Subject- and Class-Specific Study Tips

SCIENCES

Biology

Anatomy & Physiology

General Biology (AP)

Chemistry

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Organic Chemistry

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Quantum Mechanics

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Engineering

Electrical

Mechanical

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SOCIAL SCIENCES

Psychology

HUMANITIES

History

European History (AP)

Literature

STANDARDIZED TESTS

High School

AP

College Admission

ACT

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Happy studying!

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Today was a good day at work :)
I found time in between the tourists group to work on my german skills ( I am so afraid of becoming rusty if I do not work enough this summer and I love/need german too much to allow that to happen).
I also did the August weekly spreads of my Bullet Journal. I do the weekly spreads one month in advance so I am sure to have them ready and it is easier to plan important stuff this way. I will also do the daily pages this week, I will post a pic.
I also had time for my personnal writing which makes me so happy!!! And as a bonus here is a pic of the pretty colorful bubbles I drew on the inside of the cover of my bullet journal :D

anonymous asked:

Is it possible to test badly in "final exams" like APs, IB etc, despite being a relatively consistent (and hardworking) person through the year? I'm worried because it's happened before and could potentially happen in college. I consider myself to be intelligent, not a genius by any standards, but I know I pick things up quickly. Is it just a matter of working harder?

I think it’s a combination, really.

Theoretically, if you know the material thoroughly enough, you should be able to succeed in an exam. But we know that’s not always true in practice. The way questions are worded can sometimes be confusing or misleading, causing students who otherwise deeply know the material to appear as if they don’t. It’s not a perfect system. So working harder should help, but it’s never a guarantee. Such is the reality of exams. Standardized exams can be the worst. They’re designed differently than your everyday class exams, so they’re usually much more difficult. Thus, if you do well on your in-class exams but not on the AP, so long as you’ve been keeping up reasonably well on the material, the culprit is likely how you interpreted and reacted to that specific exam format. Among others.

When I took AP Bio I had a 98 average all year. I aced the exams, high scores usually. I loved studying for that class more than anything. It was fun. I was clearly spending my time studying. But come the AP I didn’t get a 5. I talked to other students who took AP Bio elsewhere and those who had the hardest AP Bio classes typically received 4s and 5s on the AP. That’s because the professor pushed them further than they needed to go for the AP so that they’d be more than prepared. It might have hurt GPAs a bit, but as long as you get into the college you want, high school grades matter 0% after graduation. So in that sense, AP credit is worth more than getting the perfect grade in high school, in my opinion, at least. So another disparity can be between the relative difficulty levels of your teacher’s exams and the standardized ones. They don’t always match.

The good news is that within the context of your own class, the difficulty level of the exams should reflect the rest of the coursework. Not always, but they ought to. Be sure to ask upperclassmen or consult Rate My Professor (not the best source but it’s something) to get an idea of how difficult the exams are in comparison to the rest of the coursework. Even if they don’t match, at least if you know that the exam is going to be harder than the class in general, you can better prepare for it.

The truth is, some people are not good test takers. Some people are excellent test takers. Grades are important, but grades are not everything. A great test taker might get a 100 on an exam she studied properly for while someone studying the same way might only get a 95 because of weaker test taking skills. Sure, the first person technically got a higher grade and “did better” on the exam, but who is to say that both of them don’t know the material equally as well, just the second was more prone to mistakes because of poor test taking skills? Grades do not directly translate to success in the real world, either. So while all of this is important to consider, don’t forget that applying what you learned to a future job is ultimately more important, and that might be something you’re better at.

I would recommend you pay close attention to finding study tips that really work for you and learning how to better take tests, if you can. Working harder can help, but only if you’re also working smart. Rereading a textbook 7 times is working “harder” than taking notes on the book once but it’s not a better study method by any means.

Edinburgh Napier University Student Jack Proctor with his dog Fudge as he collects his degree in BDes (Hons) in Design and Digital Arts at a ceremony at Usher Hall in Edinburgh

Picture: Andrew Milligan

Some of you have requested that I show you my note taking technique. This is in no way a proven technique, but it really works for me and many of my professors have applauded my structure. So try it, and if you like it and it works for you, great! If not, I commend you on having a more structured system! These are my general rules when I take notes:

1. Leave space. A lot of space.
While going through previous notes, whether it be right after class or a month later, I always found that I had information that I wanted to add, and cramped pages never allowed for that. Plus, it’s a bit less daunting on the eyes when there is some room between ideas. I do realize that this is not very eco-friendly, but hey! 

2. Use the margins in a smart way.
I have developed a “legend” of symbols to draw in the margins so that when I need a quick scan of what pages in the textbooks I referenced or vocab, I can find what I need easily. It might not seem useful on this one page, but when you have a whole 3″ binder full of notes, it’s a blessing.

3. Write on one side of the page.
Again, not a eco-friendly option. However, I’m sure there are those of you (my past self included) who have wished you just had another page to write down book notes or additional thoughts without having to get a fresh paper. This solves that! 

4. Make it pretty later.
I know this page is visually appealing, but keep in mind that I was in my nice warm room by myself and listening to music while writing this. My notes straight out of class aren’t color coded and they definitely don’t have cute little decorations on them; just get the information down, worry about aesthetics later.

5. Put yourself in the classroom.
You might think: “but I’m physically in the room what the hell are you talking about”. The concept is weird but it works. I always try everything I can to make sure I place as many visual cues in my notes as I can so that when I look back on them later I remember exactly where I was and what was happening. Are you not paying attention and thinking of food? Write it down. Did someone fart? Write it down. Placing yourself in the room is the most beneficial thing you can do for future you.

6. Keep it short.
I can’t tell you how many times I freaked out when I first got to college because I was trying to write everything down. I was certain I was going to miss something. WELL HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU. You aren’t going to miss anything if you keep your bullets to a minimum of one sentence. It’s proven that short phrases in your own words help memory better than full sentences that the professor gives you. 

Finally, make it yours. This is a system that works for me because my brain is weird and can’t take notes the Cornell or outline way. The most important thing to learn in school is your own flow of things. Experiment, be creative! I hope I have helped those of you who aren’t traditional learners realize that there isn’t just one way to process information. If any of you have any questions or need specific examples, let me know! (I realize there is a typo on this but hey don’t worry about it) 🙈 

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Photo from 30 June 2015: Visiting old notes while I’m on my chemistry revision session. I saw the full list of subjects that I have to take up this semester and I don’t think I’ll be able to focus on all of them equally (#informationoverload!) if I don’t start reading things in advance. I’m really excited about starting my second year in college as a BS Psych major, so I’m going to do things right by working twice as hard!

Finally starting THE STUDYBLR SUMMER CHALLENGE

If you want to participate, please reblog this post so I can add you to the big list (here’s the link)!!!

EDIT: DON’T FORGET TO TAG YOUR POSTS WITH “BLUEINKSUMMER”

I am beyond excited to do this 😺 I’ll be posting something from 1st July, but you can join whenever you want!

The more the merrier, so feel free to join even if you probably won’t be consistent or you are not sure if you want to do that yet 😽 I think 10 days would be cool, but let me know what you think!

Let’s make it fun, after all, we’re having a well-deserved break ❤️‍

youtube

Helloooooo, Studyblr friends! I normally post videos about books, but today I decided to give you all a look into how I organize my planner during the summer. I hope you enjoy! :) xo