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College is a step up from HS: 16 Tips on doing well in College

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Replies to: College is a step up from HS: 16 Tips on doing well in College

  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,378 Senior Member
    What you mean by read the chapters? What if the chapters are long? Skim it through?
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,685 Forum Champion
    No I mean actually read the chapters of the textbook. If they are long..you still need to know the information.
  • rofikicaferofikicafe Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    wasn't there a book posted, how to get straight A's in college somewhere? I might want to order if anyone recalls the book I am referring to
  • BingeWatcherBingeWatcher Registered User Posts: 773 Member
    @rofikicafe "How to become a straight A student: The unconventional strategies real college students use to score high while studying less" by Cal Newport.
  • CiAMUniversityCiAMUniversity Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Be sure to check your Student Life and Services handbook to see what clubs and free activities are available for you. Also, be sure to take advantage of Teachers Assistants when you are struggling with homework and projects.
  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer Registered User Posts: 989 Member
    edited October 2018
    Excellent suggestions,but I do have an issue with #11.

    Life does require some socializing balance and perspective, even for entering freshman students. Sports and musical groups are just two outlets that I found useful as a first year student. The exercise actually helps learning and can be the nucleus of a student support group. Positive support networks, not drunken party bashes, are a necessary part of education for most students.

    Yes, demanding colleges are usually a step up in work habits even for the "A" student so be ready for it.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,685 Forum Champion
    True, @retiredfarmer ...the key is "too much time" of course. When people start thinking that the fraternity or sorority or sports team is more important than academics for too long a period of time.
  • ReligiousdudeReligiousdude Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    This might seem like a dumb question, but why avoid anything other than academics at first? If you can balance yourseflf well, isn't it important to let loose once in a while and really relax?
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,685 Forum Champion
    There are some people that get really into clubs or work or sports to the exclusion of academics. If you can handle both, you are probably not here looking for help :-) Everything in moderation
  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer Registered User Posts: 989 Member
    edited October 2018
    For some, but not all, sports are mental relaxation. Assuming you are not eating only junk food, the exercise tunes up your mind and body. Remember where the brain is. It is part of that same body!

    Sound sleep helps too!

    My own secondary school required all students to play sports to help optimize academic performance. When college came, it was just part of what education was about. Most of us (myself included) had not been the varsity athletes, but did grow into the blended system of exercise and study. That is why most universities have club or intramural sports. This is not a radical or a new idea. The Greeks practiced it in their "Gymnasium" and that's where the term Gym comes from. Today in Germany the public university preparatory schools are called Gymnasiums.

    Over doing it at fraternity parties is another issue and should not be equated or confused with sports participation. Later, while working in an academic environment, many problems were worked out while jogging with co-workers. It is a function of working and studying with people who want to solve problems. We called ourselves the "foot pounders."
  • ghorbanpourghorbanpour Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Thanks, great and usefull......

  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,685 Forum Champion
    Expanding #9:

    Analyze what you got wrong on a test.

    Is it because you never saw the material at all?

    Is it that you could recognize it, but not recall it?

    Is it because you did "basic" problems, but not those at the boundary conditions (e.g., if x=0 or x=infinity)

    Is it because you did simple problems but not ones that make you synthesize information from more than one area?

    Is it simple math mistakes?

    Is it speed?

    Is it that you are not doing enough different practice problems? So maybe in physics you did HW problems where you start at the ground, not moving, but on the test you are in the air or are already moving. Get books of practice problems.

    Is it that you did the minimal reading but did not do any of the recommended reading?

    Is it that you are having a hard time translating word problems into equations?

    Does your college have a studying center? Writing center? make use of those.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,409 Senior Member
    edited January 7
    Here are some more suggestions, purely from the instructor's perspective, that address how a college student should deal with certain factors that may arise. They may contrast with conduct that was acceptable in high school.

    That person whose class you are enrolled in is not a "teacher". That person is an "Instructor of Record" for the class. The instructor is not there to spoon feed you pre-digested material. Think of the instructor as a guide who will point you in the direction to learn but what is learned is up to you. Be an active scholar not a passive high schooler. Despite societal pressure for freshman year to look like grade 13, it isn't...yet.

    If you miss class for any reason, don't ask the instructor, "Did I miss anything?" You're likely to hear a sarcastic reply like, "Nah we were waiting for you".

    The instructor is probably (although not always) not correctly addressed with a prefix indicative of marital status or gender. It is always safest to address the instructor using the term Dr., unless otherwise instructed.

    When you miss class don't expect the instructor to review with you what you missed. How many times do you expect the instructor to deliver the same material? So plan in advance and get a peer's contact information (Hi. My name is Mike. I was wondering if we could exchange email addresses so if one of us is absent we can contact each other to find out..."). Then when absent, get notes from a peer.

    If you have an illness or other situation that keeps you from attending class, check the attendance policy on the course syllabus. Also check the university's attendance policy. Students routinely assume that unavoidable absences won't interfere with the student's grade or credit. In public high schools, the school is obligated to provide instruction to students who may have extended absences due to illness. That isn't true in college. Students who are absent for any reason are not in class for that session regardless of why that is the case. If attendance is required, it does not really matter why you are not attending, you simply are not attending. If the number of absences exceed that allowable, the grade and/or credit may be impacted. Yes you can be denied credit for a class you could not attend due to mono. Some instructors may assign an Incomplete and allow students to make up the work. But doing so often introduces further problems. Some instructors are unwilling to do so because it is hard to keep track of where students are regarding "catch up". Instructors are obligated to comply with their syllabus and university absentee policy. If you have a job and have exhausted your sick leave, you won't be paid-regardless of how badly the boss feels for you. If you are enrolled in a class and have exhausted your absences you may not get credit. Most universities allow withdrawals and academic leaves to address protracted absences. Know your school's policy.

    Don't ask for exceptions/extensions. Just don't. How did you feel the last time you shorted one or more of your classes (and suffered grade consequences for doing so) in an effort to meet a deadline for an assignment in another class only to find that peers were given extensions and ended up doing better on everything. It's a fairness issue.

    Don't ask the instructor what you can do to earn an "A" if your grade is not in the A range. That information is in the syllabus. And the syllabus is designed to ensure that everyone in the course has the same opportunities. If your grade isn't in the A range your grade won't be in the A range. As special as you are, requesting your own personal extra credit assignments to leap frog over peers is inappropriate.

    Don't ask, "Will it be on the test?" It does not matter. Hopefully your surgeon didn't skip the lecture on sutures just because it wasn't going to be on the test. Learn the material because you need to know it not because it will be on the test.

    Don't game tests, learn material. Advice about learning strategies to game tests is misguided. If you know the material you will do well on the test regardless of the test format. Many mediocre public colleges and even some private ones have become massive test taking training centers instead of being places students learn content/material. The goal is to become competent not to become test savvy.

    Yes these seem harsh. Yet there has been a drift in expectations at colleges-from conduct appropriate for college students to conduct more appropriate to middle school. It's time to elevate the university back to where it should be. That starts with setting certain expectations.

  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,409 Senior Member
    Beware, I believe Cal Newport's book is more about gaming college than actually becoming a college student. Just my opinion. 60K a year is a lot to spend on gaming.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,685 Forum Champion
    @lostaccount There is much in that book about how to plan out your studying and how to figure out how to pick a topic for a paper. how to work efficiently, how to take notes so I would not say it is about how to "game" college.
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