international student life

international student

How to succeed in your college studies.

Here are some best practices to adopt to help you succeed in your college studies.

College and university studies are hard and most students wonder how to make it easier for themselves. While there is no magic bullet to make things easier, following these steps can help you succeed in your college studies and make life easier for you.

Make sure to attend each and every class. This is very important because of the way the human brain works. You will have to read a chapter three to four make up for listening to and taking notes during a lecture on that same chapter. It has been proven that hearing, writing and reading is always better than just reading. Multisensory experience is how the human brain learns best.

Also one open secret is that the topics emphasized in class lectures tend to be in the test questions. When you only read the book you have no idea which topics the professor thinks are more important.

Attending classes also helps the professor know you. He or she may not know your name, but will recognize your face after you've sat in his/her class for a few weeks. This is helpful if you need to visit him and plead for a better grade, a second chance, leniency, or some other favor.

Make sure to take notes in class, whether with pen and paper or typing on a laptop. Then make sure to read and correct or rewrite and reorganize your notes later that evening. You will be engaging more senses by reading and writing along with hearing and this also helps your brain to process the new information for more longer-term recall.

If you don't want to do double work of writing and re-writing, then you can invest in a smart pen called livescribe. Whatever you write with this pen on a paper is instantly typed to a tablet and then you don't have to retype it. But can edit it on your computer or tablet. Your tablet can also record audio while you write so you will later hear things that you missed.

If you're doing the hard sciences (e.g. chemistry and physics), then taking notes and reading the text is not enough. You need to practice by doing actual problems and doing projects. Do all of the chapter problems, then find some out of other textbooks to do. If you think you've mastered a topic, do a few questions to make sure.

On the subject of doing actual problems, practice tests, it is helpful to buy or rent the answer book for math-sciences and math. This will help you find answers to the questions you are trying to solve so you don't come to a wrong answer and not know it. Then if you know the answer, you can try to find the logic of how that answer came to be correct. Probably even reverse engineer the logic to that answer. You can use all the help you need.

In addition to your course textbook, try to user other sources of information like watching videos on:
Youtube.com
khan Academy
MIT open Courseware
Patrickjmt.com
learnerstv.com
EdX
and other sources on the internet, as well as textbooks.This will supplement your learning and give you different approaches to the subject and this will help you understand more.

Try to form or join existing Study Groups to review the week's lectures and compare your notes. This will help you learn some important things that you may have missed or misunderstood. As an added benefit, invite some smart people to join your group, they can help you now and also in the future. Ask attractive people to join your group, you might find a boy/girlfriend. Ask diverse types of people to join your group, because everyone has something to offer.

Take all classes being offered seriously. If for example you think that English Literature is a waste of time for an Engineering major or that Calculus is worthless to Sociologist then you are missing the bigger picture. College is not a vocational education. If you still don't like it, consider welding school or mechanics. People in these vocations make a lot of money. You are in college to get an education, not a job.

Keep a date book or calendar, write down the deadlines, test dates and other important things from the syllabus. Write down reminders one week before tests and when papers are due. You can also use Google Calendar or phone calendar for reminders. This will help you not to miss anything important and help succeed in your studies.

It is also important to get enough sleep and eat a decent diet. This affects your health and your capacity to learn. If you are sleepy in class, then you will not be able to hear anything that's going on there. You also don't want to be sick or unhealthy.

Be humble and allow yourself to be teachable. If you think you already know it all, save the money and leave college now. But that would be a mistake, because you don't know what you don't know. So it's better to hang around where there is knowledge of all kind flowing.

It also helps to try to sit in front of the class when in lectures. This will help you avoid distractions and you will hear what the professor is saying better.

Use the professors office hours and get to meet them. The professor will get to know you and will help you with any problems you may have.


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