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I study and still fail... - October 14th 2010, 03:54 PM

So I'm in university, taking science courses, hoping to get a B.Sc. with a major in biology.

I've been on probation last year, fucked up, and now i shouldnt really be in univeristy for a year, but i managed to do it by going into a different program, and mainly redoing some courses this year, hoping to get back on track.

so i had thanksgiving break last weekend, and had 3 midterms right after it. The first one was a new class, so w/e I know what I did wrong there. But the other 2 classes I've had before. Last year, I didn't really study for these and got like 60 and 65. This year, I actually studied for them, and I'm taking the class a second time. Got 45 and 50. Fun stuff. What's the point in even studying and wasting my time in studying, because clearly there's no point.

I can go in and guess on all the multiple choice, and still get the same mark, if not better w/o studying...

I feel like I understand things better this year too, at least in the one class, cuz last year I had no idea what was going on.

And I'm doing A LOT better in the labs then I was last year... which means I understand the material...

I don't know, i try, and still get shit, so I just want to know how to up my grades, cuz studying more isnt the answer.
   
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Re: I study and still fail... - October 14th 2010, 04:03 PM

It's not necessarily about studying MORE, but studying the RIGHT material. Have you thought about making an outline of what you think the test will be on and going over it with your professor? Or make a study group so you can learn how to study more effectively. Speaking aloud your notes is one of the best ways to help you remember information. Also, studying in the afternoon (3PM) rather than morning (9AM) is the best time to transfer information from your short term memory into your long term memory. Studying in the daylight is twice as effective and productive than it is at nighttime. Don't just study- study strategically. When you get to the test, look for key words that you remember. Eliminate the options that you KNOW are wrong.

Hopefully this helps a little!


   
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Re: I study and still fail... - October 17th 2010, 09:08 PM

...To continue with what Amy was saying...

Not only is it necessarily about studying the right material, it's about how you study. What I mean is just looking and trying to memorize is not gonna work. Like one of my teachers said, don't memorize like a parrot, study like a detective. What that means is to find a way where you can study more efficiently whether it's in a quiet area, in a library, outside, etc. Also, do you study better with music or without music? Is it helpful to do an actual study guide or use flashcards? To study like a detective means to maybe phrase something in a way you understand it better, whether you need help doing so or you can do it yourself. The more you understand the material, the better grades you'll get.
   
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Re: I study and still fail... - October 19th 2010, 02:27 PM

I also want to add that going to your TA's or professor's office hour helps A LOT. Be prepared to go in there with questions and inquiries to ask them. I study chemical engineering and mathematics, and I found that there is no way to have a good grade without putting in extra time like going to office hours.

Knowing some friends in there certainly helps because studying in groups (good group, I have to add) can augment or reinforce what you know. There is one time I study with my fellow engineers for a test by working on the problems on the book, and to our luck the exact problems that we worked on appeared on the test. We all have above 90 for that test.


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Re: I study and still fail... - October 19th 2010, 02:36 PM

Three of the best ways to get higher marks are join a study group with people who are getting higher marks, go to the prof's and TA's office to better understand where you went wrong and how, and get past tests/assignments/exams (mostly free, may have to pay a few dollars for them at most). In first and second year (mostly biology courses with some chemistry and psychology), I was in a study group with some friends who were getting higher marks. We would each have to pull our own weight and study alone then meet up and discuss what we learned in lecture, labs and the book. We'd form detailed summaries and kept them for review, which helped tremendously. When we had online quizzes, we would each log in to the system one at a time for our quiz, while the rest would have our books and notes open to help figure out the answer. Our "policy" was we'd let others into the study group if they got high marks and pulled their own weight, otherwise they're out and not coming back in no matter what.

Try finding some study groups because they can work wonders, and some are more picky than others. Most TA's and profs are willing to help but if you have a lot of questions, often they want you to book an appointment ahead of time. Do that and just go armed with questions and show you are willing to try your hardest.

Alternatively, try doing another subject, you may be better at that one.


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Re: I study and still fail... - October 19th 2010, 04:25 PM

For studying, try graphic organizers. It's like taking notes with a visual twist. They're hard to explain, so look em up on google. They've helped a ton with history.

You can also reading notes or books out loud. That way, you have two sense absorbing knowledge.

Try reading books, looking stuff up on the internet, and watching videos. MThe more sources, the better.

When you think you understand something, try explaining it back to someone else. That's a very good test of knowledge. If you can explain it to someone, then you know it.

Also, maybe you need to learn how to take tests. Passing a test is different than actually knowing the material. There are books on test-taking avalible,and you could talk to your teach about test-taking tips.

Best of luck!


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Re: I study and still fail... - October 19th 2010, 10:18 PM

I agree with Amy. It's not about the amount of hours you put in studying; it's about how you study.
What I decided to do was turn this post into a "study guide" of sorts to show you exactly how I work my study guides. Imagine the red text as what I would be highlighting - they're the "key phrases" for studying technique.


First - Turn off all background noises if they distract you - I'm a bit different; I can't study without the TV or music on because it helps me concentrate harder.

Second - Make an outline. If your professors use powerpoints, look at those. Highlight important topics, definitions, and key details. Let's say you know the unit you'll be studying - find all key definitions within the chapter, and write all of those out first. Then, write the key topic that the unit is about. Then, write subtopics and key information within the topics. It's not about reading the entire chapter - it's about processing what's important and what's not.

Third - To help you remember, come up with anecdotes, key phrases, etc. Whatever works for you - this is helpful for vocabulary (science is heavy in vocab). Make things -easy- to remember; don't just memorize. If you have a huge test, you're bound to forget something.

Fourth - Write out your notes, both in class, and on your study guide. Don't type. For me, writing them down on paper makes it a lot easier to commit to memory than just typing. I type all the time; I don't have to think about it. When you write, you have to process it.

Fifth - Highlight. You have to -buy- your textbooks for a reason - feel free to mark them up. Write notes in the margins, highlight key terms and phrases. It'll make you read it again, process it, and remember why it's important. I -love- my highlighters.

Sixth - Memorization is necessary, but not key. The key is to understand. If you -understand- it'll stick with you longer than just being able to spit out answers just for a test. You'll probably see/hear the information again on another test or in another class down the road.

Seventh (and last, but certainly not least) - Do NOT start studying for the test the night before. Do it a little bit at a time. Build on your knowledge each night (recall what you studied the night before, then add more). Make connections with previously learned/studied information and see how new information works with other knowledge.


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