How to Study for Exams

Now everyone has a different way of learning, but I have always been the kind of person that needs to study things in several different ways for it to stick. When I was in high school, I used to be the kind of student that looks at the material minutes before a test and I would somehow manage to get an A. As soon as college came around, I quickly learned that I was not able to do that any longer. The material in college is far more complex and what you would learn in an entire semester in high school, is what you learn in the first two weeks in college. I have had to learn different methods to help put all this information in brain and actually make it “stick” because this information is no longer “not going to be used in life” and is now specific for your major which you will use every day. So, to help me get the information in “the storage” of my brain, I have developed a few tools to help me learn.

  1. Don’t wait last minute to study: Like I said before, I used to just look at the material minutes before a test. Now, I have learned that as soon as you get the material in class, to go home and study it right there and then. Most things you learn is a building process, so if you don’t understand what you learned the week before, you won’t understand what you are learning currently. It can be as simple as just looking over your notes.
  2. Make notecards: By making notecards, you are writing down the material which is proven to help register the information in your brain more. It also provides an easy review before the exam.
  3. Read the Book: I know that this one can be hard at times because there is a lot of “fluff” around the important content in the book, but it is crucial that you go over this information as well. There is only so much information a professor can give you in “x” amount of time. Therefore, there could be very important information in the textbook that could be on the exam. The professors are expecting you to read the material so don’t think that it won’t. I learned that it helped me to first go read the objectives of the chapter and see what is important and then to go back and read about the selective material.

Everyone has a different way of studying, but these three things greatly helped me in passing exams and making it “stick”.

-Jacqueline, student scholar

Study Group Sessions

Everyone has experienced that study group session where it ends up being the focus of anything other than the subject you actually want to study. Instead of studying the Insulin types and oral treatments for Diabetes, you end up talking about your family, pets, or something that happened in work. Then, your “study group” eats some food and goes on their way back home. You realize that was a waste of five hours and begin to panic because the test is in two days.

Instead of repeatedly having unsuccessful study groups, here are some tips to really learn your material and help others who are struggling to learn. First, do NOT go to a study group unless you have studied the material yourself. It’s okay to tell your group no and that you should get caught up by yourself, but maybe another time. If you go to a study group knowing nothing, you will leave knowing nothing and be more overwhelmed. You may learn a few key points, but that study session will not allow you to retain the material. Study the subject before going to the study session because you can contribute, clarify, and ask others about struggling concepts. Along with studying, make the groups SMALL! I cannot stress that enough. If you have a group of 8, split it in half. It won’t be the end of the world, if anything you will get more into detail about the material.  So, we went over studying beforehand and size of the study groups, now there should also be variety. Please, do not make a group with people who are only good in the area you know, invite people who may struggle in the area. You help other classmates and actually learn the material better by teaching it and you may also learn more material in a section you struggle with yourself.

I hope this helps!

-Emma, Student Scholar

Break Time!

College can become overwhelming and taking a break doesn’t always get your mind completely off the workload sitting back on your desk. Personally, when I take my breaks, I have to keep my mind occupied or it will wonder back and repeatedly go through a list of my school work. I actually become more anxious, meanwhile my break was meant for me to relax. If you are anything like me, you have to do something in those 10 minutes or you drive yourself insane.

To take my mind completely off school work for that brief period, I usually do some crafts. One activity I usually do is called latch hooks, which are usually in arts and craft stores (like Joann’s or Michael’s). The latch hook kit, that comes with everything except the latch hook tool, can cost between 10 to 30 dollars depending on the size of the canvas. I usually buy a 15-dollar canvas because after they are finished I can sew them onto a pillow, make a small rug, or even hang them on the wall. However, that one project can last me for months because I only work on the latch hook in between study breaks.

The best thing to do is find a simple activity and ONLY use it for study breaks when your mind just can’t stop racing with thoughts. Some people may watch Netflix, but be cautious. If “are you still watching?” comes up on your screen, you have definitely taken too long of a break. In another blog, I will have some more suggestions for break time activities!

-Emma, Student Scholar

Choosing to Go to a Community College

Deciding to go to CCBC was the greatest decision I could have made as a high schooler because it gave me many opportunities. Because of how hard I worked on my grades in high school, I was lucky enough to get two free years at CCBC. This was not my reasoning for choosing CCBC. A lot of college students that go away for college are broke, eat unhealthy, gain weight, and don’t spend time with family. I did not want to be like that, so I chose to go to a community college. This gave me the opportunity to continue working while I went to school. I was able to make good grades, pay my bills, and have fun.

Many of my friends that went away to college complain about how they don’t eat good food, so they are gaining weight. I still get to eat great meals that my mother cooks though.

The cost of tuition at CCBC is significantly cheaper than a state college. Plus, there are smaller classes with less students. This means that students get more one on one time if they need it. This is a really big advantage because I was able to get the help that I needed really quick.

Community college is also a great choice because you do not have to pay for a dorm, you get to live with your parents still or live on your own without a roommate. I always thought that it would be weird to be put into a room with someone I never met and have to tolerate living with them. I would rather be able to live by myself or with my parents, while still having the opportunity to make friends at college. In the long run, Community College is a great place to start because you get the college experience while saving money, then you are prepared for when you need to transfer to another college.

-Shianna, Student Scholar

Video Class project

Last semester in my video class we got to do our first real client project for the Monaca Hall of Fame Committee.  First, we met with one of the Committee members Marlene and we discussed that the class was going to redo the Monaca Hall of Fame video/DVD.  During the meeting we also talked about how the symbol of Monacatootha was inaccurate- he wears one feather instead of a headdress which we later incorporated in the project.   After that, everybody in the class got assigned a different task that they wanted to do for the project. Some tasks were logo design, DVD menu and sleeve, and music and B-roll footage collector.

The main objective of the Hall of Fame is to recognize former or present citizens of Monaca for their contributions to the community. This year James Vincent Moore, Julia R. Swink, Michael and Laura Rubio and Nancy Woods got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Also, every nominee who is inducted both past and present have a plaque at the Hall of Fame.

Then the next week in class we started to film at various locations around Monaca like the post office, cable crossings, and Hall of Fame building.

On the night of October 23, 2016 we had to be there at 5:30 to set the camera and tripod up.  Two people in the class Michael and Jesse worked the camera.  Another couple of people Sydney and Vanessa operated the GoPro camera as the nominees walked up to their seats and our professor helped to record the audio.