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I have always said that a college student without an academic planner is like a one-armed wallpaper hanger. How can you possibly get the job done? Every semester, without fail, I have a handful of students who contend that assignment pads that worked just fine in high school will suffice in college. They fail to realize that the quantity and variety of assignments (i.e., papers, group projects, presentations, etc.) will require a planner that allows for a lot more organization than an assignment pad can provide. Can you identify with the following scenario? You walk into class on Monday only to find out that there is a paper due that totally slipped your mind. I think each of us at one time or another has experienced this fiasco, accompanied by that sinking feeling that results from the realization that we really screwed up. Organization skills are vital to college success; they can easily make the difference between success and failure. As compared to high school, there are far fewer grades in college. Tests cover considerably more material and occur less often. As a result, each grade during a college semester carries more weight than any grade in high school. You simply can not afford to get a "0" on a college assignment when there may be only three components that contribute to your final grade. Do you really want to get an "F" because you forgot a due date or failed to finish your project? I can not tell you how many bright, capable students I have taught over the years who either failed or received mediocre final grades as a result of forgetfulness or disorganization. That is why you should learn to use a day planner ASAP, while still in high school. When you begin college, your planner habits will be well-entrenched, and you will have an edge over those students who have yet to learn effective planning. Tips for Using a Planner 1. Choose the right planner. Make sure the planner says "ACADEMIC" and has "M/W" on the front. "Academic" planners run from August to August, so they cover the entire school year, whereas "yearly" planners run January to January. The "M/W" refers to monthly and weekly. It is essential that you have two views. The monthly view is your "big picture", and that is where exams, long-term projects, and presentations should be recorded. Looking at the monthly view allows you to see what lies ahead and allows you to plan your time accordingly. The weekly view, or "small picture", is where you record day to day assignments. Your planner needs to have enough space to record all the details of assignments, so ideally it should be 8" x 11", but definitely no smaller than 5" x 7". If you go to an office supply store, head toward the back where

they keep the "generic" planners. The front of the store is stocked with name brand planners that run as high as $35. The planner described here can be found for about $14, but you need to shop early-perhaps in June or July. Academic planners sell out quickly because there are students taking summer classes. 2. Make the planner part of your daily routine. Carry it with you at all times. Put a "Post-It" arrow on the edge of each monthly page, and label it to quickly locate a particular month. Be sure to record academic as well as personal responsibilities in your planner. If you keep two separate calendars, you are likely to double-book yourself. Make it a habit to check the planner several times a day. 3. On the first day of class, record the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of at least two students in each of your classes. This is will be essential in case of absence or when you need clarification on an assignment. 4. Write down your assignment before you leave the classroom. You would not remember it accurately once you walk out. Also, do not leave the class if you are confused about any aspect of the assignment. Clarify with the instructor on your way out. 5. When you get your syllabi, immediately enter all long-term due dates on the monthly calendars. Color-code your entries, using a different color for each course. 6. Work backwards. Break each long-term task (that includes tests, as well as projects) into smaller components, so you can see exactly how much work is involved. Now, planning backwards from the due date, enter each component on dates of the weekly calendars. This is will determine when you have to start. Be sure to allot more time than you think you will need to take unforeseen situations and illness into account. Another helpful technique is to imagine your task is due two days before its actual date. Completing a task in advance precludes frenetic rushing at the last minute and gives you a sense of calm and accomplishment. 7. Enter absences/lateness in your planner. Some instructors have attendance policies, so it is important to keep track of days you missed or were late to class. By the way, skipping class should be reserved only for emergencies or days that you are really sick-meaning confined to bed. 8. Do not tear out old pages of the planner. There will likely be occasions when you will need to refer back. Things to Include in Your Planner It is important to block off anything that consumes your time, in order to avoid conflict and crisis. Do not forget: •Regular blocks of homework time •Assignment due dates •Test dates •Social commitments •Vacations •Medical appointments •Academic appointments (i.e. tutoring, seeing your instructor, study groups, group projects,

etc) •Registration dates-choose classes as soon as registration opens to have the most choices •Fees-due dates •Holidays In short, the daily planner serves as the skeleton on which you attach your responsibilities. It is essential you have a logical system to ensure your work gets done in a timely fashion, and you appear in the right place at the right time.

Joan M. Azarva, Ms.ED, an expert College Learning Specialist, parent of a successful adult son with LD/ADD, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education has experience that spans three+ decades with students of all ages. In 1993, however, due to the well-documented low postsecondary success rate of students with learning disabilities, Joan decided to focus exclusively on the critical period of high school-to-college transition. From her professional and personal experiences, Joan learned that not only can proactive measures often fend off failure, they can also produce extremely desirable outcomes. If you are the parent of a high school student with learning differences, sign up for Joan's listserv and receive a valuable FREE 55-page E-Book, Interactive Academic Websites, by going to http://www.ConquerCollegewithLD.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joan_Azarva

==== ==== Are you struggling with ways to manage your time to better your success? Are you having a lot of trouble trying to discover the truth behind being the master of time instead of the slave? For "THE" Solution Check This Out http://timemanagement.nicheinformationsite.com ==== ====

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