Are you getting enough sleep?
Exhaustion works against your ability to remember.
Are you eating healthy foods?
Too much caffeine and sugar can show immediate negative effects; additionally, overall health does play a part in your academic success.
Do you have some down time?
Relaxation is essential in maintaining good health. You will probably spend more time wishing you had time to read that magazine than you would spend if you actually read it ... and you might learn something, too.
Do you study two hours for every one hour you are in class, including lab time?
Studying as you go makes more sense than cramming later. You will be able to ask and answer questions in class, and you will do better on your assignments. This time also includes reading the chapter, answering the questions, and making study tools like flash cards.
Are you taking good notes? If not, have you gone to the Learning Center to learn how?
Good notes are the foundation for success on the test, for they record information the professor has identified as important.
Do you use SQ3R when you read your textbooks?
- Skim — Look over the whole chapter, reading all of the headings and the captions on all of the illustrations.
- Question — Use the paragraph headings to write a question about each topic discussed.
- Example: The heading "Surface Traits and Source Traits" could yield questions such as, "What are surface traits? What are source traits? How are they related to the chapter material?"
- Read — Read one section at a time.
- Recite — Look at the questions you wrote down in your notes and answer them as best you can from memory. This will likely give you an excellent summary of the chapter, when the answers are all put together.
- Review — Go over any questions you struggled to answer or about which you were unsure. Use the text to answer them more fully.
This method may feel like it takes longer, but it actually shortens your study time because you are learning it all more efficiently rather than having to read the text over and over and over again. When you are getting ready for the test, you have chapter summaries already written in your notes, and they are organized in such a way that if you need more information, you can easily find that topic again in your textbook.
Do you have uninterrupted study time?
You will accomplish more if you schedule your time in study blocks.
Do you ask questions in class?
Doing so shows that you are paying attention and are trying to learn.
Do you ask for help?
Your professor can help you. You should schedule an appointment or drop by during office hours. Departmental tutors are sometimes available. A subject-area tutor may be available in the Learning Center.
Do you know how much it costs to get help in the Learning Center?
Our services are free to MacMurray students. This is part of your tuition at work!
Last updated: August 2, 2017