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Study Skills General Information Overview. Overview of Goals. There’s not an easy way to get an A You need to learn effective study skills and time management skills The following guidelines will give you suggestions to make you a better student. Topics to be Covered. Time management

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Overview of goals l.jpg
Overview of Goals

  • There’s not an easy way to get an A

  • You need to learn effective study skills and time management skills

  • The following guidelines will give you suggestions to make you a better student


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Topics to be Covered

  • Time management

  • Note-taking

  • Writing research papers

  • Studying for Exams

  • Additional Resources at VC



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STEP ONE

  • Examine how you currently spend your time on a given day

    • Write down in a journal what you plan to do that day for a week

    • Look at how your plan of what you wanted to do compares to what you actually DID that day

    • What are you least likely to do?

    • What did you have no problem completing?

    • Where may you have spent your time better? Did you have any open time slots in the day?


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STEP TWO

  • Identify blocks of time to study (determine how much of your time is committed to other activities and how much time you need to study)

    • Most people need an average of 2 hours study time for every hour of class per week (3 credit class=6 hours per week studying)


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STEP THREE

  • Make to-do lists

  • Prioritize tasks

  • What is due tomorrow?

  • What can you work on slowly?


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STEP FOUR

  • Find a quiet environment with few distractions

  • Some students study best with a lamp, quiet music, facing a window, or other modifications

  • Break down work into manageable tasks (50 minutes per assignment)


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Study Breaks!

  • Don’t expect to get everything done in one sitting

  • Take 10 minutes every hour or so-get a cup of coffee, walk around, make a quick phone call, check email

  • Make sure this doesn’t turn into procrastination!


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STEP FIVE

  • Switch subjects every few hours

  • Tackle difficult assignments first

  • Make mini-deadlines (if something is due in a month, have a draft due 2 weeks before)

  • Learn to handle procrastination

  • DON’T WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE!!!


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CHECKPOINT:

  • What is the best way to study?

    • A. Work on one assignment until it is done

    • B. Switch subjects and take periodic study breaks

    • There is not right answer-this depends on the topic and your level of interest, as well as when it needs to be completed. Try to switch subjects as a rule to keep your motivation high!!!



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NOTE-TAKING

Golden Rule-Don’t expect to write every word of the professor’s lecture down!

Need to prepare for notes before class and review notes after class


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BEFORE CLASS

  • Have class assignments read before class

  • Skim chapter-reread after class. Sometimes you understand chapter more after attending class lecture

  • Review notes from prior class-most lectures pick up where it left off


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TAKING NOTES

  • Always date your notes

  • Put heading/lecture topic on top of paper

  • Write notes in phrase form, rather than sentence form

  • Write notes on one side of paper if you want to add information later


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NOTE-TAKING SYSTEMS

  • Outline method-write down key themes, and use indentation to show lesser points (use capital letters, roman numerals, or numbers to outline)

  • Paragraph- write first main topic and write underneath—separate out ideas. Headings will help you study for exam.


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NOTE-TAKING SYSTEMS (cont.)

  • Mapping method-notes are recorded in chart or graphic method


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Main points

Definitions

Theories

Formulas

Lists

Page references

Important Dates

Anything noted as “important to know, keep in mind for exam”

Important people

Anything spelled out

Charts

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN NOTES


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After Class

  • Edit your notes-reorganize or rewrite to make more legible

  • Add information from book, clarify notes (missing information –get from another student or from book)

  • If class uses PowerPoint -download notes from website

  • http://vcpsychology.homestead.com/psychology.html


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Reading Assignments

  • Avoid over-highlighting-while it may look like you read the material, it may be harder to remember the information

  • Write notes in margin of book

  • Pre-read: read major headings, first paragraph, and chapter summaries first. Read for understanding.


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CHECKPOINT:

  • What does NOT have to be included in lecture notes?

  • Important dates

  • Definitions

  • Exact sentences

  • Theories

  • ANSWER: exact sentences



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Writing Research Papers

  • First step: Choosing a topic

    • Write about something you are interested in!

    • Avoiding choosing a topic that is too broad or hard to write about

    • Make sure topic fits paper assignment

    • Make sure topic will lead into an argument


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Researching a topic:

  • Conduct a library and online database search for your topic

  • Use search words narrow enough to find articles and books related to topic

  • Reference librarians on 2nd floor LRC building will help you with search


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Resources

  • Most databases can be accessed off campus from GALILEO (check with library for password)

  • Library homepage will link you to list of databases

  • While books will give you a lot of information, use chapters –otherwise too time consuming to read

  • Journal articles should be recent (10 years)


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Writing the Paper

  • Take careful and detailed notes on each article (use notecards or legal pads)

  • Write headings within notes to make writing the paper easier

  • Be careful not to write down direct sentences from authors-paraphrase


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Writing the Paper

  • Make an outline before writing the actual paper

  • Helps with overall organization

  • Make sure your thesis statement is at end of introduction

  • Thesis : what you are arguing, your main point, question being answered, etc.


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Preparing the paper

  • Avoid using passive tense “ex. They were given”

  • If you are using a specific style (ex. APA, MLA), when formatting your paper, check with manual to make sure it is right

  • Use spell-check and grammar check

  • Keep to page limit

  • Make sure all references are cited correctly

  • Avoid plagiarism-any idea that is not your own must be referenced. When in doubt, cite!



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Studying for Exams

  • #1 Tip: Don’t wait for the last minute to study!

  • Keep up with reading assignments and review notes-will make it easier to prepare for exam


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Essay Exams

  • Read over the question. Use scratch paper or the margin to write quick outline of what you want to say.

  • Always include a recognition of the exam question in your introduction/thesis statement

  • Make sure you address all components of the question


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ESSAY EXAM

  • Don’t use complicated language or make up things to make the essay longer-use clear and concise language

  • If you get the essay questions in advance, make an outline of the essay rather than writing it out

  • Budget your time –if you have 50 minutes to answer 4 questions, make sure you aren’t left with 5 min to answer the last one!


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Multiple Choice Exams

  • Make sure you understand the question or ask the instructor for clarification

  • Pace yourself. Since m/c exams don’t require as much written work, there may be lots of questions (50-100). Circle the questions you are “stumped” on and come back to them


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Multiple Choice Exams

  • Try to think of answer first before looking at answers

  • Uncover answers one-by-one. If you know it is not the right choice, cross it out. If it may be right ,DO NOT immediately mark it as correct. There may be other better answers or a choice (e) as all of the above may exist

  • Process of elimination will help with questions you are not sure about-make an educated guess based on which ones you can rule out.


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ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS!

  • Unless you are taking a test like the SAT, you won’t be penalized for wrong answers

  • When you have five minutes left, go back and answer all questions left unanswered-make a guess!


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Short Answer

  • Answer easy questions first, skim over questions in the beginning of the test

  • Make sure you give the information asked for in the question (list, describe, theory and date)

  • BE CONCISE. That’s what short answers are-but make sure answer is complete

  • If you only know part of the answer (ex. 3 of the 4 past presidents) write those down-may get partial credit.

  • Try to “visualize” your notes-what heading did the question fall under?


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Problem Oriented Exams

  • Used for math and science courses

  • Less questions on exams-make take very long to answer each one

  • If the problem has several parts, make sure you answer each one


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Problem-oriented Exams

  • Identify variables and what the problem is asking for-write them down

    • Example (Psy 01): What is the dependant and independent variables? What is the difference between the control and experimental group?

    • Box answers for each part


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Problem-oriented Exams

  • If you use a calculator-make sure you enter numbers in correctly and round to the correct number of decimals

  • Show all work or answers in the space provided.


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Ventura College Resources

  • Academic Counseling: http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student_services/counseling/index.shtml

  • LRC learning center general info: http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student_services/learning_center/index.shtml

  • Library (LRC – 2nd Floor): http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student_services/library/index.shtml

  • Student Health and Psychological Services: http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student_services/shps/index.shtml

  • Tutoring information: http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student_services/tutoring/index.shtml

  • Ventura College General Information: http://www.venturacollege.edu/current_students/index.shtml

  • WebSTAR: http://students.vcccd.edu/


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Conclusion

  • This self-paced presentation was designed to give you study skills and helpful (survivor) tips

  • Incorporate these tips slowly into your normal study habits

  • Remember to keep up with your notes and reading assignments

  • Speak to your tutor or a counselor if you would like further help or academic counseling


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