Author Archives: txstateu

Students: Organize Your Academic World

By SLAC

iStock_000001949041SmallJust as your room and even your car can indicate your emotional state, so can your notes and books show your academic state of mind. Piles of scribbled-on Post-its, incoherent notes, and randomly highlighted books are all displays of your hectic, stress-filled, and often ineffective academic life.

As the semester continues, take time to organize your notes and school materials. In so doing, you can alleviate stress and have a much more successful learning experience!

  • Whether you use loose-leaf-filled binders or spiral notebooks, remember to date your notes. The dates will not only help you see the cause-and-effect relations between the material you are covering, but also they’ll prove to be priceless should you miss a class and need to get notes from a classmate.
  • Along these lines, exchange contact information with a classmate or two.
  • Use the margins in your notes and books to jot questions that might be on the test, questions you have or to write page numbers of textbook material that correlate to your notes.
  • Remember that most textbooks have indexes. If you have a topic on which your notes are sketchy, you can look it up in your textbook and take notes from it and/or highlight that portion of the text.
  • Purchase a planner/agenda and put important due dates from your syllabus in it. Add information to the planner as the instructor assigns more tasks during the semester.
  • Record dates for major assignments or tests several weeks in advance. Then you can begin your work ahead of time and avoid the stress of procrastinating on an assignment or pulling an all-nighter studying for a test.
  • Buy a calendar and put it on the wall where you’ll be forced to see it. This is a great way to remind yourself of important dates/deadlines daily.
  • Use the calendar feature on your phone to record important test dates and other academic events.
  • Consider using different-colored ink or paper for your courses to better organize your classwork.

As always, when in doubt about what you’ve written or how you’ve got a series of events or problems ordered, ask your professors for help during office hours or e-mail them. Remember, staying organized in your academic life can lead to academic and personal success!

 

Students: Professors as a Resource

by Texas State SLAC

Senior professor discusses an issue with a student

It can be difficult to converse with professors before or after class. There may be too little time because the professor may have to go to another building, or another class may be waiting outside. That’s why professors designate office hours to meet students outside of classes. Yet many professors say few students use this time. Take advantage of their willingness to help. Your professor may be formal in class yet friendly and approachable one-to-one. Continue reading

Study Tips: Getting Back on Track in Spring

Ten helpful tips that guarantee a successful spring semester

by Texas State SLAC

Photo of a student getting tutoring help

1. Reconnect with other students.

Seek out students from the previous semester’s classes, organizations, living arrangements and work. Building upon acquaintances can lead you to form study partners and future friendships. Plus, being socially involved gives balance to a stressful life. And don’t hesitate to talk first to those you recognize on campus. It is easier to speak the first time you see someone than the next.

Continue reading

Study Tips: Finals Countdown

Heading for Finals: Don’t Hit the Wall. Climb Over It!

by SLAC

Does this sound like you or someone you know? During exams, do you:

  • go blank
  • become frustrated
  • start thinking I can’t do this or I’m stupid
  • feel your heart racing or find it difficult to breathe
  • know the answers—after turning in a test
  • score much lower than on homework or papers

Continue reading

Preparing for Thanksgiving

by SLAC

Alkek

Spending time in the library each week now could help you in the long run!

The days are getting shorter as your to-do list is getting longer. You might be tempted to put some class work off until after Thanksgiving because you don’t want to be doing homework, writing papers, working on projects or studying for tests while you are around family and friends, eating turkey and then sleeping off the L-tryptophan! But by putting off course assignments, you could find yourself neck-deep in work—and facing lowered motivation because the semester will be almost over. Plus you’ll have finals to study for! Here is a better course of action: Continue reading

Study Tips: Sabotaging Ourselves Before Tests

Self-sabotage affecting your grades?
Take some advice from Mark Twain.

By Texas State SLAC

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

“I have never let schooling interfere with my education.”
— Mark Twain

Mark Twain teaches a good lesson: Students can get so caught up making good grades that they forget to learn. Also, students sabotage themselves by practicing bad study techniques that further hinder their actually learning. Many of you know things you should and should not do before a test, but this will be a good reminder of good and bad test prep. Continue reading

Study Tips: “Google Map” Essay Tests

Map your way to
successful essay writing

by SLAC

When you read an essay question, do you get a headache? Does your brain go blank? Try comparing taking essay tests to using Google Maps or another map search engine. Principles that achieve good map search results also work for answering essay questions.

1. GET DIRECTIONS
Read the question thoroughly. Details determine the route you take in your explanation.

Search tip: Identify specifics in an essay question so you don’t waste time on false starts and explanations that are loose or dead ends. Continue reading