tips for undergraduates

My Psychology Study Routine

This is just what I did for all of my undergraduate psychology courses, and I found that this worked the best for me!

1. Read the textbook before class & make notecards!
Psychology has a lot of vocabulary words and concepts, so I found it the most helpful to make notecards as I was reading the course material to help reinforce this information early on.

2. Take thorough class notes!
Most of my professors posted their notes online prior to class, so I would print them out and bring them with me to class. I would try and read over them while I was waiting for class to start. This way, I could take notes on what the professor was saying (often times supplemental material) instead of just following along with the powerpoint.

3. Reread notes and revise notecards!
A few days after class (I tried to do this every weekend), I would reread my notes and add any additional information to the notecards I had made from the textbook.

4. Study from the notecards!
Instead of just rereading my notes over and over again before the exam, I would go through my notecards once or twice a day starting a week before the exam. This is much more active learning than just passively reading your notes!

5. Study guide!
Most of my professors provided a study guide for the exam. Mainly for this, I would make sure I had all of the necessary information from the study guide in my notecards. If the exam was an essay exam, I would bullet point all of the information for each question one day, and each day after use the study guide like a practice exam and try and answer all of the questions from memory. I found that my answers got better and better each day, and were nearly perfect by the day of the exam!

Let me know what you do/did for your psychology courses! I’ll be following and reblogging people who do!

anonymous asked:

Is there any extensive list of undergraduate schools with the best premedical programs? If not, are there any existing statistics on average MCAT score and number of applicants matriculated by undergraduate school?

You just need to pick a major and program that adequately prepares you for the MCAT.

You should check out these articles and statistics:

And here’s a related question: What does the MCAT test on? Medical aspects or..?? -Anonymous

The MCAT is a 4 1/2 hour exam you have to take to get into medical school.

The MCAT consists of four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The Princeton Review has pretty awesome breakdown of the test here. You should also take a look at the test prep resources on the left hand side on that link.

Here are some other good MCAT resources:

ok guys, i can't sleep

i’ve been stressing about my grades since summer has started because i’m really getting serious about wanting to go to vet school now and with the grades i have now, my chances are bleak. so, i decided to come up with a study plan that i wanted to share with you guys because i guess i want approval that my plan will work and i’m not going to fail and that some day i will actually become a vet! ok, plan:

- get my shit together from day 1 and by that i mean filling in my whiteboard calendar as soon as i get my syllabuses and using a daily planner type thing cause lord knows i’m way too lazy for a bujo.
- attend. every. class. EVERY CLASS. I have a bad habit of skipping because i find myself not concentrating in class anyways so to avoid that, i’m turning off my phone during class so i won’t be disrupted and ill have my friend motivate me to go when i’m just straight up not feeling it cause you know, it happens. that was a wildly long sentence.
- going over the material right after class. i plan on hitting up the library with my study buddy every day after every class since we have a couple of hours in between our classes. that way we can go over stuff, make sure we understand it and write our own notes/cue cards or whatever we decide to use
- review everything i’ve learned throughout the day at the end of the night cause sometimes if i study hard enough, my brain does this thing where it causes me to dream about my notes so that way i get extra studying done in my sleep???
- review everything i learned throughout the week during the weekend and make a summary sheet of the things i’m having problems with for a better understanding
-actually do my homework! not wait until the last minute to do assignments! make myself study for those pesky online quizzes!

ok that’s all i’ve thought of so far guys and let’s be real, i probably won’t be as productive as i’m hoping but i guess just making this list could be considered a start. idk, who thinks this is realistic and that if i try hard enough i have a chance? idk what this was or why i wrote it but it’s almost 2 in the morning and i’ve got work tomorrow so i’m sorry for this little weird post and send some love to your animals for me!

max-moved  asked:

hi! so long story short: i'm a history student in my 1st year. i have adhd and my 1st semester didnt go over that great. i was wondering if you had the time to give me advice or at least point me in the right direction? i want my winter semester to be solid start to finish and i feel like im in the dark still. cheers + thanks a ton in advance !

Okay, so I think I share your problem here which is probably a short attention span and a bit of a scattered brain. I find it difficult to concentrate on a single subject for more than about thirty minutes unless I’m really engaged in it.

Don’t feel bad about taking frequent breaks and allowing yourself a bit of distraction. You won’t succeed in studying well if you are denying yourself constantly. 

Vary your work environment. A lot of people like to find one place that works for them and stick to it but, as you can see from my photos, I like to study in a whole bunch of different places from cafes to the train to the library. It feeds my need for novelty and change and helps me concentrate better.

Break up your work into small chunks, perhaps 20 minutes or 500 words or 20 pages. I can’t stress this enough, sitting down to write 2,500 words or read an entire book stresses me out but if I feel I can achieve something then I’m much more likely to finish doing it. 

Find a time management system and stick to it. Again because I can be quite scattered I am always up for trying new apps, new websites, new methods but I have found this semester that just using Todoist, Evernote and Google Calendar to manage my time has really kept me on track. 

Enjoy your time, reflect and measure it. University will go by in a flash, especially if you spend it feeling stressed. Keep a diary, write a blog, do something so you can measure out the time you’re spending. Studying, for me at least, is so much better than any job I’ve ever had and this period is pretty unique in terms of the freedom you have to pursue your interests without being tied down to supporting yourself financially. Appreciate it!

anonymous asked:

I'm a junior in college, and I've just declared my art history major. I've taken a few art history classes in freshman and sophomore years, but the info hasn't stuck with me. Now I'm in an upper level class and I just feel like everyone else knows so much more, any tips for catching up/fighting the insecurity? Thanks xo

 What you’re feeling is entirely natural. Take heart because you’re not alone, and there are tangible steps you can take to abate your sense of insecurity. That being said, you should also know that being in courses with others who know more than you do is part and parcel of college life. They will have knowledge and skills that you don’t have — but the opposite is also true. Spend some time thinking about where your strengths lie. What has stuck with you throughout your freshman & sophomore years? Has it stuck with you because it is the art, period, or artist that speaks to you the most? In other words, figure out what your art historical interests are and begin (or continue) to focus on this as you make decisions about what classes you take and what you want to research for term papers (and possibly your senior thesis).

Next, think about what your strengths and weaknesses as a student are:

  • Exams: What kinds of exams do you do best, and worst, at? (For common exam types, see page 7 of this PDF.) If you’re terrible at timed essay exams, practice for them by timing yourself as you write about the images from your course.  If comparisons or unknown slide IDs are your downfall, try making a Style Sheet to help yourself better understand how artists’ choices impact their style.  Make sure you have a solid grasp of the readings required for your classes as well, because you may be expected to incorporate what you’ve learned from the readings into your exam answers.

  • Research and Writing: You will likely start to receive more intense research projects during your junior and senior years than you did in your first two years of college. Have your classes required you to do any research papers or projects? If so, how did you do? If you are unhappy with your research skills, see if your university’s library offers training on the specific resources available at your institution. You may also want to sign up for JSTOR’s free, online Research Basics course. If you are unhappy with your writing skills, talk to your professors about how you can improve. If your university has a writing center, don’t hesitate to visit it, especially before and during the writing process.  I strongly recommend that you learn the Chicago Manual of Style (if you haven’t already), as this is the standard used by most (U.S.) art history departments.

  • Reading: When you read the required readings for your classes, do you feel like you’ve absorbed and understood the information & arguments presented to you? If not, this may be part of the reason why you feel behind. If there are sections of readings or entire articles or books that you’re hung up on, try discussing the text with a fellow student, your TA, or professor. If you are having trouble with the readings, think about your reading style. How are you making the information in your readings memorable to you? Highlighting, underlining, margin notes and post-it notes are all good methods of annotating text, but (if you aren’t already), take these basic methods one step further by rewriting tough paragraphs in your own words, outlining authors’ arguments on paper, and keeping a journal of texts that you find interesting and/or would be useful for your own research. If you’re not having any trouble with understanding or keeping up with the readings, great! Keep reading art historical texts. If you aren’t sure what to read, try starting with the history of art history. The two best ways that you can increase your knowledge of art history are to spend lots of time looking at art and reading about it.

  • Memorization: There are three major things art history involves: writing, reading, and memorization. It seems like memorization (things sticking with you) is your major problem, so remedy this by experimenting with study techniques (like Style Sheets), doing compare/contrast exercises, having friends test you with flashcards, looking at lots of art from the areas that you struggle with. Giving specific works of art a backstory may also help to make details such as the artist or date more memorable. One way to do this is to note any interesting visual or historical details about the artwork or artist on the reverse side of flashcards.

Hopefully the above has helped give you confidence in your strengths and figure out where you need improvement.

The best advice I can offer you is to be intentional about your education, and this is much easier to do once you have insight into what kind of student you are and what drives you. During your junior and senior years, find an art historical niche, challenge yourself, study abroad (if you can), go to museums, practice talking about art … tap into what it was that drew you to art history in the first place, and use that as motivation to increase your knowledge of the field, not for the sake of competition with your peers but for the natural self-confidence that following your interests will yield.

 I hope this helps!

Cranquis Mail: The MCAT keeps defeating me

(name withheld) asked:

Hello Dr C
I really enjoy your blog. I am hoping to someday be a doctor but getting in has proven quite challenging. I did very well in school, have hospital/ER experience, volunteer at retirement home playing music and did independent biochemistry research. However, I feel I have been defeated by the MCATs. I have taken them twice now and the best I can do is a pathetic 26. I have no idea how to study for them. I tried notes and note cards. I took a class and I did practice questions, but being a full time worker at the hospital has made studying hard. Do you have any advice? How can I get all that information to stick? I am great at problem solving and diagnostics ( or at least the rudimentary diagnostics we did in physiology) but its the shear volium of information I am finding so defeating. Sorry to assault you with this wall of Text. Thanks for taking the time


Greetings, Gargling Gluestick (your CranquisNym™) –

First off, my standard disclaimer re: MCAT-related advice: It has now been… 18 (18?!) years since I took the MCAT. Plus, my preparation for the MCAT was rather, um, atypical.  So please realize, I am in no way an expert on anything MCAT related. Seriously, you’d be better off asking Kim Kardashian for her tips on memorizing the Krebs Cycle Cycle.

But for lots of tips on how to study, you should wade through (more information for you to absorb, sorry) my #study tips tag. Or here, this particular post summarizes a lot of my usual “studying under a deluge of info” advice.

Now, in case you wanted some feedback on your efforts so far: 

Keep reading

Hello to my fellow students, I have wanted to make a series of posts on studying for a while now. I spend 5 days a week working for my degree and I have picked up a few strategies during my education that may help one or two of you. I hope that my experiences can be of help to someone. Have a nice day :) 

Wake up early

The way you start your day generally sets the scene for the rest of your day. That’s why every day I wake up at 7am, eat my breakfast and then immediately start studying. This allows me to fit in those extra hours of studying instead of pressing the snooze button on the alarm clock. It took me a while to get in to the swing of this but it’s become a habit and 7am no longer feels that early, I get so much more work done and feel great about myself! 

Be clever with note taking

Taking notes is a skill that we all perfect in our own individual ways. Whatever way you find most effective will be the most effective for you even if it is not for someone else. I like to type my notes and I use Evernote to do this as it allows me to sync all my devices together and have my notes saved everywhere.
If your lecturer uses slides, this gives you a chance to listen. Why take down every word on the slide and miss the important information they say if your lecturer has already made the information available to you. I see many people just copying down lecture slides when what you really need to do is take down the words that come out of their mouths. Later, combine all the information together - this is important. I have made the mistake of forgetting to combine it all and then not knowing what on earth I was writing about a few months down the line. 

Schedule your entire term

I schedule everything months in advance - right now I know what my day will look like in 2 months time. I use the calendar on my iphone as this syncs with my ipad and my university email account. A simple diary and a bit of colour coordination would work just as nicely. I enter in all my lectures and seminars and I schedule in my study time. This keeps me accountable so I know when I should be studying. I also make a rough plan of what I should be studying each day. This is especially useful for planning in study time leading up to exams so I know which exam I am revising for each day, this is especially helpful when exams are not spread out as conveniently as we may like. 

Stay organised

If you have an essay or assignment due in, don’t leave it until a few days before to start it, or even worse the night before. My university has a strict policy on late submissions and so there is absolutely no leeway period. If it is even 30 seconds late we are penalised. Usually all my essays are due in the last week of term, but this usually equates to around 10,000+ words worth of essays due in at once. This means around 2 months before everything is due I have to start my research for my essays so that I can complete them to the required standard and still have time to do my weekly readings for my classes.

Talk to your lecturers/teachers

Developing a relationship with your lecturers makes you stand out from the rest of their students. Most lecturers have office hours where you can go and ask them questions and get help on things you struggle with. I regularly see my lecturers about my essays or any academic problems I may have. I have found since I made myself known to my lecturers they are much more willing to make an effort to help me out. The lecturers who know me best are always willing to give me advice when I am having a bad day and they have opened doors for me that I otherwise would not have had. Realising they are human beings like you and me can be pretty weird, they go through life like everyone else. But remember to respect them as they deserve and always use your pleases and thank yous - they go a long way.  

Get feedback

When you get an essay or assignment back you may get a few sentences off your lecturer (or whoever is marking it) telling you what was good and what needs to be improved upon. Sometimes this can be useful but it s really good to get a further explanation of what you’ve done well on and exactly how they think you could get a better mark next time. Lecturers are happy to help you, after all, it is their job! My main tutor (or academic advisor as they are called at my uni) encourages me to always ask for further feedback, and he is right to do so as this is always an extremely productive exercise. Even if you get A grades, its good to know why and how you can go from an A to an A+ and feedback can help you across subjects as often what is picked up on is not subject specific. 

Be honest with your self

Many students think that they are working hard and can not understand why they don’t get good grades. I think this was probably me when I first started at university. I thought working for 2 hours (at most) a day was enough to get a good degree. I was, of course, mistaken. But I completely believed I was a normal, hard working student. However, once I was honest with my self I realised this was not enough. I am having to make up for this now by working extra hard to bring my grades up to where I would like them to be. Another issue is that students who get distracted easily can take a 5 min break which turns into an hour break. If you’re not honest with yourself that you’re doing this, you will never break the habit. Procrastinating now will only make you stress more later. Is it worth it? 

See Study Tips No.2 Here

STUDY PLANNER HELP

i used a essay timer planner at undergrad : its a website

you put in how many words you have to write, when the essay is due, and what pace you want to work at (like loads towards the start and slower towards the end etc)

but i had it bookmarked on my old laptop and cannot find it anywhere now

does anyone know what is called??

3 tips for undergraduates wanting to do their thesis project in a research lab
  • do not wait until your senior year to find a lab to join. things in science are slowww–one experiment can take a week or more to run–so learning the skills necessary to carry out your own project may take a few weeks to a few months. and then add on top of that at least a semester needed to write/revise your thesis… i mean it’s doable! but not ideal at all. not only will you be stressed, but the grad student or technician supervising you will also be stressed as they have their own things to do. joining a lab junior year or before is ideal. 
  • i know scheduling is already a mess but do try to have 2-hour-or-more-blocks of time each day to be in lab (and unless approved by your PI, it has to be during the time frame when someone is also there to supervise you.. so usually between 8 am and 6 pm weekdays). most experiments are continuous, and 1 hour here and there won’t get much data
  • get as much done during the summers as possible. your PI may even pay you as a student worker if you inquire. 

i’m making this post because i just got an undergrad this summer who wants to write her honors thesis on a project in our lab. but she’s a double-majoring senior and i’m looking at her schedule and feeling reaaally stressed bc i can’t think of a project that would fit her schedule and time frame. and this semester is going to be particularly busy for me so i’m not going to have much time to help her as much as i’d like. thankfully she came in part time during june and july to learn the basics but it’s still going to be a tight race. 

also writing this because i myself screwed up my senior year during college and had like 3 months to write my entire thesis and slept every other night for a few weeks and it was absolute hell so yeah. don’t do what i did.