATTEND CLASS AND BE ON TIME

2).   MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL

3).   STUDY SMART

15 hours=study 15 hours a week)

4.   BE ORGANIZED

5).  BE PREPARED FOR CLASS

6).  TAKE GOOD NOTES

7).  KNOW HOW TO READ A TEXTBOOK

Adapted from “How to Get Good Grades in College”, Woodburn Press, 2008

TIME MANAGEMENT:

Gone are the high school days of sitting in a classroom M-F, 8:30-3:30, taking the same classes every day.  In college, depending on the number of credit hours you are taking, you may only have two classes on Monday/Wednesdays starting at 10:00 am; and three classes on Tuesdays/Thursdays starting at 11:00 am.  This flexibility in scheduling, coupled with the increased demands for study time makes managing your time very important.  Additionally, some students participate in college athletics, have a job, or have children to care for – all demanding time of one’s schedule.   

 “Study time” refers to activities such as: 

 When you look at these above activities for each of your classes, it becomes clear that time management is critical.  There is a “rule of thumb” widely used in higher education to assist students in knowing how many hours a week you should dedicate to studying in order to plan your schedule.   

 Take the # of hours a week you’re in class (same as the credit hours you’re taking ex:12 or 15) and multiply by 2 to equal the # of hours to study per week.  NOW, that may seem pretty overwhelming; however, a student needs to AT LEAST multiply it by 1. So, for example:

 Jane takes 15 credit hours this semester, she should count on at least studying 15 x 1 = 15 hours/week.

 If Jane can’t keep up with all her course requirements in 15 hours, then she will need to increase her study hours, but it’s a good place to start.

 We recommend a student go through two exercises at the beginning of each semester to assist with time management. 

  1. Utilize a monthly planner – get out all your class syllabi and record due date for every test, quiz, paper, presentation so that you can see at a glance, what you have coming up over the next month/week.  You can use your own monthly planner or get an SCC one through the Spirit Shop.
  2. Utilize the weekly planning calendar (below): record a typical week’s schedule demands to see where you will find the 12-15 hours (or more) of required study time per week.

 Below is an example of weekly planner that a student fills out one time as a typical week.  Once you fill in all your weekly responsibilities, it becomes real clear where the blank time slots are to fill in study time.

 

WEEKLY PLANNING CALENDAR – ST. CATHARINE COLLEGE - EXAMPLE

 

 

 

MONDAY

 

TUESDAY

 

WEDNESDAY

 

THURSDAY

 

FRIDAY

 

SATURDAY

 

SUNDAY

 

  7:00 am

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

  8:00 am

 

SHOWER

 

SHOWER

 

SHOWER

 

SHOWER

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

  9:00 am

 

CLASS

 

BREAKFAST

 

CLASS

 

BREAKFAST

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

10:00 am

 

CLASS

 

CLASS

 

CLASS

 

CLASS

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

11:00 am

 

CLASS

 

CLASS

 

CLASS

 

CLASS

 

SHOWER

 

SHOWER

 

SHOWER

 

12:00 pm

 

LUNCH

 

LUNCH

 

LUNCH

 

LUNCH

 

LUNCH

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  1:00 pm

 

STUDY

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  2:00 pm

 

STUDY

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  3:00 pm

 

NAP

 

NAP

 

NAP

 

NAP

 

FREE

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  4:00 pm

 

PRACTICE

 

PRACTICE

 

PRACTICE

 

PRACTICE

 

FREE

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  5:00 pm

 

PRACTICE

 

PRACTICE

 

PRACTICE

 

PRACTICE

 

FREE

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  6:00 pm

 

DINNER

 

DINNER

 

DINNER

 

DINNER

 

FREE

 

WORK

 

WORK

 

  7:00 pm

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

GAME

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

  8:00 pm

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

GAME

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

STUDY

 

  9:00 pm

 

STUDY

 

STUDY

 

GAME

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

STUDY

 

10:00 pm

 

STUDY

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

STUDY

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

STUDY

 

11:00 pm

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

FREE

 

12:00am

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

 

SLEEP

                        St. Catharine College, Center for Student Support Services 8/08           TOTAL STUDY HOURS/week = 15

Just remember, you will be successful with time management if academic success is a priority for you, and priorities are driven by short term and long term goals.  You can also utilize the additional resources below to help you.   Also, if you would like assistance with time management, please contact the Center for Student Support Services to set up a meeting. 

NOTE-TAKING:

Note-taking in college is a skill that students need to develop in whatever format or method that works best for them.  Organized note-taking is a key factor or indicator for academic success as notes taken from professor’s lectures are the biggest part of test preparation. 

Below are 5 common note-taking methods.  Just remember, in addition to taking notes, it is very beneficial that you review your notes each day or night after class , as well as the next day before you have that class again.  Not only does that help with retaining the information, but it prepares you for the next lecture. 

5 Note-taking Methods

 

The Cornell Method

The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes without laborious recopying. After writing the notes in the main space, use the left-hand space to label each idea and detail with a key word or "cue."

Method - Rule your paper with a 2 ½ inch margin on the left leaving a six-inch area on the right in which to make notes. During class, take down information in the six-inch area. When the instructor moves to a new point, skip a few lines. After class, complete phrases and sentences as much as possible. For every significant bit of information, write a cue in the left margin. To review, cover your notes with a card, leaving the cues exposed. Say the cue out loud, and then say as much as you can of the material underneath the card. When you have said as much as you can, move the card and see if what you said matches what is written. If you can say it, you know it.

 Advantages - Organized and systematic for recording and reviewing notes. Easy format for pulling out major concept and ideas. Simple and efficient. Saves time and effort. "Do-it-right-in-the-first-place system." 

Disadvantages - None

When to Use - In any lecture situation.

 

The Outlining Method

Dash or indented outlining is usually best except for some science classes such as physics or math.

1.     The information which is most general begins at the left with each more specific group of facts indented with spaces to the right.

2.     The relationships between the different parts are carried out through indenting.

3.     No numbers, letters, or Roman numerals are needs.

Method – Listening and then write in points in an organized pattern based on space indention.  Place major points farthest to the left.  Indent each more specific point to the right.  Levels of importance will be indicated by distance away from the major point.  Indention can be as simple as or as complex as labeling the indentations with Roman numerals or decimals.  Markings are not necessary as space relationships will indicate the major/minor points.

Advantages – Well-organized system if done right.  Outlining records content as well as relationships.  It also reduces editing and is easy to review by turning main points into questions.

Disadvantages – Requires more thought in class for accurate organization.  This system may not show relationships by sequence when needed.  It doesn’t lend to diversity of a review attach for maximum learning and question application.  This system cannot be used if the lecture is too fast.

When to Use – The outline format can be used if the lecture is presented in outline organization.  This may be either deductive (regular outline) or inductive (reverse outline where minor points start building to a major point).  Use this format when there is enough time in the lecture to think about and make organization decisions when they are needed.  This format can be most effective when your note taking skills are super and sharp and you can handle the outlining regardless of the note taking situation. 

Example

Extrasensory perception

_ Definition: means of perceiving without use of sense organs.

_three kinds –

_telepathy: sending messages

_clairvoyance: forecasting the future

_psychokinesis: perceiving events external to situation

_current status –

_no current research to support or refute

_few psychologists say impossible

 

The Mapping Method

Mapping is a method that uses comprehension/concentration skills and evolves in a note taking form which relates each fact or idea to every other fact or idea.  Mapping is a graphic representation of the content of a lecture.  It is a method that maximizes active participation, affords immediate knowledge as to its understanding, and emphasizes critical thinking.

Advantages – This format helps you to visually track your lecture regardless of conditions.  Little thinking is needed and relationships can easily be seen.  It is also easy to edit your notes by adding numbers, marks, and color coding.  Review will call for you to restructure thought processes which will force you to check understanding.  Review by covering lines for memory drill and relationships.  Main points can be written on flash or note cards and pieced together into a table or larger structure at a later date.

Disadvantages – You may not hear changes in content from major points to facts.

When to Use – Use when the lecture content is heavy and well-organized.  May also be used effectively when you have a guest lecturer and have no idea how the lecture is going to be presented.

 

The Charting Method

If the lecture format is distinct (such as chronological), you may set up your paper by drawing columns and labeling appropriate headings in a table. 

Method – Determine the categories to be covered in lecture.  Set up your paper in advance by columns headed by these categories.  As you listen to the lecture, record information (words, phrases, main ideas, etc.) into the appropriate category.

Advantages – Helps you track conversation and dialogues where you would normally be confused and lose out on relevant content.  Reduces amount of writing necessary.  Provides easy review mechanism for both memorization of facts and study of comparisons and relationships.

Disadvantages – Few disadvantages except learning how to use the system and locating the appropriate categories.  You must be able to understand what’s happening in the lecture.

When to Use – Test will focus on both facts and relationships.  Content is heavy and presented fast.  You want to reduce the amount of time you spend editing and reviewing at test time.  You want to get an overview of the whole course on one big paper sequence.

Example – Chart format for a history class:

 

The Sentence Method

Method – Write every new thought, fact or topic on a separate line, numbering as you progress.

Advantages – Slightly more organized than the paragraph.  Gets more or all of the information.  Thinking to tract content is still limited.

Disadvantages – Can’t determine major/minor points from the numbered sequence.  Difficult to edit without having to rewrite by clustering points which are related.  Difficult to review unless editing cleans up relationship.

When to Use – Use when the lecture is somewhat organized, but heavy with content which comes fast.  You can hear the different points, but you don’t know how they fit together.  The instructor tends to present in point fashion, but not in grouping such as “three related points.”

Example 1

A revolution is any occurrence that affects other aspects of life, such as economic life, social life, and so forth.  Therefore revolutions cause change.  (See page 29-30 in your text about this.)

Example 2

Melville did not try to represent life as it really was.  The language of Ahab, Starbuck, and Ishmael, for instance, was not that of real life.

Example 3

At first, Freud tried conventional, physical methods of treatment such as giving baths, massages, rest cures, and similar aids.  But when these failed he tried techniques of hypnosis that he had seen used by Jean-Martin Charcot.  Finally, he borrowed an idea from Jean Breuer and used direct verbal communication to get an un-hypnotized patient to reveal unconscious thoughts.

Bibliography

Deese, James and Ellin K. Deese. How to Study (3rd Ed). New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1979.

Johnson, Sue. The 4 T’s: Teacher/You, Text, Talk, Test - A Systematic Approach to Learning Success. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Pauk, Walter. How to Study in College (2nd Ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974.

Raygor, Alton L. and David Wark. Systems for Study. New York: McGraw- Hill, Inc, 1970.

Ellis, Dave. Becoming a Master Student. (1997). Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, MA.

Sources:

Student Academic Services, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California

Dennis Jerz, Seton Hill College

 

HOW TO STUDY FOR A TEST

What Can I Do Before the Test?
Organization, planning, and time management are essential to becoming a successful student; so start studying as soon as classes begin. Read assignments, listen during lectures, and take good classroom notes. Then, reread assignments, highlighting important information to study. Regular reviews help you avoid cramming and reduce test anxiety. The biggest benefit is that it gives you time to absorb information.

Read difficult assignments twice. Sometimes a second reading will clarify concepts. If you are having difficulty with a subject, get help immediately. Meet with your instructor after class, use an alternate text to supplement required reading, or work with a tutor (ask faculty members and other students for referrals).

Review, Review, Review
•  Plan ahead . scheduling review periods well in advance. Set aside one hour per subject on a Saturday        or Sunday to review several subjects. Keep your reviews short and do them often.
•  Daily Reviews . Conduct short reviews of lecture notes before and after class. Begin reviewing after your first day of class.
•  Weekly Reviews. Dedicate about one hour per subject just to reviewing assigned reading and lecture notes.
•  Major Reviews . Start the week before an exam and study the most difficult subjects when you are the most alert. Study for two to five hours with sufficient breaks. When possible, review previous tests offered by the professor to learn what to do differently next time.
•  Create review tools , such as flashcards, chapter outlines, and summaries. This helps you organize and remember information as well as condense material to a manageable size. Use 3 x 5-inch index cards to review important information. Write ideas, formulas, concepts, and facts on cards to carry with you. Study whenever you have a few extra minutes.
•  Another useful tool is a study checklist . Make a list of everything you will need to know for the exam. The list should include a brief description of reading assignments, types of problems to solve, skills to master, major ideas, theories, definitions, and equations. When you begin your final study sessions, cross off items as you review them.

Should I Organize a Study Group?
For some subjects, study groups are an effective tool. Study groups allow students to combine resources; members share an academic goal and provide support and encouragement. Such groups meet regularly to study and learn a specific subject.

To form a study group, you should look for dedicated students - those who ask and answer questions in class and who take notes. Suggest to two or three classmates that you meet to talk about group goals, meeting times, and other logistics. Effective study groups are limited to five or six people. Test the group first by planning a one-time-only session. If that works, plan another. After several successful sessions, schedule regular meetings.

Set an agenda for each meeting to avoid wasting time. List the material that will be reviewed so members can come prepared. Also, follow a format. For example, begin by comparing notes to make sure you all heard the same thing and recorded important information. Spend fifteen to twenty minutes conducting open-ended discussions on specific topics. Then, test each other by asking questions or take turns explaining concepts. Set aside five to ten minutes to brainstorm possible test questions.

What Should I Do on Exam Day?
On exam day, arrive early and get organized. Pay attention to verbal directions as tests are distributed. Read directions slowly. Scan the entire test, noticing how many points each part is worth, and estimate the time needed for individual questions.
•Essay. When answering an essay question, first decide precisely what the question is asking. If a question asks you to compare, do not explain. Verbs commonly used in essay questions include: analyze, compare, contrast, criticize, define, describe, discuss, enumerate, evaluate, examine, explain, illustrate, interpret, list, outline, prove, state, and summarize.
•Before you write your essay, make a quick outline. There are three reasons for doing this. First, your thoughts will be more organized (making it easier for your teacher to read), and you will be less likely to leave out important facts. Second, you will be able to write faster. Third, if you do not have time to finish your answer, you may earn some points with the outline. Don’t forget to leave plenty of space between answers. You can use the extra space to add information if there is time.
•When you write, get to the point. Start off by including part of the question in your answer. For example, if you are directed to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of universal health care coverage to both patients and medical professionals, your first sentence might read, Universal health care will benefit patients in the following ways. Expand your answer with supporting ideas and facts. If you have time, review your answers for grammatical errors, clarity, and legibility.

Test preparation is essential if you plan to do well consistently on exams throughout your postsecondary education. The most important thing to remember about studying for tests, however, is that by studying you are ensuring better learning of the material covered.

Editorial provided by Diane Loulou for the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Education. Information from a brochure based on the 1995 ERIC Digest, Making the A: How To Study for Tests.

 

HOW TO WRITE A PAPER

Papers – papers – and, more papers!!!  Writing papers is a regular assignment in most college classes.  Some are longer than others in length, but you will need to develop basic skills in research and writing.

Your English Composition classes will guide you through the writing process; however, the College’s Academic Resource Center (ARC) [link to 3.1.2.1] can help you with your writing as well.  The Resource Center can review your papers if you schedule a time before your paper is due.  

Also, below is a great website through Purdue University’s OWL Writing Center that has multiple resources on the writing process and grammar usage, etc.

OWL Writing Center at Purdue:    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/1/

Another source:                              http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/library/mla.pdf

 

LEARNING STYLES

 How do you learn best? Have you ever thought that you might be more effective in your classes if you fully understood the methods for learning and studying that work best for your learning style? This section is designed to allow you to assess your learning style and provide some ideas for strategies that will help you to be more effective in the classroom. Remember, we all learn in different ways but everyone can learn effectively.

Assessing Your Learning Style

The first step in the process is to assess your learning style. Please take the following inventory. The inventory is meant to give you valuable feedback about your learning style but should not be considered diagnostic or predictive.

http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire  

Learning Style Strategies

Once you have completed the inventory, you'll have an indication of your learning style preferences. Though most of us are able to learn in all of the modes, we tend to have preferences for certain styles. The following information may then be helpful as you work to modify how you study, prepare for exams, read your assignments or take notes during lectures in relation to your preferred learning style.

VISUAL LEARNERS

AUDITORY LEARNERS

READING/WRITING LEARNERS

KINESTHETIC LEARNERS

Source:  Purdue University North Central, Student Success Center

 

Managing Test Anxiety  

Everyone experiences some level of nervousness or tension before tests or other important
events. A little anxiety or stress can actually help motivate us and make us more alert.
However, too much of it can interfere with our ability to prepare for and perform on tests.

Test anxiety can arise from many sources:

 

Coping with Anxiety…

One of the most common ways that we cope with anxiety is to avoid the problem. However, avoidance often makes matters worse and creates more anxiety. What may be more helpful is to work on improving your coping strategies. Follow the tips below for reducing anxiety before your next test.

Coping Strategies

1.      Psych yourself down before the test. Too much arousal before the test can make it hard to concentrate and focus. Try the techniques below to help control the physiological reactions to the stress of taking a test:

2.      Take a few deep breaths before the exam begins. Breathing becomes shallow and rapid during stressful situations. Slow deep breathing (extending your belly as you slowly inhale) enriches your supply of oxygen, which can help improve concentration and decrease muscle tension. Close your eyes if you’re comfortable, then bring your attention to the tip of your nose. As you breathe in, notice that air coming in tends to be cooler and air breathed out is warmer. Focusing four or five breaths on “cool air in, warm air out” can help calm anxious mental activity.

3.      Alternate tensing and relaxing large muscle groups. Start at your toes, raise and hold while tensing your legs and buttocks for a count of 4. Release the tension and relax your legs. Raise your shoulders and clench your fists for a count of 4, then release the tension and relax. Slowly twist to your right in your seat until you feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold it for a count of 4 and exhale as you twist back to center. Repeat to the left.

4.      Review the entire test first—read directions twice! Then go back and prioritize the questions according to your ability to answer them.

5.      Construct a short outline for essay questions. This will help you avoid “rambling” and repetition.

6.      Read all multiple choice options first and eliminate the most obvious incorrect responses. If you are unsure of the correct response, rely on your first impression and move on.

7.      Pace yourself. If it appears you will be unable to finish the entire test, concentrate on the portions you can answer well.

8.      Control anxious thoughts. Tell yourself “I can be anxious later, now is the time to take the test.”

9.      Counter negative thoughts. Judging your performance during the test can be self-defeating. Focus on the present moment (answering the question in front of you) not on worries about your potential grade, your performance, or any other distracting thoughts. Negativity wastes energy and is a useless distraction!

 

More good advice:

Source:  Washington University in St. Louis, Student Health Services website

 

If anxiety continues, please contact the Center for Student Support Services for further investigation into the problem. 

 

 

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