As the college career advances, students begin to recognize certain patterns in the way information is taught. Most classes begin and end with a set objective to be completed and a direct way of measuring how these goals are achieved. Familiarize yourself with how reading, tests, papers, projects and discussions impact your learning and grade. Discover how to retain as much as possible from each, and to plan and organize your study methods around different course structure according to what works best for your style of learning.
Most college courses are taught with a core text and perhaps a workbook. Along with additional assigned supplementary readings, the textbooks serve as reference materials the student can learn from at all times. They bring a wealth of knowledge from other experienced professors and authorities on the subject whom authored the book. Be careful to take note early on of how a professor intends to use them in reference to the class. Check the syllabus. How often are readings assigned? How much material from the text shows up on tests? Course texts can be as influential in a class as having a corresponding week to chapter formula. However they can also be as negligible as a once and again reference base for the instructors lecture. It tends to be easier to read carefully and fully instead of skimming in the long run. If time permits, reading again can help uncover information you missed the last time.
Specifically for mathematical and scientific courses, practice problems are the name of the game. It cannot be overstated how important it is to spend time away from class working them through. They can be done alone of course, or in a small study group. Not every problem is going to be the same, and it’s very unlikely the exact ones you practice will appear on a test. However it is essential to understand the purpose of practice problem repetition. One of the key benefits of completing a science credit in college is to gain a mastery over learning, applying, and employing the scientific method. Such problems prepare you for encountering new difficulties of a similar variety. They dually strengthen your ability to understand the subject matter and apply the theory behind them in solving new problems. Approach them as a non-conclusive body of variations on the same process. It is tough to fit the time in to complete them as they can average above fifty problems per section. Still, the hard work will pay off because a confident ability to complete practice problems is a great gauge for text readiness. Make sure you’re not just looking over the completed sample problems in the textbook. The real learning benefit is derived from working the problems through daily.
Many students make the mistake of fearing quizzes in a class. Quizzes allow the student to understand how they would perform on a more serious text. Take them as useful indicators of how well you are retaining information. They are usually quick, but most are given without warning to keep students on their toes. Remember how the quizzes are lain out as they provide a hint for future test formats.
Tests are often similar to quizzes except they normally asses a wider range of previously covered subject matter. While quizzes are more likely to cover a current section, texts are usually comprehensive of material taught thus far into the course. Be extremely attentive in your studying and preparation level as tests commonly represent a majority of your overall grade for the class. There may be only one or two for the entire course. Missing or failing a test is not an option. If any discrepancy or other problem should occur at any point regarding a test or examination get in touch with your professor immediately.
Written essays or papers are more commonly the standard for literature, history, philosophy, and social science courses. A writing requirement is necessary in many degree programs as proficiency of the written word represents an indispensable skill in all areas of academic study and beyond. Look on the smaller, shorter essays as a chance to develop the skill level of writing necessary for the following ones; they usually increase in size, difficulty, and importance as the course progresses. If writing is not your strong point, seek tutoring help and regularly discuss improvement points with your professor outside of class. Even if you dislike writing, repetition of the writing process, combined with a variety of different subjects to write on, teaches you to understand, convey, and discuss topics clearly and effectively. Leaning towards objectiveness and refraining from subjective rants is healthy advice. Remember the goal is to develop clear writing, not make the last stance ever for your position on the matter. Also, when a class is paper heavy, they may be your only source for evaluation so take them seriously.
Class discussion is a requirement in some courses and posting your thoughts in an online class forum is a more recent extension of this. Take the time to contribute either way. By taking an interest and bringing up course topics that stand out to you personalizes the experience of the material being learned. Be productive in your dialogue. A question you raise another might have as well and vice versa. Also remember to be kind and courteous to fellow students as some discussions can become quite heated. Keep to a strict code of ethics by trying to stay well within the range of the proposed topic and avoiding rudeness.
Projects and presentations are common in business courses among others. Learning to work as a team in group projects and preparing yourself for being comfortable in front of a crowd are key objectives here. Participating actively, being productive, sharing responsibility and accepting leadership all take practice. Likewise, organizing information, producing models, and vocal clarity become useful tools in the job market. Try to see each project as a rare and unique opportunity for growth in a learning environment when more isn’t yet on the line.
Understanding the structure of a course early on can help greatly increase your preparedness for the testing of information. You’ll discover that an overview of the subject matter helps to put what it is you’re learning in perspective. Likewise different course styles can uncover strong points and development opportunities for you to work on. It is possible to get a more well-rounded experience from the degree you obtain by exploring each option available.
Written by Marcus Bryan