Browsing Tag

study tips

Student Life Uncategorized

How to Catch Up In a Class When You’ve Fallen Behind

May 27, 2020

It’s inevitable at some time during your college career, you may fall a bit behind in a class. Despite your best intentions, you may have missed one too many lectures, jumbled up your notes, or just can’t grasp the concepts properly.

But not to worry! Just because you’ve fallen a bit behind momentarily doesn’t mean you have to stay there. There are some easy ways to catch back up in a class if you give it your best effort.

1. Go to class. Even if you’ve missed several class periods before this, the first thing you can do to turn yourself around is to attend class. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any more important information while you’re working hard to catch up with your classmates.

2. Take notes. Even if you don’t quite understand what’s going on in a class, take good notes as much as possible. This will help you later when studying, or going back over the information. And if you get help from a classmate, tutoring center, or another resource, it will help them to help you if you have good notes in front of you.

3. Make friends. You don’t have to hang around outside of class or really talk much otherwise, but it’s a good idea to make nice with a couple people that sit around you in your class. This way, if you need to miss class for whatever reason, you can get notes from them later. Also, you can potentially form a study group with them when it comes time for tests or examinations. Having someone to bounce ideas off of can be a big help, and they’re always available if you’re assigned a group project.

4. Go to office hours. Believe it or not, your college professors really want to see you succeed. Whether you have a class of 15 or a lecture hall of 300 students, your professor is there to help you out. Go to office hours, regardless of if you’re ahead or behind in the class. But especially go if you’re behind; explain to them what the problem is, and ask them if there are any extra credit options, or what they suggest you do to get caught up again. If you’re having troubles understanding the material, ask them to explain it again. Often speaking to someone one on one and being able to ask whatever questions pop into your head can help to clear it up. If not, ask them what other resources are available to you.

5. Do your homework. Even though some days you just aren’t feeling it, you need to complete the assigned work as much as possible. Whether it means cutting down your internet time or multitasking when you watch television, get down to work!

This article was originally published in Feb. 2013 and has since been updated.

Student Life Uncategorized

5 Ways to Stay Focused in College

May 27, 2020

Keeping up with the college life can mean keeping your mind moving in a hundred different directions. Classes, friends, work, activities, student organizations, events — there’s always a lot going on at once, which means there’s always a lot to think about any given time. That can make it tough when it comes time to get things done. Everyone feels scatterbrained and overwhelmed from time to time, but luckily there are some great tips that can help keep you focused. Below, are five:

1. Get into a routine
A great way to stay focused is to be in the habit of staying focused. Sound like a catch-22?  Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty doable—you just have to find a routine that works for you. Figure out how and when you work best.  Even take note of where you seem to concentrate the most effectively.  Are you focused the most in the morning in your room, at night in the library, or after class drinking coffee? Look ahead and set a schedule for yourself so that you always have a time and place to be productive.

2. Eat well, stay hydrated, and sleep
You probably think you don’t need to be reminded to do this; after all, you have to eat, drink water, and sleep to live. However, in college, not everyone does these things properly.  Staying hydrated is good for your overall health, but it also helps improve your concentration. The same goes for eating well. If your throat feels parched or your stomach starts growling at you, your focus is bound to suffer. Have a small, healthy snack before getting to work, and keep water on hand.  And never forget about the importance of sleep! Most college students know the feeling of being in class the morning after a particularly late night. Not catching sufficient Z’s is a sure way to make you feel spacey and unmotivated.

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Career Uncategorized

The World is My Classroom: Strategies for Online Learning Success

February 11, 2020

Learning never ends. It may be an old saying, but it’s one that’s taking on new resonance in today’s technological age. We now have more information at our fingertips than ever before in human history. Whether you are 20, 40, 60, or older, if you want to keep up and remain professionally relevant and cognitively sharp, you have to continually refine your existing skills and work to develop new ones.

That may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The great news is that today’s technology makes it easier than ever to advance your education or pursue new professional certifications no matter where you are or how busy you may be. There are online courses and academic programs, for example, at most every level, from basic skills to Ph.D. and Ed.D.

However, before you decide to enroll in an online course, it’s important to remember that e-learning is every bit as rigorous as a traditional, on-campus study. In fact, the time commitment may be even greater because you don’t have the benefit of attending a physical class to prove your participation. If you’re self-motivated and ready to commit, though, online courses can be the ideal solution, especially for busy working adults with families. However, to thrive in online courses, you need a bit of strategy.

Make It Work

If you’re considering taking online courses, there are a few study habits you need to embrace to get the most out of your learning experience and save yourself a lot of stress. Here are some highlights:

  • Get your tech in order: There is nothing worse than enrolling in an online course, only to find you don’t have the kind of equipment you need to use all functions of the online course effectively. While many online learning management systems (LMS) will enable you to access all course features from a cell phone or tablet, that’s not always the case, so make sure that your tech is compatible with your online course.
  • Check your access: You can’t very well be successful in an online course if you don’t have reliable internet access, so make sure you always have a Plan B, such as access to a local Wi-Fi hot spot should your internet go out. Many libraries, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants provide free Wi-Fi but are careful about the security of the network. Have a reliable and efficient way to send and receive documents and other files without losing the formatting you need. Various kinds of PDF converters are available online to make sharing well-formatted documents a breeze.
  • Study every day: When you are taking an online course, it can be easy to put off until tomorrow what you need to be doing today. After all, you don’t have regular class meetings and your teacher’s appraising stare to keep you on schedule. In an online course, though, the work can mount up very, very quickly. To manage an online class without becoming overwhelmed, it’s better to study a bit every day than to try to cram it all in a once or twice week panicked study session.
  • Do NOT isolate: One of the most dispiriting and detrimental things an online student can do is isolate. It can be easy to feel lonely when you are taking online courses but remember you are NOT alone. There is an entire classroom full of students on the other side of the computer screen, not to mention your professor and advisors. Reach out to them early and often. That is why they’re there!

Learning should always be constant and consistent. So whether you are wanting to get a new degree, or simply trying to learn a new language through an online course; as long as you follow these tips from GradGuard, you will definitely be set up for success.

Student Life Uncategorized

Rate My Professor

December 6, 2019

One of the best pieces of advice often given to incoming college students is to “take professors, not classes.” Having good professors makes all the difference in college which is why Rate My Professor is an absolute must-use site.

RMP is a website that allows students to, well, rate their professors. Students rate professors and the difficulty of their class on a scale from 1-5. Students are also asked whether they would take the class again and are forced to leave a written review. This is an extremely useful tool when deciding which professors to take classes from and can make a huge difference in your college success. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when using RMP. Here are five tips to help you use RMP to its full potential:

Number of Reviews

First, it is very important to keep in mind the sample size that a certain professor has on RMP. If a professor only has 10 reviews, then RMP might not be an extremely useful resource in this case. Pay attention to the number of reviews a professor has!

Consider the Rating

Students that leave reviews are typically on one extreme end of the spectrum: a vast majority of reviews on RMP are by students that either absolutely love or absolutely hate the professor. This means that a lot of professors have an overall ranking of around 3. This does not necessarily mean that they are a bad professor! When this is the case, you need to do a little deeper research.

Read the Reviews Carefully

Third, you must read the reviews that students leave. This is where you will find out if the professor favors homework or exams. You will learn whether his lectures are engaging or monotonous. Former students will tell you if attending class is necessary or if you can get by without going. Every student has a preferred style of learning, and it is important to choose professors that match your style.

Read Reviews for the Right Class

Pay attention to which class students leave reviews for. Every review will show which class the student took. Some professors are good at teaching one class and not so good at teaching other classes. This might mean that a professor has a relatively average overall rating while still excelling in one of the classes they teach. For example, an economics 110 professor can have great ratings from his Econ 110 students and less than average ratings from his 400 level students.

Leave a Review!

Make sure to pay it forward by leaving a rating on RMP after you take a class. RMP has helped all of us immensely, so it’s really the least we can do. Be honest in your review and write something that will be useful for future students considering your professor.

Choosing classes for the next semester can be a little daunting, but definitely be sure to use Rate My Professor to make that decision just a little easier.

Student Life Uncategorized

6 College Campus ‘Lifehacks’ that Often Slip Under the Radar

November 21, 2019

College can be an overwhelming experience. Class schedules, living in a dorm for four years, and generally setting up a life away from home can be an intimidating prospect. If you’re preparing for life on campus, here are some less-well-known tips to give you a leg up on the challenges.

1. Get the Right Cooking Gear

It’s common knowledge that cooking your own food can save money on campus, but who has time for that every day? Besides, you can’t install an oven in a dorm room. If you want to keep your food costs down, consider getting an Instant Pot or a slow cooker to help make mealtimes quick and easy.

2. Wield Your Student Loans Wisely

Student loans are for more than just classes and books. In fact, you can use them for pretty much any of life’s necessities. The keyword here is necessities. Entertainment and spring break trips don’t count. However, if you’re in a financial pinch, consider using your loans to cover:

  • Student housing
  • Meal plans
  • Groceries
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous school fees

3. Record Lectures

Sometimes lectures are recorded for you. Other times, it’s not allowed at all. For every other situation, you may want to use your smartphone to record your professors, especially during classes with information you know you’ll want to reference in the future. This is an underutilized option that can be invaluable when it comes time to study later on. Many times questions on the test are pulled directly from a lecture, so listening to lectures during commutes or during study time allows you to be more freshly prepared than if you had just taken notes.

4. Take a Parking Stroll

It can be easy to buckle under the pressure to pay for that outrageously priced parking pass. However, you may be able to work around it. Take a preliminary stroll around campus and look for places where you may be able to cash in on some free parking. You may even get a little exercise out of the trek.

5. Don’t Limit Your Study Spots

Even if you’re a creature of habit, it’s good to take time to scout out a variety of ideal studying locations, like:

  • The campus library
  • A local community library
  • A coffee shop
  • Your dorm room
  • The student union
  • The great outdoors

If you have several different places available, you can tailor each study session depending on things like the weather, your mood, what you’re studying, and your study buddies.

6. Space Out Your Study Time

For students, cramming is common. So is burning the candle at both ends. In fact, unhealthy academic studying behaviors are stereotypical and too often praised by college students. Don’t fall victim to the hype. Make sure to space out your study time as much as possible. Your brain will thank you for the opportunity to rest in between sessions.

Surviving the College Experience

College is full of challenges. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you encounter a professor on a bad day, run into financial issues, or upend your schedule at the end of a semester. 

Arming yourself with lesser-known lifehacks like these can make a world of a difference as you try to go with the flow. They can help you keep your grades up, your professors happy, your finances in order, and your brain sane.

Bio:  Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Student Life Uncategorized

How to Find Your Perfect Study Spot

August 15, 2019

As a college student, it is important to figure out how to effectively study. This is a crucial aspect of finding success in college. There are many options for places to study on and off-campus and it is helpful to figure out what works best for you. Here are some options to consider when looking for your perfect study spot:

The Library

This is a classic option for students who are seeking a quiet place to study. Your school’s library may contain different areas for those who prefer different levels of silence. The library may also have different resources such as tutoring and study rooms available to students. This is a great option for many students but is far from the only place on campus to study.

The Student Union

This is a great option for students who are looking for a more lively place to study. If you prefer more background noise this may be the place for you. If you go to your student union, there will most likely be many tables, chairs, and couches for you to study at. Your student union likely gets very busy, so you may have to figure out the best time for you to go. One downside to this study spot is that it may be distracting if you run into lots of people that you know and are easily caught up in conversation. 

Your Dorm Room

This spot can be a hit or miss depending on your situation. If you have a roommate this may not be the best option. It can also be an issue if you are studying on your bed and not a desk as you may be more prone to falling asleep. If you desire privacy when studying this may be a good choice. This may also be a good option on days when you are feeling sick or don’t have the energy to leave your dorm. 

A Local Coffee Shop

A coffee shop is a great choice for students who have a desire to study somewhere off-campus. Depending on your location, there may be many choices near campus. It can be fun to explore your area and hunt for the best local coffee shops. Many students find it helpful to go off campus to study in order to better concentrate and find motivation.

Outside

When the weather is nice, it could be a great change of pace to study amongst nature. Find some friends and scope out a nice patch of grass on campus or travel to a local park to soak up some sun. Be careful when studying outside because although it may be a good option for some it could be distracting for others. 

Throughout the semester, it could be helpful to try out different locations to figure out what works best for you before finals season begins. There are many options that extend beyond this list that may be available to you depending on your college. Have a fun time testing out different study spots and studying strategies

Check out GradGuard for more information on how to make the most out of your college experience and follow us on social media @gradguard to stay up to date on new information.

Health Uncategorized

Five Ways to Reduce Exam Stress

April 23, 2019

When it comes to exams, everyone deals with the apprehension we feel in different ways. There are people who just breeze through exams and studying with seemingly little effort. But for the majority of us, when an exam approaches, stress levels can run high.

If left unmanaged, the stress of studying and preparation can leave us drained and burnt out, leaving little energy for the exam itself. So it’s useful beforehand to start preparing to prepare. Preparing isn’t only about cramming knowledge in before the big day, but ensuring that mentally we are in the right place when we sit down to write our paper or take the exam. Here are five handy tips to ensure that you make the best of your preparation time.

Write It All Out

When it comes to stress, we can tend to have a habit of letting our internal dialogue dictate our mood. We catch ourselves sitting in front of our books or computers, staring vacantly into space, and before we know it an hour has gone by and we’ve achieved nothing, driving us further into stress. Sometimes we see this as a character flaw which is holding us back, that we’re easily distracted or spend too much time ‘daydreaming’.

But these moments of reflection are our way of attempting to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem. If you find yourself slipping into the cycle of internal questioning, it’s a good idea to get a pen and write it all down. In the act of writing it down, we are both affirming our worries and issues and addressing them. In the act of writing, we have put our worries at a distance, so that we can analyze them and group them into tangible subjects that can be addressed.

Schedule Your Time

Having written down what issues you might be facing, it’s important to get into the habit of organizing them into time-specific tasks. To-do lists and prioritization tasks are central to time-management skills, and once used effectively can come in very useful in our careers. But it also helps us to visualize our end goals in a more realistic way.

Planning out each task and the time you give it can be time-consuming in itself. Although you should attempt to stay on schedule, you should also understand that some flexibility isn’t a bad thing, and you need to make time for self-care and relaxation.

Take Regular Breaks

Part of self-care is to take regular breaks, so make sure you put some time for breaks in your schedule. Burnout from stress is detrimental to your health and wellness. Spending time reading or in front of a computer for long periods can cause undue strain on your eyes, leading to headaches. It’s also unhealthy to stay inside for too long. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks outside can lower stress levels, even if these breaks are as short as five minutes.

“Taking regular breaks means that you can return to your revision with a clear head, seeing your tasks with fresh eyes,” says Sue McCluskey, author at LetsGoAndLearn and Viawriting, “Seeing the task ahead in a new light helps mitigate the stress it may cause.”

Eat Well

Hunger can be distracting. When we crave food, our cortisol levels go up and we get stressed. If we wait too long, we end up carb loading or binging on sweets. A good way of combatting this scenario is to keep ourselves well stocked with healthy, stress-busting snacks and drinks.

Eating too much sugar or caffeine will actually increase your stress levels, so before you go and buy that energy drink, try opting for green or black tea instead. Ditch the gummy sweets and instead opt for some pistachios or blueberries – equally as snackable but better for you in terms of stress and brain power.

Sleep Well

At one time or another, we all end up ‘burning the midnight oil’. We believe that in order to maximize efficiency we have to extend our day into the early hours of the morning. “Sleep is crucial to performance,” says Robert P Russell, contributor to Studydemic and Academized, “Reducing how long we sleep affects our productivity as well as our health.”

Studies have shown that lacking sleep is a sure way to increase your stress levels, and in turn, stress can affect your sleeping patterns. Getting stuck in this cycle is a sure way to ruin your exam preparations and will affect your performance during the exam itself; but don’t worry! With these tips from GradGuard, your exam season should be a little easier.

BIO: Chloe Bennet writes for Revieweal and State Of Writing on a range of subjects such as education and finance. As an expert on administrative support management, she enjoys writing for Essayroo.

Career Uncategorized

Tips to Improve Testing Performance

April 3, 2019

No matter how confident you may be, final exams are almost certain to provoke anxiety. Your performance on these tests is crucial to your academic standing, and the opportunity for do-overs is rare to nonexistent. That’s why you may be stressed out, even if you understand the material. But letting it overwhelm you could lead to serious issues. You might begin to second-guess yourself, lose sleep or forget the things you spent so much time studying. This is why it’s a good strategy for students to embrace a proven routine to prepare for tests and manage stress.

Taking care of your body can be almost as beneficial as studying when it comes to improving your performance on midterms or finals. That’s because your physical state can have a significant impact on your ability to memorize, think and reason. Neglecting to take care of your health and well-being could result in your brain functioning at less than full capacity. Getting plenty of sleep, eating right, and drinking enough water can all boost your test-taking abilities and maybe even help you attain better grades.

For example, many students don’t realize that proper hydration is crucial to their performance at exam time. Dehydration can lead to irritability, fatigue, and lethargy — all of which will keep you from doing your best work. People who drink a bottle of water while taking an exam perform slightly better than those who don’t, according to research. Good nutrition also can play an important role in how well you’ll do on your tests. That’s because the brain uses as much as 20 percent of the body’s daily energy needs. Eating healthy can help you remain alert and energetic, so you won’t falter during the marathon that is finals week.

Given how important grades can be to your future, you need to be at your best during testing time. Don’t let bad habits like filling up with junk food or sleeping poorly hurt your chances to succeed. See the following tips you can use to reduce stress and ensure that you’ll be firing on all cylinders during exams.

Breathing Techniques

It is scientifically proven that using proper breathing techniques can help improve the ability to retain information while studying and taking an exam. While you are studying, take a deep breath through your nostrils, then hold for 3-5 seconds. Then, exhale for 1-2 seconds.

Proper Rest

It is important to sleep well before an exam, as your mind responds more quickly and efficiently when it is well rested. In turn, there is no need to stay up all night trying to “cram” information. Make sure you are attempting to get at least 8 hours of sleep before an exam. Try to set your alarm 1 hour before the time you need to actually wake up. This way, you can benefit from hitting the snooze button a couple times in order to feel more rested.

Hydration

Researchers have found that those who drink a bottle of water during their exam have scored an average of 5% higher than those who don’t. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish, irritable and tired. Bring a bottle of water to your finals. Your brain will thank you!

Healthy Diet

Although the brain is one of the smallest organs in the body, it can use up to 20% of the energy we need every day. By having the right foods and drinks to energize your system, they can improve attentiveness and help sustain you through many exam hours. On the contrary, making the wrong dietary choices can make you feel slow and tired. It’s important not to skip meals — especially breakfast. After waking up, your body hasn’t had any food for several hours during sleep. Breakfast can give you the energy you need to start the day right.

*Opt for healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, popcorn, fruit scones, dried fruit, yogurt or nuts to keep you going throughout the day.

Testing season is definitely a stressful one, but as long as you remember these tips from GradGuard, it will be smooth sailing!

Author bio: Dr. Kenya Grooms is a clinical psychologist and Dean of Student Affairs at MacCormac College, the oldest two-year, private, nonprofit institution in Illinois. MacCormac offers educational programs for court reporting, criminal justice, business administration and more. Dr. Grooms has written and presented about family life, international partnerships, personal resilience, support services for non-traditional students and many other topics in psychology.

Career Uncategorized

Basic Research Skills for Academic Success

March 5, 2019

As a student, you are no stranger to the value of assignments within your academic journey. Assignments are an integral part of every student’s college life and it’s essential to be an expert on writing these. However, most of the time, students can have a knack for writing but get stuck during the research process.

Research is quite an important step of the assignment process. In fact, it is the basic step of composing a good quality essay. For academic success, excellent research skills are quite important and students must polish them to improve and maintain their good grades. Here a few tips to help you.

Categorization and Summarization

The internet is a sea of information. However, you can’t use all of it. Additionally, there is information on almost every topic in the world. You need to know how to categorize the information appropriately according to your assignment topic. After that, you need to summarize the information so you can fit it into your word count along with complimenting all the other relevant requirements.

Critical Thinking

When you are doing an assignment, the whole purpose of it is to form new conclusions and add in a new set of information in the existing one. Therefore, it’s very important for you to think critically so you can form new ideas and also look at the existing information from a new perspective.

Analytical Thinking

Similarly, you must know how to analyze and then use the information for your own papers. There’s a ton of information available on the internet and since not everything can be used. It’s essential that you’re able to analyze different sources and can form an opinion on the quality of the information.

Clear Explanations

Not everyone can easily write out their thoughts and explain them to others. However, if you’re not good at explaining your point you won’t be able to convey your understanding through assignments which can automatically affect your grades. So, it’s important that you have the explanation skills that can help convey your thoughts and understanding into words, in turn letting your teachers easily grade your assignments.

Academic success is important as it could affect a person’s future career. You can’t risk it for anything and the wise thing to do is to polish your research skills, which will help improve your college grades. Don’t forget to follow GradGuard on social media for all of your Tuesday tips and college hacks!

BIO:The professional researcher Mitchell Starc is a qualified writer at Best Cheap Essay Writing Service – 7DollarEssay as well. He has been serving the writing industry for the past 15 years and has expertise in writing on almost all the subjects.

Health Uncategorized

10 Habits Every Successful Student Should Have

March 4, 2019

When you’re a college student, it’s hard to find balance. However, like every element of life, things get a lot easier when you start introducing them as habits. With this in mind, we’re going to explore the top 10 habits all high-performing students should have in order to perform their best.

#1 – Get Yourself Organized

Get yourself a planner and plan when you’re going to work and how long for. Plan what subjects you’re going to study and when, as well as planning your tests and deadlines, ensuring you have everything you need to get ahead.

#2 – Make Sure You’re Taking Notes (By Hand)

When you’re listening, get into the habit of taking bullet-pointed notes to keep track of key points of what you’re learning. What’s more, writing these points by hand is a great way to retain information which means less studying later!

#3 – Don’t Study in One Big Block

Break down your study sessions into shorter periods of time, perhaps only an hour long. This helps you stay focused and on task the entire time, rather than struggling to keep your eyes open while the information goes over your head.

#4 – Set a Study Goal

“Every time you sit down to study, make sure you’re setting a goal of what you what to achieve. Maybe it’s reaching an hour of study or reading a certain number of pages. Whatever you choose, give yourself purpose,” shares Lawrence Turner, an education manager for WriteMYX and Brit Student.

#5 – Ask Questions

Teachers exist to help you learn about a certain subject, so you need to make sure you’re using them for the best results. If there’s something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

#6 – Strictly Avoid Procrastination

“It’s so easy to fall into the habit of procrastinating, and once you’ve done it, it starts to become acceptable to do it over and over again, and you’ll fall into the habit of doing it all the time. Be strict and disciplined with yourself” explains Joseph Goody, a head of the internship department at 1Day2Write and Australia2Write.

#7 – Get Rid of Distractions

Going with the consideration above, it’s important to make sure you’re avoiding any distractions in your environment. Silence your phone, turn off the TV, and ideally have calm, ambient music if any at all.

#8 – Use Study Groups

Study groups are a great way to stay focused and absorb information because you’re all working as a team, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re using them effectively. If you’re not productive, it may be best to change the group or take a break.

#9 – Start with Hardest Task First

It’s so important to make sure you’re starting your study periods with the hardest subject first because this is when you’ll have the most energy and focus on tackling it. Once you have finished with that one, maybe take a study break and then come back to an easier topic.

#10 – Never EVER Multitask

If you work on one task at a time, and only focus on one thing, you can give 100% of your attention and get the best result, instead of dividing your attention.

Being a successful student takes a lot of work and different consideration. With these 10 tips from GradGuard, you’re sure to make your college experience a little easier!

BIO: Adelina Benson is a lifestyle blogger and writer at AcademicBrits.com and Origin Writings. She develops study plans for students around the world and helps to bust procrastination at PHD Kingdom. In her free time, she loves to blog to help business people reach their full potential.