Sometimes, a little help is all you need—and here are some sites that offer great assistance. Check them out. What you need is probably right here.
Listening and note taking are key skills to getting the most out of the time you spend in class. Here are some tips to help you with both.
- Be an active listener; it’s a skill you can learn! http://www.usu.edu/arc/idea_sheets/pdf/active_listening.pdf
- Listening: The TQLR Strategy: https://casc.byu.edu/listening-in-class
- Taking good notes in class can make studying easier. Here’s a good place to start. http://www.studyskills.soton.ac.uk/studytips/lecture_notes.htm
- Here are 6 clear steps to better note-taking. http://www.ctl.ua.edu/CTLStudyAids/StudySkillsFlyers/Miscellaneous/lecturenotes.htm
- Here are a few more tips to make note-taking less painful. http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/learningskills/lecturenotes.html
- The Cornell Method is a style of note taking proven to be effective. Here are two different explanations (both have pictures!)
- And finally, how to take notes while doing research (because you need to take notes then, too, if you want your research to be productive!): http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/reading-and-researching/notes-from-research
The Internet is full of useful stuff, but how do you find it? EBSCOHost will help you find scholarly articles from periodicals, but what if you want reliable websites? That’s where subject directories come in! Subject directories are search engines for other websites or databases. Below you’ll find a list of helpful subject directories.
First, start with this Recommended Subject Directories webpage. It lists several subject directories with information about each one to help you choose the right one. It also includes information on how to find subject-specific directories. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/SubjDirectories.html
- Academic Info http://www.academicinfo.net/subject-guides
- Infomine http://infomine.ucr.edu/
- The Internet Public Library http://ipl.org/
- Intute http://www.intute.ac.uk/
We all learn in different ways. Some students need to try something themselves before they can master the knowledge; others can sit through a lecture and ace the test. Knowing how you learn can help you succeed in the many different kinds of college classrooms in which you may find yourself. Here are two tests that can help you determine how you learn.
- A Learning Style Survey for College. http://www.metamath.com/multiple/multiple_choice_questions.html
For some, math can be scary, but there’s help! When you can’t get to a math tutor in the Academic Resource Center, visit these helpful websites.
- Here you’ll find help on how to work problems in Prealgebra, Algebra I and II, Geometry and Trigonometry, Calculus, Data Analysis and Statistics, and Real World Math. www.webmath.com
- Does math make you want to crawl under the covers of your bed and never come out again? Check out this website with helpful tips about math anxiety. http://frank.mtsu.edu/~dotts/HtGCmbtngMathAnx.html
Memorizing is a skill that can be practiced. Actors don’t naturally memorize more than the average person; it’s a skill they work on developing, and you can, too. Here are some tips on how to work out your memory muscles!
- This is an interactive, 3D model of the brain with descriptions of how the brain works. Check it out! http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/11/memory/brain-interactive
- Here’s a list of strategies with descriptions to help your memory (because memory is not about inborn talent). http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/learningskills/memory.html
- Here are several memorizing tricks, including mnemonics and the alphabet technique. http://www.mindtools.com/memory.html
- This website lists seven different memory strategies along with practices to help you perfect each strategy. http://www.studygs.net/memory/
Reading College Material
Reading a textbook is different from reading a novel or even reading a textbook in high school. Here are some ways you can improve the effectiveness of your reading.
- Here’s a clear explanation of how SQ3R works. http://ccis.edu/departments/writingcenter/studyskills/sq3r.html
- What is critical thinking? And why do I need to know how to do it? http://www.tc.umn.edu/~jewel001/CollegeWriting/READSPEAKTHINK/READ/HowToRead.htm#Critical
- While you’re reading, you might want to take notes in your book. This website explains useful ways to mark up what you’re reading. You bought them; you can write in them! http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/AS/609.htm
- And here’s a picture of what it could look like: http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/AS/610.htm
- So I read it, but now how do I remember it? This website suggests these strategies. http://www.csbsju.edu/academic-advising/help/remembering-what-you-read.htm
Study Strategies and Aids
Studying is just as important as attending class! Did you know that for every hour you spend in class, you should be spending two hours studying outside of class? Here are some tips and strategies to help you make the most of your studying.
- Study Stack – here, you can make your own online flashcards, or choose from hundreds of already created decks. http://www.studystack.com/
- Quizlet – This website helps you make your own quizzes and flashcards or lets you choose from ones that other members have already created. http://quizlet.com/
Tests can make anybody uneasy! Here are some websites that list helpful ways to beat the fear and make testing less scary:
- Here’s a website that explores how to avoid anxiety through test preparation, test-taking approach, and test review. http://www.studygs.net/tstprp8.htm
- Test Anxiety Management – tips on managing test anxiety. http://www.usu.edu/arc/test_anxiety/
- Here you can find information about test anxiety, as well as tips on how to be prepared, how to relax, and how to control your anxiety. http://www.utdallas.edu/counseling/selfhelp/test-anxiety.html
Test Taking Strategies
So, besides getting a good night’s rest and eating a balanced breakfast, how else can you boost your test scores?
- Another list of helpful tips to remember while taking an objective test. http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/learningskills/objective.html
- This website is a lesson on how to be better at taking multiple choice tests (because there are strategies to help you guess when you have no idea). It starts with a 10 question multiple choice test filled with nonsense questions. Then, after you’ve failed the test (don’t worry – we did the first time we took it, too), you can read about strategies and clues to help you pick the right answer. Then take the test again, and see how much you’ve learned! http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/learningskills/mctest.html
- Here are ways to prepare for the test and what to do when taking the test. There’s also an interactive slide show, and at the top of the page are links to test strategies for specific kinds of tests, such as true/false, multiple choice, short answer, essay, and open-book. http://www.studygs.net/tsttak1.htm
- Ten Commandments for Finals – a few tips to remember during that stressful test! http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/learningskills/10commandments.html
Time Management and Organization
For some, the key to success or the cause of failure can be found in time management and organization. Get your ducks in a row to ensure you have enough time to go to class, do your homework, make a paycheck, and even relax a little.
- Here’s an easy to use website about time management, including sections on “Before You Begin”, “Planning Your Time,” “Staying on Track,” and “Controlling Procrastination.” http://www.learningcommons.uoguelph.ca/guides/time_management/
- Want to know how you should be breaking down that big assignment? Use this AWESOME assignment calculator to get a list of what you should be doing and where you should be every day until the project is due. http://www.lib.umn.edu/help/calculator/