Tag Archives: Summer School

Study Tips: Reading Comprehension

Succeed In College: Read To Understand

By SLAC

Try not to be overwhelmed by setting a reading schedule, Bobcats!

Try not to be overwhelmed by setting a reading schedule, Bobcats!

Love it or hate it, you have to get familiar with academic reading in college. Your exams may include questions about readings that professors assigned but never discussed in class, so learn to read to understand. The more active your reading, the better your chance for thorough comprehension. Use a structured reading method involving forethoughtperformance, and reflection.

During the forethought phase, gather and prepare materials, and form a context for what you read before you read it. This helps you connect your thoughts to prior knowledge and builds retention:

  • Spend 5 to 10 minutes on the chapter title, topic outlines, headings, charts, diagrams and illustrations to create familiarity with content.
  • Read the chapter summary twice; think of what you already know about the topic.
  • Ask yourself what question the chapter is answering.
  • Determine how much energy to put into reading based on earlier study and knowledge.
  • Use the Internet if necessary to create another framework in which to put what you read.

Use the performance phase to actively read:

  • Focus attention by following the text with your index finger, a pen or pencil, and a note card with colored edges to keep you on the correct line.
  • Divide the chapter into parts; use a timer and short breaks to question yourself about the material.
  • Read and then mark or highlight primary points and write notes in the margin.
  • Explain to yourself (aloud) what you understand; hearing yourself increases retention.
  • Use headings to formulate questions in the margins and to prep for exams; ask yourself what the primary ideas are in each section.
  • Reread confusing sections and get help from learning centers and classmates if you need it.

Give yourself a reflection phase to review and understand:

  • Review the day of your first read-through to increase retention, and review each day until the exam.
  • Use chapter review cards, mapping, study guides and test preps to organize thoughts.
  • Explain aloud what you’ve understood to others; teaching leads to understanding.
  • Continue building a context from what you know — and connect the text to your class notes. Write the text’s page numbers beside corresponding in-class notes.

Other types of college texts require different reading strategies. Problem-centered texts require that you read and work problems; selected readings require you to use introductions and notes from class lectures; literature requires you to read after gaining a context for the work from prior knowledge or the Internet; research articles require you to read abstracts before starting; and reference works require you to preview structure, use tabs to mark key points, and note other textual facets.

Watch for two common stumbling blocks: an inadequate college-level vocabulary and poor concentration. Electronic or paper vocabulary cards can help tackle the former, as can learning Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes. Build your concentration by reading through a chapter in smaller increments in a setting that puts demands on your space and time.

Remember that your primary goal for reading is to understand, not simply memorize. You are building a structure upon which your future depends, so make it sturdy.

Source: Adapted from Sellers, D., Dochen, C., & Hodges, R. (In press). Academic Transformation: the Road to College Success. Boston: Pearson.

Study Tips: Summer Session 2

Time: Friend or Foe?

by SLAC

It’s 1:30 a.m.: you’re at your desk, a can of Monster precariously perched on the shortest stack of books and articles, with 456 words or 19 more algebra problems to go. Our advice? Go to bed, whether that’s a mattress, bunk or futon, and sleep. At this point, you are falling victim to the commonly held idea that you “work better under pressure.” In the summer, what this really means is only Now or Neverthat you are working under pressure because you no longer have an option to do otherwise. Working too close to deadlines also means not having a chance to problem solve if something goes wrong or if you have last-minute trouble with a concept. Besides, even if you do perform best late at night during the long semesters, summer classes are held every day ― days when you used to be sleeping after pulling an all-nighter.

 

The fact is that time in summer school is unrelenting. Use the self-discipline you dredge up to take care of your body, to make yourself read or study earlier in the day, to start preparing for midterms and finals and to e-mail or talk with your professor about tests and papers ― including the invisible professors in your online courses. Do it now. Check TRACS and Bobcat Mail each day, and sometimes several times a day. In summer school, falling behind in sleep, your studies or your communications is even more destructive than during fall or spring. It’s time to make time your friend.

Study Tips: Summer Session Survival

The Upside of Summer Session

by SLAC

Check out SLAC for tutoring in a wide variety of subjects.

Check out SLAC for tutoring in a wide variety of subjects.

Ah, summer school! Parking is closer and traffic is lighter. You can turn left without a car bearing down on you or a bicyclist whizzing past. The river and its banks are less crowded. You can park on Town Square! You can walk on campus without dodging skateboards. Classrooms seem bigger. You don’t trip over backpacks as you squeeze between desks, and if professors don’t mind, you can prop up your flip-flops.

There’s only one problem: If you don’t get textbooks and syllabi early so that you can read any material your instructors might have assigned for the first day, you could saunter into a lecture unprepared. When possible, get your first week of reading done before classes even begin. Expect papers each week (or two), tests on Mondays, and homework every night, because you have only four and a half weeks to cover 13–14 weeks of course material.

But intensity has its benefits. You’ll be working with focused students broader in age range and experiences; some will be returning professionals honing skills or redirecting careers. As a result, in-class discussion can be more interesting and study groups can draw from the variety of students’ experiences, so use each other’s strengths. Also, motivated students in small classes can make your professors even more involved and accessible.

Of course, campus study and recreation resources are still available: The Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC), the Writing Center, Math Lab and many other tutoring labs will be open during the summer sessions. In addition, the Alkek Library, LBJ Student Student Center and Rec Center are not only open, but they probably are far less crowded than during the fall and spring semesters.

Summer school equals work but it’s also a great introduction or a refreshing return to one of college’s best experiences!

 

Study Tips: Summer School Survival Strategies

Time: Friend or Foe?

By Texas State SLAC

Pulling all-nighters is a risky strategy for summer sessions.

Pulling all-nighters is a risky strategy for summer sessions. Photo by Sheng Han/flickr.com

It’s 1:50 in the morning. You’re at your desk, with a huge can of Monster precariously perched on a stack of books and articles. Only 456 more words to write or 19 more algebra problems to go. Our advice? Go to bed ― your mattress, bunk, futon or pull-out couch ― and sleep. You are falling victim to the commonly held idea that you work better under pressure.

Even if you do perform best late at night during the long semesters, this strategy isn’t a good one for the summer semester. Summer classes are held every day ― and on those days when you used to be sleeping after pulling an all-nighter, you’re now supposed to be in class. In the summer semester, if you procrastinate and get into the habit of working under pressure, soon you won’t have any options to do otherwise.

Summer school is intense. It is unrelenting and unforgiving. Don’t fall behind! There’ll be no time to catch up. And working too close to deadlines means not having a chance to problem solve if something goes wrong or you have last-minute trouble with a concept.

Dredge up some self-discipline to take care of your body, to make yourself read or study early in the day, to start preparing for midterms and finals, to e-mail or talk with your professor ― including the invisible professors in your online courses ― about tests and papers. Do it now.

Check TRACS and Bobcat Mail several times each day. In summer school, falling behind in sleep, your studies, or your communication is even more destructive than it is during fall or spring. Summertime is the best time to make time your friend.

Students: April Correa

A Summer In Europe: Studying Abroad With April Correa

April Correa in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

April Correa traveled around Europe as part of her study abroad experience.

By Andrew Osegi ’14

Barcelona. Rome. Paris.  Texas State University student April Correa visited all these cities during her study abroad adventure this past June. The opportunity to study abroad is one that many college students consider, but few actually realize. Even Correa did not expect to travel overseas, but with a little encouragement, she committed to her traveling aspirations and was soon on a plane headed to Spain.

Correa, an accounting junior, was inspired to investigate her study abroad options not only by the advertisements around campus, but also by her academic advisor.

“I always wanted to study abroad, but I never thought I would actually go through with it,” said Correa. “My advisor was the one who brought it to my attention and supported my interest.” Continue reading

Study Tips: Summer School Time Management

Keeping a steady pace is key for
success in summer classes

By Texas State SLAC

It’s 1:30 a.m: You’re at your desk — a huge energy drink can precariously perched on the shortest stack of books and articles — with 456 words or 19 more algebra problems to go. Our advice? Go to bed, whether that’s a mattress, bunk or futon, and sleep. At this point your biological clock, the one that says you think better at night, is lying to you. Continue reading

Study Tips: Summer School Success

Summer School: How To Get Ahead
Without Losing Yours

By Texas State SLAC

Taking summer classes at Texas State has its perks. Parking is easier. Traffic is lighter. Sewell Park is less crowded. Classrooms seem bigger. Campus is calmer. In short, the living is easy.

But while the atmosphere feels a bit slower, the pace of academics is almost three times faster than during regular semesters. A summer class packs a 14-week punch into less than five weeks. If you don’t get textbooks and the syllabus early, you might saunter unprepared into a lecture covering two chapters — or worse, an entire book. Continue reading

Study Tips: Summer Time

Time: Friend or Foe?

By Texas State SLAC

It’s 1:30 a.m: You’re at your desk — a huge energy drink can precariously perched on the shortest stack of books and articles — with 456 words or 19 more algebra problems to go. Our advice? Go to bed, whether that’s a mattress, bunk or futon, and sleep. At this point your biological clock, the one that says you think better at night, is lying to you. Continue reading

Study Tips: Summer School

Summer School: How To Get Ahead
Without Losing Yours

By Texas State SLAC

Taking summer classes at Texas State has its perks. Parking is easier. Traffic is lighter. Sewell Park is less crowded. Classrooms seem bigger. Campus is calmer. In short, the living is easy.

But while the atmosphere feels a bit slower, the pace of academics is almost three times faster than during regular semesters. A summer class packs a 14-week punch into less than five weeks. If you don’t get textbooks and the syllabus early, you might saunter unprepared into a lecture covering two chapters — or worse, an entire book. Continue reading