TIPS AND RESOURCES
Simple but effective tips from the
Always sit in the first row of class. This
will keep you engaged with the teacher.
2. Make sure the teacher knows your
first and last name and go to office hours at least
four or five times a semester.
3. Be friendly rather than smart aleck-y
to your teacher. Just swallow your pride. Teachers really
do have favorites, and it’s harder to grade favorites
4. Participate in class. Don’t
allow yourself to go through a class without asking
a question or making a comment.
5. Take exceptional notes in class.
6. If you find yourself in a situation
where you don’t have enough time to do the reading,
“speed read” through the material. Carefully
read the sections that you will be graded on and skim
the rest. This is where your “exceptional notes”
will come in handy, and make reading less of a burden.
Most books have summaries at the end of each chapter,
or colored boxes throughout that highlight or emphasize
the most important points.
7. If the reading will be discussed
in class, try to skim it over right before class. If
you did not find time to read the book thoroughly, let
the class discussion start up a bit so that you can
get a sense of the material from other’s comments.
8. You may want to search online to
see if your textbook has an accompanying website. There
are often practice quizzes and chapter summaries on
such sites that teachers use themselves. Many teachers
pull questions from these practice tests and use them
in class. And if your textbook comes with a CD, don’t
be too shy to explore what it offers.
9. Study for tests alone (in silence)
as well as in groups. Share notes, don’t be shy,
and you will be able to learn significantly from other
people’s perspectives. Make sure these groups
aren’t too large so you can have a chance to ask
questions. Become friends with your fellow classmates
so that you can organize study sessions and borrow notes
10. Get a day planner (PDA, paper calendar,
whatever you prefer) and write down ALL of the assignments
that you know of for each class. Spend one weekend in
the beginning of each semester writing everything out
(including sports or other obligations), and update
it daily as you receive new assignments. Spend plenty
of time reviewing your tasks each day, and planning
how you're going to accomplish those tasks. Being organized
will save you time and cut down on forgotten assignments
or last-minute essays.
11. Always complete every extra-credit
opportunity. Free points!
12. Try to exercise three or more times
a week and eat well. This will help you relieve stress
and concentrate. Remember, as a student you’re
an academic athlete – and the classroom is your
playing field. So stay in shape. Get outside, get your
heart pumping, cut down on junk foods, have healthy
snacks and feed your brain! There is an old saying,
“without food there is no learning.”
13. Take a ten to fifteen minute break
for every hour of study. If you are allowed one, pets
reduce stress levels and provide a helpful time-out.
If you can’t own a pet, try to find a simple hobby
that you can focus on for ten minutes as a study break.
You can meditate, exercise, play guitar, juggle, close
your eyes and enjoy some music etc. These breaks are
an important part of the learning process: they help
recharge the memory and attention reservoirs in the
14. Remember to get plenty of sleep
the day before tests. Neuroscience tells us that learning
involves making new pathways and connections in the
brain. Sleep helps hardwire and sustain these new connections
while transferring short-term memory to long-term memory.
In other words, sleep helps us remember what we studied
a lot better than all-night cram sessions.