Lecture offers advice for a successful semester

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The Center for Advising and Student Achievement put on its first Secrets of Success workshop of the new year on Jan. 27 in Schwitzer 010. The workshop, called Starting with the End in Mind, was about putting the new semester into perspective and starting off on the right foot.

“Even though this is just the start of the semester, it is important to set up goals for the whole semester early,” said Janeen Butler, Academic Success Associate from the Academic Success Center and speaker for the event.

The presentation stressed organization for students in all their classes as the key to higher quality studying and staying on pace with their course load.

Photo by Kameron Casey

“Make sure you are putting forth effort to get yourself prepared,” Butler said. “Know what’s on your syllabi for yourself.”

Butler offered some tips on how to stay organized throughout the semester, such as keeping an up-to-date calendar or planner to help keep track of upcoming assignments and tests. Other tips included creating a schedule for yourself each day and laying out time for class, eating, studying and leisure.

Butler also encouraged people to use the tools on the Academic Success Center’s website to help students figure out where they stand in their courses. The website’s Syllabi Tracker can help students figure out their grade in any course by plugging in the grades they already have earned on assignments and tests.

“Evaluate your test results and ask yourself what you could have done better,” Butler said. “And if all else fails, talk to your professors.”

The workshop also stressed the importance of frequent and efficient studying throughout the entire semester, rather than only before tests and finals.

“Look for ways to improve your studying, such as taking study breaks and breaks during reading,” Butler said. “Read and study if you have not been doing so.”

Butler said that if you find that you are still struggling in a course, change your approach by joining a study group or meeting with someone in the Academic Success Center. She recommended having someone else, such as a roommate or friend to hold you accountable for studying and doing your homework on a daily basis.

Knowing how your midterms and finals are structured and what they entail is also essential for quality studying, according to Butler. She suggested starting to prepare for midterms and finals a few weeks before the exams, to avoid late-night cramming and sleepless nights.

“Go to any optional classes and review sessions before finals, even if you feel you do not need help,” Butler said.

Junior biology and chemistry major Leanne Johns attended the presentation hoping to learn more about being responsible and productive students.

“I didn’t know about all the helpful tools on the Academic Success Center’s website,” Johns said. “I will have to check them out.”

Another SOS Workshop, on regrouping after midterms, will be held on March 10 for any students who need help regaining their focus after Spring Break.

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