Studying to no avail…

posted 2 years ago in College
Post # 2
Member
4036 posts
Honey bee

Haruyou:  While the family deaths/illnesses are very unfortunate and out of your control, you can control other elements of your life and schedule. If you are truly struggling with grieving, then seek help, immediately. 

1. Stop focusing on wedding planning. While your wedding is important, finishing your education is way more important and will impact your future in a much larger way. Only do the basics you need for the wedding or enlist the help of family and friends.

2. Talk with your professors and seek tutoring or help. Is there a resource or study center of campus? Ask a group of friends to study with you for exams. Review tests you have failed and understand WHY you are failing them. Is it because you are not understanding the content or are you studying the wrong things for the tests?

3. If you can’t focus on studying at home, find another environment. I studied at the library and coffee shop. Being at home was way too distracting for me (tv, my DH, my dogs). 

You can and need to pull it together. Repeating a semester or even a year will cost you more money and time. I get that getting married is exciting, but you need to prioritize your education and future for the two of you right now. Your wedding will be one day, your education can set you up for a lifetime of success.

Post # 3
Member
3300 posts
Sugar bee

I second the PP who said to talk to your professors- they are there to help you and will be able to suggest ways that you can pull your grades up, wheter it be through tutoring, extra help or possible modified assignments. I struggled a bit during my last year of undergrad as well, especially in one particular course, and going in to talk about it really helped- my professor had a better understanding of my situation and we worked out a plan that let me earn the grade I needed. Go in soon- if you wait until the last minute, they will be less willing to help you.

Post # 4
Member
6727 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

Are there any TAs for the class that offer private tutoring sessions? Are there office hours you can attend? Recitations to get extra practice problems? Solution manuals you can buy online to practice problems and check your work? I found working in groups on homework to be really beneficial, as you can talk through problems and get insights from others in the same class.

Rule of thumb is that for every hour you spend in the classroom, you should spend 1 hour per night studying. Read the lecture notes ahead of time so that you go into the class prepared and with some a priori knowledge of what they’re talking about. Then you can recall the notes better. Re-read them again after the lecture to solidify them to memory. Spend about 20 minutes per night working on homework, and not cramming at the last minute. Spend some time reading the textbook if there is something in the lecture that was confusing. 

What field are you in? I guess your studying habits will kind of depend on your field.

Post # 6
Member
6727 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

Haruyou:  When you ask for help you should take specific examples of things that you have questions about. Make an outline or something to show that you are organized and help them to help you. Sitting in the front, writing notes and taping them isn’t studying.

Check your syllabus, there should be something on there about when their office hours are. I’ve never heard of professors turning students away – if that is the case you should alert your department chair.

 

Post # 7
Member
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Haruyou:  I worked for academic support as an undergrad, and I think you have gotten some good suggestions so far. However, what really helped in my upper division classes was knowing the professors styles of lecturing and testing. I’m guessing by now, you’ve had these professors before (hopefully?), have you considered whether they focus on textbook material, lecture material, powerpoint material, labs, demonstrations, readings, or something else? The syllabus will often emphasize all of these elements, but experience will show you which of these are tested on the MOST. I have seen so many bright students study all of the wrong material.

Alternatively, I also know that some majors are extremely difficult and students are grateful just to pass their exams. How are your peers doing on their exams? I shared a few classes with pre-med students and they were grateful for C+ grades on their three hour essay exams. In that case, my advice is a study group, because I’m sure you’re already doing everything you possibly can on your own.

Best wishes, I believe in you!!

Post # 8
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Haruyou:  You’ve gotten a lot a great advice from pp! I know PT school is no joke – I took gross anatomy with them this summer. 

From my experience, a lot of grad school is self-study, even in the theory classes. Are you doing ALL the reading? Making study guides off of the objectives? Recording the lectures and listening to them again (you can play them @ double-speed to save time but still hear the information).

I also love Quizlet – a website for electronic flashcards. I put all of the study points into flashcard form, but I don’t have to keep track of numerous pieces of paper. I think of the Quizlet or flashcards as ‘passive studying’ – I can just flip through without heavily exerting my brain at the end of the day when I’m tired and can sort them into know and not know. I don’t know.. it works well for me!

It might be too late in your program to try to establish a new thing, but there are only 24 in my class and we all have a google drive together. We share helpful study info that we find. Things like youtube videos, helpful diagrams, etc.

Study groups are also really helpful. Sometimes we just study quietly in a study room at the library, but can ask each other questions if we get to a part that we’re struggling with. A lot of time, it’s not extremely difficult material, just high quantity with a lot of detail. Learning mneumonics and just talking about the material with your classmates really helps it stick. The day before a test, my study group and I do “rapid fire quizzing” and just quiz each other back and forth.

Honestly, you might need to spend more than 6 hours a day studying. I’m in CRNA school, not PT, but my average study day (with or without class) is usually around 12 hours. Sometimes 14 or 15, sometimes only 10. Roughly 70 hours a week on average.. I take a little time off on the weekends.

Your professor’s comments sound like they think you’re on the right track, but you needed a little more study time to fill in the details to perform well on the exam. I think of it as learning the framework, then adding more and more layers to get as detailed as possible.

One more thing I just thought of! Are there any resources at your school for test taking strategies? Sometimes you know the information, but misread a question or anxiety forces you into silly mistakes that cost you points. That would be an easy fix! Test taking strategies will save your life and are totally real haha.

Post # 9
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I find a multi-modal approach to studying to be the most effective. Reading, hearing, discussing, writing, organizing, summarizing, listing, color coding, etc. Attack the information from different directions until it sticks.

Post # 10
Member
374 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

As someone who graduated in a somewhat similiar field (Clinical Laboratory Science), I went through the same thing you did (and I wasnt even planning a wedding at the time lol). I can honestly say that likely the cause of your issue is the method in how you are studying. Not the amount of time necessarily. Not everyone can learn the same way. Example: It is very difficult for me to learn through your traditional methods. I have to do a lot of  practical application style learning. I would have to think about how I would apply the things I’m learning in real life. What it would mean for the patient, and their diagnosis, and how would the results I am giving them, help the doctor come to that point. It makes a lot more sense to me than mindlessly memorizing stats and parameters without really understanding why I am learning it. Also, groups helped me tons. We would bounce different types of questions off of each other, make different flow charts, diagrams, regular charts. You name it, we did it. By the time I finished my program, I realized, I didnt nnecessarily need to study non stop, I just needed to find the method that actually made things stick and study smarter. In my later, more advanced classes, I ended up doing much better and having more time to spare by perfecting my study method. And always remember to eat regularly and healthy. It helps SO much when you need to have your energy.

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