Monday, 21 October 2013

Study Tips to Take Back Your Term!

Take Back the Term

Are you feeling that mid-semester slump? Not sure if you can get your footing in time for finals? Fear not! Here are some tips to help you take back your term! 

Set Goals                                              

What do you want to accomplish this semester? Even if you haven’t gotten off to a great start, there is always time to improve. Think about what you want to achieve, and make sure your goals are reasonable. Break your goals down into manageable steps, and reflect on your progress often. Reminding yourself of your goals daily will help to keep you motivated and on-track. 

Here are three tried-and-true tricks to help you keep your goals on your mind:  

1. Put a sticky note in a place you’ll see it every day

Post It Note Reminder

2. Set a daily alarm on your phone with your goal as the description

Phone Reminder

3. Change one of your passwords to be reflective of your goal (like “getaBinCLASS101”). 

Password Reminder

Make a Plan                                      

Giant To Do List

When I’m getting ready to tackle a semester, I like to make a GIANT to-do list of everything that I need to do for the whole semester. This might feel overwhelming at first, but going through your syllabuses and making sure that you have every reading and assignment, including due dates, written down in one central spot is going to be really helpful to you later. Each week, take a look at the list, and see what you have to do to be prepared for class that week, and what assignments you have coming up in the near future. Budget your time for that week so that you will have enough time to do each assignment and reading on schedule. Making a plan and sticking to it will go a long way!

Be Prepared                                        

When you go to class or out to study, make sure that you bring everything that you might possibly need for the day. Be sure to have enough writing instruments (i.e. pens, pencils, highlighters, a laptop, etc.), and all of the books and research materials that you might need… there is nothing worse than unpacking your backpack, sitting down to write a paper, and realizing there is that one article you should have brought with you.... but didn't. Make sure to that you pack chargers for your electronics (so that you are not left with a dead battery), and include any items you need to make you feel comfortable and focused. I always like to have a pair of headphones, a water bottle, a snack, and hand lotion with me when I study. 

I Forgot Something Important Meme

Track Your Progress                         

Grade Tracker

Write down each grade that you receive, so that you know exactly where you are standing in your courses. If you are unsure about your grades, knowing exactly how you need to perform for the rest of the semester to reach your goals will help to motivate you, and help you to prioritize your study time. Keeping track of your progress will also allow you to see if you are improving or not, and will give you the opportunity to reflect on what you are doing to help yourself improve. 

Get Help                                              

Getting Help
Photo courtesy of

If your semester is not going the way you want it to, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are tons of people on campus who would be more than happy to help you reach your goals. Reach out to your classmate for help. Sometimes group discussion can help to make concepts more clear. You could even consider getting a peer tutor. Just be careful that when you are seeking help from classmates, it really is just help – getting them to do work for you is considered plagiarism, and that’s just not cool. If talking to a classmate isn’t what you need, check out your professor’s office hours. They hold them because they want students to visit and to ask questions. Plus, knowing your professors can really help you out if you are planning to apply for grad school later on! If you are struggling with writing, time management, or other academic skills, check out one of the many student services on campus.

What tips do you use to help you study? Do you have a goal you’re trying to reach for the semester? Let us know! 


About the Author

My name is Erin and I’m going into my eighth, and final, year at the University of Alberta. When I grow up, I want to be a fairy princess… but since the U of A doesn’t offer that program, I am working on completing my Bachelor of Elementary Education.

I can usually be found consuming excessive amounts of caffeine in the library, volunteering with my sorority sisters, or hitting up the latest campus events.

What I love most about the U of A is how different the experience is for everyone, and how many experiences each student can have. I hope to share my stories and yours, so that together we can discover what this amazing campus has to offer!


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