Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fight to the Finish!

Believe it or not, your first semester in college is almost over.  This or next week is most likely your last week of classes.  As you prepare for finals, step back and evaluate it from all aspects.  Think about the academic and social habits you established this semester . . . and whether they are they habits that contribute to your college success or ones that need to be fine tuned.

Now that you've reflected on your habits, let's talk about how you can efficiently prepare for final exams.  Some courses/professor provide study guides -- particularly if there is a common final.  Begin studying as soon as you get it.  Set aside a little bit of time every night to complete a section of the guide.  If you aren't given a study guide, you can make one.  Here's how:

  1. Begin by using each syllabus topic as a heading.  
  2. For each topic, identify concepts, formulas, and main ideas you should know.  If you're not sure, then look at the sections in the text that correspond to the syllabus topic.
  3. Compare your study guide with a friend's.  By now you ideally have 1-2 people in each class that you can contact.  If not, make a new friend FAST.  You know who's been asking the good questions.  
Last but not least, begin reviewing now so that you don't cram later.Biting off a piece at a time gives you time to process and ask questions of your professor, TA, or friends when you're confused.  Wait until the last minute and you're up all night trying to understand by yourself.  Study all along and you don't have to study long the night before!

Good luck and finish strong!  

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