Archive for April, 2011
At this point your professors may have graded and returned your midterm exams. These tests can be a valuable tool to you even after they have been graded. Studying your graded exams can improve your test-taking abilities. If you got a bad grade on the test, you can review it to see what type of question (essay, true/false, multiple choice, etc.) gave you the most trouble. Also you can determine what course material you needed to study more. If you did poorly on material that was covered in the beginning of the course, but did well on questions regarding more recent material, you may want to study the early material throughout the term so that you don’t forget it.
With that said, you don’t have to get a bad grade on a midterm to learn from it. You can learn just as much from a test on which you got a good grade. This means that your methods of studying worked. Also, going over the test, no matter what grade you got on it, can give you insight into what the professor is looking for, how he or she grades, and what type of questions you should be prepared to answer. If you don’t know what to expect on a test, you can study too hard. Studying too much for one test can take away time that you could spend preparing for another test, and studying too hard just before a test can tire you out so that you may not do as well on the test. Looking over graded tests can help you streamline your studying so that it is most efficient.
And always remember to apply your writing skills to all your schoolwork, tests included. Good writing isn’t something to reserve for big papers. The more we practice, the more we will learn. Tests can be excellent tools for learning more about writing.
With only a few weeks of class left until summer, it may be hard for some students, including me, to stay motivated. To help with this problem, I have come up with a few ideas that have helped motivate me in the past and will hopefully help you.
Create a routine: Finding time for homework each day is hard enough but without a routine, it may be nearly impossible. Everyone is busy this time of year, so setting a routine is important. Set aside a time each day to sit down and do your homework or study. Regardless of if it is before or after class, between class and practice, or after work, you are more likely to do your homework if you make it a part of your daily routine.
Set goals: Give yourself something to work toward. Without a goal in mind, you may feel as though you are not accomplishing anything. By setting a goal, you are able to push yourself to reach the “finish line” and you will feel better about meeting your goal. Also, setting goals will help you manage your time. For instance, say it is Tuesday and your paper is due Friday. Plan to write half of the paper Tuesday and the other half Wednesday. This will give you time to look over the entire paper and possibly set up a Writing Center appointment before your paper is due.
Have rewards: Once you meet or exceed your goals, reward yourself. After finishing a paper or turning in an assignment, let yourself have a snack or watch a tv show. Knowing you have a reward waiting for you after you finish your assignment will help motivate you.
Take breaks: Writer’s block? Can’t get through a reading assignment? Take a break. While a reward helps push you through an assignment, sometimes you just need to step away for a while. Go for a walk or listen to music; after a while, come back to your assignment with a clear and open mind.
Hopefully these tips can help you keep up with the last few weeks of class. Just remember that although the countdown to summer has begun, school is happening now.