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Cornell Note Taking Method
This format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R's of note-taking: Record During the lecture, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly. Reduce As soon after as possible, summarize these facts and ideas concisely in the Cue Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory. Recite Cover the Note Taking Area, using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said. Reflect Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten. Review Spend 10 minutes every week in quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned.
Triple-A-Listening A lecture's value can be extracted only through listening. But listening is not the same as hearing. Listening is a conscious activity based on three basic skills: attitude, attention, and adjustment. These skills are known collectively as triple-A listening. • Maintain a constructive attitude A positive attitude paves the way for open-mindedness. Don't assume from the outset that a lecture is going to be dull. And even if the lecturer makes statements you don't agree with, don't decide he or she is automatically wrong. Don't let reactive interference prevent you from recalling the speaker's key points. • Strive to pay attention You cannot attain concentration by concentrating on the act of concentration. Your attention must focus on the lecture. When you hear a lecture, the words enter your short-term memory, where they have to be swiftly processed into ideas. If they aren't processed, then they will be dumped from short-term memory and will be gone forever. Attentive listening makes sure the ideas are processed. • Cultivate a capacity for adjustment Although some speakers clearly indicate what they intend to cover in their lectures, you need to be flexible enough to follow a lecture regardless of the direction it may take. If, however, you are thoroughly lost, or if the speaker's messages is not coming across and you need to ask a clarifying question, do so. The above information was adapted from Walter Park's How to Study in College, Fifth Ed..
Suggestions for Managing Time Make a Tentative Weekly Schedule On a Convenient Form 1. List all classes and other fixed activities. 2. Add time needed for meals, sleep, job, travel, grooming, etc. 3. Estimate and list time needed for studying each subject, generally 2 to 3 hours per credit per week. However, individuals vary. Some may need more time in certain subjects than others. 4. Find your periods of peak efficiency and periods when you are likely to have the best study conditions. Plan to study your most difficult subjects then. 5. Be sure to use any free hours between classes. 6. Allow time for preview and review. For example, if you have a free hour between classes, it is wise to spend the beginning of that hour reviewing and revising notes from the preceding lecture. The latter part of the hour may be profitably spent previewing for the next lecture. 7. Schedule each study period as close to that class meeting as possible. 8. To avoid learning interference, schedule the study of unlike subjects consecutively. For example, it is better to follow the study of a language with the study of a science than to study two languages one right after the other. If you MUST study two similar subjects on the same night, try taking a break in between. 9. Be sure to plan some time in your schedule for recreation. Adapt Your Schedule to Changing Situations: 1. Allow longer periods in your schedule for term papers and projects the weeks you need to work on these. 2. Be sure to plan your final exam review schedule at least three weeks ahead. Plan to spend time on intensive review several nights before the exam and to use the night before to go over concepts that are still fuzzy. 3. Allow some unscheduled time in case emergencies arise during regularly scheduled study periods. Additional Hints: 1. Use odd periods of time for some reviewing or reading. Periods of time spent on a bus or waiting in a dentist's office may be so used. 2. Use periods when you are tired or when your situation is noisy for jobs that do not require much concentration or original organization. Such jobs as sorting notes or preparing materials for the next day's use may be accomplished at these times. 3. Consider your schedule a firm but flexible guide, not as a hard and fast rule.
Concentration THE PROBLEM In many colleges over 30% of the students report problems concentrating on their studies. Most of these students blame outside distractions for their problems. Many research studies manipulating noise levels and distractions have found that such disturbances may increase, decrease, or not even affect concentration. These researchers have therefore concluded that distracters don't cause concentration problems directly. It is the way the distracters are interpreted by the students that disrupts their study. CREATING A STUDY ENVIRONMENT 1. 2. 3. 4. Find a place to study and keep it for study only. Tool-up the environment with all study needs. Control noise level and the visual environment to acceptable levels. Avoid relaxing while working; create a work atmosphere.
WHEN TO STUDY 1. 2. 3. 4. Best during the day and early evening; you'll remember better. Best when there are fewest competing activities in progress. Best when adequate rest periods are provided. Stop studying when fatigue or lack of attention occurs.
HOW TO STUDY & CONCENTRATE 1. When distracters are present, become intensely involved. 2. Keep a pad of paper handy to jot down extraneous thoughts that cross your mind while studying, get them out of your mind, and on to paper. 3. Set study goals before you begin each period of study (number of pages, number of problems, etc.). 4. Design adequate rewards after specified goals are attained. 5. Break up the content of study by mixing up subjects and building in variety and interest and removing boredom. 6. Make the most of rest periods-do something quite different. 7. Don't try to mix work and play. 8. Start with short study periods and slowly build to longer periods only as fast as you maintain concentration. 9. If necessary, make a calendar of events to clear your mind of distractions. 10. Plan the length of your study period by the amount of material you have decided to cover, not by the clock. (Often the clock is one of the most serious distracters.)
A Study Method for WSCC Natural Science Classes Introduction Kara (not her real name) came into my office one afternoon and said that her biology professor had recommended that she stop by and talk with me about how she might improve her test scores. After finding out which class she was having problems in and that she had received a “D” on her last test, I first asked her how much time she spent studying for the exam. Her response was “about three hours.” Second, I asked how she studied for the test and she responded “I read my notes.” I’ve talked with dozens of students about how to study over the past twenty years and the answers Kara gave to the two questions I asked were quite typical of those given by students scoring poorly on tests and exams. Students using Kara’s study method, even though they’ve had success in some courses by using it, will typically receive C and below grades on tests in natural science courses. Why? Because both the volume of information and the specific nature of the information a student must understand and retain for a test in these subject areas demands a different method of study. I have outlined a study method below that has helped students improve grades especially in biology and chemistry courses. The Study Method 1. Read the assigned material before it is covered in lecture. Why? You will have a basic understanding of the material in advance of lecture and you will be able to take notes more accurately and intelligently. 2. Read the assigned material with a highlighter in your hand and mark terms and other important items. Why? Because you will be more actively engaged in reading the material by doing this. Each word that you read you will be evaluating as to whether, or not, it should be highlighted and when you decide that a word or sentence should be highlighted you will read it a second time as you run the highlighter across it. You will then have read it, thought about it, made a decision about it, and reread it when you highlighted it. This will help you remember it on the test. 3. As soon as possible after a lecture sit down with your notes and rewrite or word process them using your textbook to fill in some of the gaps in the notes you took in class. Why? To create a set of very accurate and more organized study notes that will represent what is in the textbook and what the professor lectured on in class. If you do a good job on the study notes you will be able to rely on them for study purposes and you won’t have to reread the textbook. In addition, as you put this set of study notes together you will be studying the material and you will be more likely to remember the information for the test. 4. Create flash cards for terms and concepts you must memorize. Use 3 X 5 cards and on one side write the term or concept and on the other side write the definition. You will use these to test yourself and can easily go through a stack of twenty or thirty cards in a few minutes. You can test yourself on the term/concept or the on definition by simply turning the card over. Why? Pulling the information out of your textbook and notes to create the cards will help you memorize the material and because repetition is the key to remembering, you can quickly and frequently cover
this information. Each time you go through the cards you will test yourself over the terms and concepts. 5. If you are going to be required to identify parts of cells, label anatomical features, etc., either sketch the items and draw arrows to the important parts you must learn and make a number of photocopies to practice labeling or check to see if your lab book has the illustrations you need that can be photocopied. If the items are already labeled make one copy and use whiteout to remove the labels before making the necessary number of photocopies to use for test practice. Why? You can create a testing situation similar to class and test yourself by taking one of the copies and labeling the parts. Afterwards you can check your work to see how you did. Repeat this exercise until you can label everything correctly. Now your test preparation kit for one chapter is complete and you have the following: 1) study notes, 2) flashcards, and 3) illustrations for labeling. Repeat this for each chapter that will be on the test or exam. Finally, read and reread your notes, quiz yourself with your flashcards, and label the illustrations you created until you are confident that you both know and understand the material.
Stress Fact Sheet What is stress? • • Stress is an emotional/bodily reaction to physical, psychological or emotional demands. Stress is a fact of life. o Managed stress can become useful and healthy (viewing events as challenges). o Unmanaged stress can become distressful and unhealthy (viewing events as threats).
What are some of the causes of stress? • • • • Expectations we place on ourselves Expectations of others Our physical environment-noise, movement, weather, season changes Our internal environment-academic pressure, frustration, not enough time, decisions, social life
What are some symptoms of unmanaged stress? • • • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; feeling tense, irritable, fatigued, or depressed Lack of interest and ability to concentrate, apathy Avoidance behaviors: abuse of drugs, alcohol, tobacco
What are some ways to manage stress effectively? • • • • • • • • • • Add balance to life; don't overdo studies or play. Know and accept what kind of person you are: strengths and weaknesses. Get a thorough physical exam. Take "time outs," especially during study. Exercise regularly. Watch your breathing. Walk loosely and walk more. Learn and practice relaxation skills. Study each subject regularly for moderate periods of time. Discuss problems with friends, family, dean or counselor.
The SQ3R Method for Thorough Study Step 1: SURVEY Skim through the book and read topical and subtopical headings and sentences. Read the summaries at the end of chapters and book. Try to anticipate what the author is going to say. WRITE these notes on paper, in sequence; then look over the jottings to get an over-all idea or picture. Step 2: QUESTION Instead of reading paragraph headings such as "Basic Concepts of Reading," change to read, "What are the Basic Concepts of Reading?" These questions will become "hooks" on which to hang the reading material. WRITE these questions out; look over the questions to see the emphasis and direction; then attempt to give plausible answers before further reading. Step 3: READ Read with smoothness and alertness to answer the questions. Use all the techniques and principles demonstrated in class. WRITE notes, in your own words, under each question. Take a minimum number of notes - use these as a skeleton. Step 4: RECALL Without looking at your book or notes, mentally visualize and sketch, in your own words, the high points of the material immediately upon completing the reading. Step 5: REVIEW Look at your questions, answers, notes and book to see how well you did recall. Observe carefully the points stated incorrectly or omitted. Fix carefully in mind the logical sequence of the entire idea, concepts, or problem. Finish up with a mental picture of the WHOLE. NOTE: More time should be spent on recall than on reading.
Coping with Exams and Exam Anxiety For most WSCC students, exam time is particularly stressful. Paradoxically, many students attempt to deal with this stress in ways that are counter-productive or even self-defeating; their behavior and attitudes tend to diminish their performance on exams rather than enhance it. While there is no guarantee for an easy time on exams, there are some specific guidelines that students can follow which will help them learn more efficiently during exam time. IT IS CLEAR THAT IT DOES NOT HELP TO PUT ADDED STRESS ON YOURSELF BY: • • • • keeping irregular hours pulling all-nighters eating irregularly or eating junk food relying on ineffective learning strategies
GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU LEARN MORE EFFICIENTLY: • • • Try to stay on a reasonably regular schedule of reviewing, eating, sleeping, and relaxing. Start at least a week, or preferably two, before your exams begin. Don't attempt to study 24 hours a day; your efficiency and capacity to retain material will rapidly decrease. Don't force yourself to study beyond your normal limits of concentration. If you find yourself able to concentrate for only ten or twenty minutes, study for only that period of time and then take a short break. Your concentration should return. In fact, short and regular study periods are more productive than lengthy single sessions. Eat a well-balanced diet and drink lots of fluids. Excessive amounts of coffee may produce confusion and even disorganization of thought processes. Don't use drugs or alcohol-they can decrease your ability to think clearly. Take medication only under supervision of a physician. Be conservative and reasonable about the demands you place on yourself. If you have a problem you believe will interfere with taking your exams, be sure to notify your class dean in Parkhurst or a counselor/physician in Dick's House before you take your exam.
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Adapted from Harvard Law School Health Service
Ten Principles of Memory 1. Pay attention while you're learning. 2. Get the information right the first time. False ideas and misunderstood facts can hang on as information you learn correctly. 3. Be sure you fully understand the material. (A good test: Can you explain it to someone else so he or she will understand it?). 4. Try to see the significance of what you're learning. See how what you're learning is part of a larger whole. 5. Involve your ego, if possible. See how the task relates to you. Does the material please or displease you? Is it important to your self-concept that you know the material? 6. Associate new material with related facts you already know. (Even when new material seems to disagree with previous learning, you have a valuable handle for recalling it later.) 7. Organize the material so you can file it in its proper place in your memory. If you have organized carefully, remembering part of something will enable you to remember the rest. 8. If there is a basis for doing so, divide and group your material. Information is best taken in as "little bunches." 9. Reinforce what you have learned through repetition and usage. You will not remember something you don't use. 10. Recite often. In a research study by Dr. A. I. Gates, students were divided into different groups. One group used 100% of its time in reading an article over and over again, while another group spent 80% of its time reading and 20% reciting the same article. Other groups read and recited in different proportions. The final group spent only 20% of its time reading and 80% in reciting, and this group clearly emerged with the highest score. A portion of the above information was adapted from Walter Pauk's How to Study in College, Fifth Ed.
A Math Study Method that Actually Works Overview Most students struggle in math courses because they lack a method by which to study and learn math. This is especially true for pre-algebra, introductory algebra, and intermediate algebra classes. Your objective in a math class is to learn how to solve many different types of problems. When you take a test you have to remember the type of problem and remember the steps you use to solve it. For example, the test may say: Solve the following linear equation. Your task is to remember what a "linear equation" is and what steps are used to solve this type of problem. Typically, math tests have a number of different types of problems on them and, if you have a comprehensive final exam, there will be a lot of problem types. The following method will get your organized and help you to master those challenging math problems. 1. For each type of problem covered in a chapter, take a piece of paper and write the name of the problem at the top (i.e., Linear Equation). Using your book and class notes, do an example problem labeling all the steps used to solve it. Now, on a separate piece of paper solve 5 - 10 of these problems. Do as many as necessary until you can remember all the steps used to solve this type of problem. Refer to your example page, using it to help you troubleshoot errors and remember the steps. Staple your practice problem page(s) to the example page and save it. Now do this for each remaining problem in that chapter. When you finish the chapter you will have a study set for each problem type where you've listed the name of the type of problem, shown the steps to solve it, and have a record of your practice problems. (When you are developing your study set and need additional help to build your problem example, talk to your professor, drop in a math lab, or stop by the Learning & Testing Center to use one of the DVDs that are specific to your textbook and course. Be sure to build your example problem so that you can understand all the steps.) 2. At the conclusion of a chapter, take the review test at the end as a diagnostic tool to determine which problems you have not fully mastered. Review your study set for each problem type that the review test indicated that you need to work on and do 5 - 10 more practice problems of each until you can solve them reliably. 3. Just prior to the class test, review the problem types again and solve two of each type. If you struggle with a particular problem, practice it until you have mastered it. Because testing is flexible, if you test in the testing center, you can practice the problems in the library, use a DVD in the Learning Center, or drop by a math lab to get help with problem areas prior to taking your test. 4. Organize and save your study sets and practice problems to help you prep for the final exam. (Final note: You can view the short video that the author of your math text created to help you use the book as a learning tool. The author designed your textbook with resources to help you succeed, and he does a good job of helping you not only get the most out of the book but by providing other math success strategies and information. This resource is available in the Learning and Testing Center.)
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