Below are some tips to help you develop the attitudes and habits which lead to success:
1. Take responsibility for yourself, and your failure or success.
2. Understand that you’ll need to priorities the way you use your time and your energy. Make your own decisions, and don’t let your friends dictate what’s important, and how much you should work.
3. Figure out when your most productive work times are, and the types of environments where you work best.
4. Try to understand the material well – don’t just memorize what the textbook says. If possible, try to explain it to a friend.
5. Try something else if revision doesn’t help. Don’t just keep reading the same things again.
6. Then, if you still don’t understand then ask for some help. It’s not going to magically fall into place.
7. Study with a friend, and share ideas, and test each other on what you’re meant to know.
8. Keep working and revising throughout the term so the material stays fresh and is easy to retrieve.
1. Make the most of those little slots of time – a free fifteen minutes here and there. You can accomplish a lot in those extra lost minutes.
2. Make your work place comfortable and inviting. For example, have an inspiring bookshelf, light a scented candle, put up a few crazy, fun photographs.
3. Make every effort to enjoy the journey – and remind yourself of the arrival fallacy (arriving at your goal is usually a letdown, and doesn’t bring the joy we thought it would bring.)
4. Don’t be afraid of criticism as it can help you to learn and grow. Dreading it too much creates anxiety which them prevents you from producing your best.
5. Recognise that we rarely feel happy when we’re working as we’re bound to struggle with incompetence, failure, frustration and feeling that we don’t know what to do. However, they are only a part of the total picture, and completing a project leads to pride and confidence.
Approach your studies with a positive attitude
Arrange your schedule to eliminate distractions
Select a reasonable chunk of material to study
Survey the headings, graphics, pre- and post questions to get an overview
Scan the text for keywords and vocabulary: mark what you don’t understand
P: Piece together the parts:
Put aside your books and notes
Piece together what you’ve studied,either alone, with a study pal or group:
summarize what you understand.
Investigate alternative sources of information you can refer to:
other text books, websites, experts, tutors, etc.
Inquire from support professionals (academic support, librarians, tutors, teachers, experts,) and other resources for assistance
Inspect what you did not understand.
Reexamine the content | Reflect on the material | Relay understanding
Reexamine: What questions are there yet to ask? Is there something I am missing?
Reflect: How can I apply this to my project? Is there a new application for it?
Relay: Can I explain this to my fellow students? Will they understand it better if I do?
Evaluate your grades on tests and tasks: look for a pattern
Examine your progress: toward achieving your goals
Explore options: with a teacher, support professional, tutor, parent if you are not satisfied.
I'm having a hard time writing my personal statement. What are some tips you have on how to write a good personal statement? Thanks!
- Write many, many drafts. Write them on different topics. Rewrite the same drafts several times.
- Have people read them. Take them to school counselors, advisers, and staff members who are on scholarship committees, even if you’re not applying for their scholarship.
- Show that you have passion for whatever you plan on doing.
- Don’t actually use the word “passion”.
- Don’t use purple prose.
- No one cares about your beloved high school teacher who inspired you to do blah blah blah. Everyone has heard this story. Whoever reads your essay will roll their eyes because they’ve probably read hundreds more like it. Write about something specific to you.
- For you English/Literature majors: No one cares if you’ve been reading/writing since you were a kid. That’s true for pretty much every English/Lit major.
- Keep it short. If they give you a maximum of one thousand words, that does not mean they want to read one thousand words. Keep it around one page or less.
- Don’t use quotes from other people. This is all about you, not what someone else said.
- Don’t put all of your achievements in a list.
- I’ve heard at least three college professors complain about essays that start with “in modern society today” or “in our society today” or “in the world we live in today”. They’re cliche and they’re redundant. Of course modern society is today. That’s why it’s modern.
- Make sure whatever you write about is relevant to the question for the personal statement or relevant to your reason for applying to whatever you’re applying to.
- Show that you have long term goals and that whatever you’re applying for now will help you in the future.
- Stick to one topic.
- Back up your claims. Anyone can say they are ambitious. You have to show that you are ambitious for it to hold any weight in a personal statement.
- Whenever you mention an academic or extracurricular achievement, talk about how it has helped you and how it is relevant. Winning a major spelling bee is irrelevant if you’re applying for nursing school unless you’re able to use that fact to show that you have excellent memory, which is valuable in many fields.
- Don’t try to be funny.
- Talk about what you hope to learn.
- Personal Essays in General
- Demystifying the Graduate School Personal Statement
- Writing Your Personal Statement
- Personal Statement Notes 9 (the other 8 are linked at the bottom of the post)
- Writing the Personal Statement
- Tips for Writing a Personal Statement
- Personal Statements
- 4 Tips for the College Essay
- 28 Tips on Personal Statements
- College Admission Essays
- Tips for an Effective Essay
- Do’s and Don’t’s
- College Application Essay
- How to Write a College Application Essay
- How to Write a Personal Statement
Roommates can be divided into the following types:
1. The thoughtless roommates: This is the person who leaves their stuff scattered around the room and never cleans or tidies up after themselves. First, remember that he or she is not deliberately trying to annoy you. However, you need to discuss this or nothing will change. When you do that, don’t come across as being angry and accusatory. Instead, stay casual, warm and friendly. Also, ask if there’s anything you can do to make life easier for them.
2. The “borrower”: This is the person who takes your stuff, and treats your belongings as if they’re also theirs. This can range from something small like a few slices of bread to something more important like your clothes or bike. Clearly, this is NOT OK and needs an open discussion so that everyone is clear as to what the boundaries are.
3. The explosive flatmate: Often, this type of person seems calm and tolerant – then suddenly blows up over fairly minor things. Yet, we come from different backgrounds – and each person is unique – so different stuff annoys us or becomes an irritant. Here, a frank honest, discussion will often do the trick so that tension doesn’t build, and spoil a good relationship.
4. The irresponsible flatmate: This individual is unreliable and doesn’t seem to care about the impact of their actions. For example, they break stuff and just leave it, or forget to pay the bills … They never see it as their problem, and they just don’t seem to care. This person needs confronting in a firm, respectful way. And if things stay the same – don’t ever share with them again!
5. The ghost roommate: This is the person who is rarely around. They often have a busy life or else they travel with their job. They’re rarely problematic – so be glad that they’re so easy – and enjoy your time together when they happen to be there.
1. Get up early on school days. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning (and don’t switch off your alarm clock).
2. Prepare your clothes and school supplies the night before.
3. Prepare a “to do list” for each day. Do this in the evening, before you go to bed.
4. Have a designated study area (that doesn’t include in front of the TV). Keep this free of clutter, with essential supplies close at hand.
5. Don’t overload your schedule with extracurricular activities. Allow yourself some time just to chill and do nothing.
6. Use a calendar to keep on top of homework and tests. Some people find using colour coding helps.
7. Have regular, and consistent, study times.
These are studying tips that might be useful for you for the last 2-3 days leading up to an exam or test.
1. When you have 2-3 days before an exam or test, be sure that you have already understood all your lecture notes and done all your readings and problem sets. The last 2-3 days should be about reviewing materials a second or third time and not spent learning materials that you should have already understood.
2. I don’t advise to ask last minute questions to your teachers or professors since you should have already done this earlier, but clearing up any last minute confusions can still prove helpful. Since you will be pressed for time, I’d also suggest asking questions that you think will be on the actual exam.
3. Since you will probably be anxious from the tests/exams coming up, ensuring that you have prepared well ahead is really helpful when it comes to minimizing exam anxiety.
4. Get enough sleep and avoid all-nighters. The last few days should be about maximizing your cognitive capacities so you can perform your best on the test day. Lack of sleep really impairs our ability to recall materials and causes a lot of stress.
5. In terms of notes and problem sets that you should be reviewing for a second or third time, ensure that you spend your last 2-3 days picking out the most important questions or sections of your notes to review. You’re pressed for time so you want to be as efficient as possible.
6. Reteach the materials to another person. Since reteaching the materials help you test how much you actually know, it’s a great chance to help you figure out area that you might need last minute revision on. Furthermore, reteaching the materials help you remember it better.
7. Come up with your own questions that you predict will be addressed on the exam. I often pay attention to what’s emphasize during lectures to help determine the sort of questions I would get asked. Then practice answering those questions with as much accuracy and details as possible 2-3 times over.
Here’s a video that I created a while back discussing a systematic approach to studying for psychology exams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muF7MPOfr6c&feature=plcp
Make studying a part of your everyday school routine and don’t be limited to ‘cramming’ for exams and tests.
1. Establish a routine: Set aside a particular time each day for study and revision and stick to it.
2. Create a study environment
This should be away from interruptions and household noise, such as the television. Ensure there is adequate lighting and ventilation, a comfortable chair and appropriate desk.
3. Set a timetable: With a timetable you can plan to cover all your subjects in an organised way, allotting the appropriate time for each without becoming overwhelmed.
1. Keep up with the readings, lectures, and assignments. Think of school as a race. If you rest, you end up being behind. But if you know how to pace yourself, you can end up at the desired goal. Even better is if you are ahead, you won’t have to worry. Sometimes, sacrificing social life or extracurricular activities is a must. The key is to never be behind, because when you are, you will find yourself having to work so much harder and still not get a grade any better than a student who kept up and didn’t work as hard.
2. Go to the first day of class. I find it ignorant when people skip the first day of class because they think it is not important. I understand that usually the first day is just the professor repeating what is on a course syllabus and then we are dismissed. The goal of the first day of class is to get a sense of what the teacher is like (teaching style, tone of voice (easy
Any juniors following this blog are surely stressed about the start of junior year. I don’t want to add to this stress, but I wanted you give you some suggestions for the PSAT because it’s just around the corner, and today is a great day to start studying for them if you have time!
Tip #1: Take…
Taken from Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, daughter of the Tiger Mother
1. Choose classes that interest you. That way studying doesn’t feel like slave labor. If you don’t want to learn, then I can’t help you.
2. Make some friends. See steps 12, 13, 23, 24.
3. Study less, but study better.
4. Avoid Autopilot Brain at all costs.
5. Vague is bad. Vague is a waste of your time.
6. Write it down.
7. Suck it up, buckle down, get it done.
Plan of Attack Phase I: Class
8. Show up. Everything will make a lot more sense that way, and you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run.
9. Take notes by hand. I don’t know the science behind it, but doing anything by hand is a way of carving it into your memory. Also, if you get bored you will doodle, which is still a thousand times better than ending up on stumbleupon or something.
Phase II: Study Time
10. Get out of the library. The sheer fact of being in a library doesn’t fill you with knowledge. Eight hours of Facebooking in the library is still eight hours of Facebooking. Also, people who bring food and blankets to the library and just stay there during finals week start to smell weird. Go home and bathe. You can quiz yourself while you wash your hair.
11. Do a little every day, but don’t let it be your whole day. “This afternoon, I will read a chapter of something and do half a problem set. Then, I will watch an episode of South Park and go to the gym” ALWAYS BEATS “Starting right now, I am going to read as much as I possibly can…oh wow, now it’s midnight, I’m on page five, and my room reeks of ramen and dysfunction.”
12. Give yourself incentive. There’s nothing worse than a gaping abyss of study time. If you know you’re going out in six hours, you’re more likely to get something done.
13. Allow friends to confiscate your phone when they catch you playing Angry Birds. Oh and if you think you need a break, you probably don’t.
Phase III: Assignments
14. Stop highlighting. Underlining is supposed to keep you focused, but it’s actually a one-way ticket to Autopilot Brain. You zone out, look down, and suddenly you have five pages of neon green that you don’t remember reading. Write notes in the margins instead.
15. Do all your own work. You get nothing out of copying a problem set. It’s also shady.
16. Read as much as you can. No way around it. Stop trying to cheat with Sparknotes.
17. Be a smart reader, not a robot (lol). Ask yourself: What is the author trying to prove? What is the logical progression of the argument? You can usually answer these questions by reading the introduction and conclusion of every chapter. Then, pick any two examples/anecdotes and commit them to memory (write them down). They will help you reconstruct the author’s argument later on.
18. Don’t read everything, but understand everything that you read. Better to have a deep understanding of a limited amount of material, than to have a vague understanding of an entire course. Once again: Vague is bad. Vague is a waste of your time.
19. Bullet points. For essays, summarizing, everything.
Phase IV: Reading Period (Review Week)
20. Once again: do not move into the library. Eat, sleep, and bathe.
21. If you don’t understand it, it will definitely be on the exam. Solution: textbooks; the internet.
22. Do all the practice problems. This one is totally tiger mom.
23. People are often contemptuous of rote learning. Newsflash: even at great intellectual bastions like Harvard, you will be required to memorize formulas, names and dates. To memorize effectively: stop reading your list over and over again. It doesn’t work. Say it out loud, write it down. Remember how you made friends? Have them quiz you, then return the favor.
24. Again with the friends: ask them to listen while you explain a difficult concept to them. This forces you to articulate your understanding. Remember, vague is bad.
25. Go for the big picture. Try to figure out where a specific concept fits into the course as a whole. This will help you tap into Big Themes – every class has Big Themes – which will streamline what you need to know. You can learn a million facts, but until you understand how they fit together, you’re missing the point.
Phase V: Exam Day
26. Crush exam. Get A.
Test anxiety is normal. Everyone has it. The anxiety can be small or a lot. If it’s a lot, it might prevent you from studying or functioning your best. If it’s too small, it might not motivate you enough to study. Studies suggest that moderate level of anxiety is the best for performance.
1. Be Well-Prepared Ahead of Time - This means studying many days ahead of your exam. A lot of anxiety comes from our fear that we do not meet the expectations. By studying ahead of time, you are more likely to be prepared. When you feel prepared, you’re less likely to panic (eg. from running out of time or thinking that you will fail) reducing anxiety.
I’m having a challenging time writing during this Frenzy and I wasn’t sure why until I had a quick chat with our ED, Grant Faulkner. This year I decided to write a feature that is comprised of four shorts linked together by a river. I thought it would be a snap because in my mind it meant that I would avoid the stormy seas of writing the second act of a traditional script. I was wrong. Every single time I sit down to write I feel stuck, and I can’t help but feel a little defeated.
When I mentioned this to Grant he pointed out that it’s probably harder to write four short films than it is to write a 100-page script because I would have to write four beginnings, four middles, and four endings. Bells and whistles went off in my head when I heard those words. In essence I’m doing four mini-Script Frenzy’s this April. I guess it means that I’m a “superstar!” (Said in the voice of Mary Katherine Gallagher.)