Our mental outlook affects our academic performance as well.
It is important to realize that you will need time to rest, eat well, and do other things for your mind and body to allow for your optimum mental performance, this includes quality time with friends and family.
Below we have gathered some resources for you that we think may help lead to your own academic success. The topics include:
We also provide you with a comprehensive list of all available resources on-campus to improve your chances of academic success.
Good luck and study hard!
Academic success is closely connected to successful use of time. Everyone is given the same 24 hours to each day, but not everyone has the same attitude in making the most of the 24 hours. Here are 5 things you can do to enhance academic success through time management:
Make the decision to manage your time by managing yourself. You control your life. Choose your goals and make them happen. Check out some of the PDFs we have attached if you want to learn how to choose and manage goals.
Pay attention to your time. Plan on what you can reasonably do now and what you will have to do later. But always make sure you do it!
Make lists/goals and carry a calendar. Staying organized will maximize your time effectiveness. Check out some of the PDFs we have attached if you want some templates!
Anticipate your life and be realistic. Consider the demands in your life and be forgiving when accommodating changing needs. Don't forget - everyone needs to sleep, eat, and take of themselves.
Learn when and how to say no. There is simply not enough time to do everything, so make sure to set your priorities, consider your options, and then organize your plans. Saying NO to competing demands, requests, or wishes can help ease your stress.
For more information on ways to better time manage - check out the links below!
Creating a daily schedule is sometimes necessary to effectively make use of your time. Sometimes, it is difficult sticking to a schedule. Here are a few apps we really enjoy to make your schedule and time more effective.
My Class Schedule keeps your student life organized! This app will not only keep you informed about your upcoming classes, but also reminds you of exams and unfinished homework.
Beauty, simplicity and reliability - myHomework Student Planner has a simple, well-designed interface, making it easy for anyone to use.
Creating a daily schedule is not always easy. Here are some guided documents that you can download, print, and take with you to improve your time management.
Students have different strengths and preferences in the way they take in and process information - meaning, individuals have different learning styles. Some of the common differences in learning include:
Educational Theorist David Kolb offers a simple model of how people learn. There are 4 categories of learning, with the first two (CE and AC) being opposites and the last two (RO and AE) also being opposites:
Trying to decipher and interpret your own learning style may more difficult and stressful. Here are 2 questionnaires that can guide you to learning style:
Encourage yourself to study through rationale thinking by:
Recognizing your irrational ideas about studying and replace them with more helpful ideas.
These could be the tv, music, your friends, neighbors, your roommate(s), doors slamming, etc.
Find a good study place - study only at this one place and only study in that place.
Make sure the space you chose is comfortable - good lighting, ventilation, comfortable chair, large surface space, etc.
Internal distractions may be more difficult to eliminate than external ones. Planning and finding ways to free your mind for studying is essential.
If you find yourself distracted by personal problems then set aside time to deal with these problems, either by yourself or with the help of your friends or a counselor. Talking and developing a plan of action can help reduce your concern.
Tip to free-ing your mind: Keep a card or notepad in your study area and write down appointments, errands, or thoughts that come to your mind as they occur.
Adequate notes are necessary to study efficiently and learn. Here are some suggestions to improve your note taking system:
Variety of Note Forms - Download this PDF and print to learn different ways to take notes. Copy one as is or adapt it to your own unique style!
Many college courses have a vocabulary of special terms or theories a student must learn before they can communicate intelligently and academically about the subject. Thus, students may be required to memorize a large number of new words or concepts in a short-period of time.
Here are some exercises to give you practice using a systematic approach to memorization. Use this tool as is or adapt it your own unique learning style!
In one sitting, go through all the terms listed below using the steps described next.
Step 1: Memory Search
Ask yourself if anything in your past experience or knowledge relates to the term or concept you want to learn. If you can remember / recall related information, you can probably remember the definition of the new term by connecting it to the already known information.
Step 2: Mnemonic Connection
If step 1 is insufficient to help you remember the term, try to make an "artificial" mnemonic connection. Ask yourself:
1. Does the term sound or look like any word I already know? Can I make up some sort of imaginary connection between the two?
2. If #1 doesn't work, does the first syllable of the new term match the first syllable of any words that I know? And can this be used as a connection?
3. If that does not work, is there any other way I can make a connection between the new word and one that I already know? (maybe something that rhymes!)
4. If all else fails, you will have to resort to simple rote memorization.
This step is very important to make the work of Part 1 worthwhile.
About 3-6 hours after completing Part 1, review the terms in these ways:
1. While looking at each term (but without looking at its definition) try to recall the memory connection for that term.
If you remember the connection, try to recall the definition of the term or concept and then check yourself.
If you do not remember the connection, take another look at it and spend some time visualizing it in relation to the definition.
Review again the same way after a few hours if you feel the need to.
Give yourself a self-administered test or quiz to practice the terms or concepts. You might be able to find one online or ask a classmate, friend, or professor to quiz you.
Let a few hours pass between looking at the definitions and taking the practice exam - you want to make sure you are only testing your long-term memory!
When you are finished, rank the difficulty level of completing the exam on a 1-10 scale (1 = "this was the easiest thing I've done all year", 10 = "that was the hardest thing everrrrr"). Also highlight the terms that were the most difficult for you or any you were not able to get.
Stress is an inherent part of daily living. The need to keep current with e-mail messages and faster-paced computers, complete To Do lists, and do "more" with "less" renders a sense of being always on the go.
We feel stressed when the demands on our system are not met with equally effective coping strategies. We may have excellent coping skills for several areas and limited resources in a few. It is important to determine which areas are more challenging to make appropriate accommodations.
Three Reasons to Stress Out:
1. Changes in your life that leave an unsettling effect (moving to college)
2. You may feel challenged or threatened by an outside factor (exams, tests, classes, etc.)
3. Experiencing a loss of personal control
When experiencing any of these situations, a person can either resist it, avoid it, or adapt to it. Examine your pattern in the past when dealing with stressful experiences.
Every individual has their own way of responding to stress and we often react without thinking. To determine your best strategy for a given situation, try the following:
These techniques are meant to help you manage your stress or prevent over-stressing. But if you feel that you need to speak with someone professionally, please make an appointment by calling the Counseling Center at (410) 704-2512.
RECITE! This method is more effective than simply re-reading the material. Speaking out loud, say aloud from memory the main concepts, support facts, etc. that you think are important.
Study as if you are taking an essay exam. Make sure you can discuss the main issues of the topic or concept (including the main ideas/general concepts, important facts or supporting evidence, etc.)
Tests can be scary and stressful, but do not let it overwhelm you. Tests are just an evaluation of your work - so if you effectively study for your learning style, you should be able to handle a reasonable test.
Do easier questions or problems first and star any problems you have difficulty answering (it takes you longer than about 5 minutes) to remind yourself to come back to later.
Budget your time so you do not spend too much on any one question or section.
Answer all questions even when there is a guessing penalty. In the long run, you come out ahead.
Don't read too much into a question.
Most multiple choice exams have at least 1 or 2 answers that are blatantly wrong. Cross answers that you know for sure to be wrong out first and then chose from the remaining.
If you have good reason, change an answer. Research indicates that more answers are changed from wrong to right than from right to wrong.
Make sure you understand the full question that is being asked. For example, do you know the difference between "evaluating" and "describing"? Or between "comparing" and "contrasting"?
Always provide support for your general statements with facts, examples, or evidence. Convince the reader you know the subject.
These are some ideas that may help you while you are taking an essay exam. But to be thoroughly prepared, you must study for the exam in advance using your notes (see above information for note-taking skills).
Set up a time schedule:
If you have a time limit for the exam, then give each question a portion of the time.
For example, if you have 6 questions to be answered in 60 minutes, allow yourself 7 minutes for each question. When the time is up, stop and begin the next question. There will be about 15 minutes at the end to answer any incomplete answers
Answers will come to your mind immediately for some questions. Write down key words, listings, thoughts, etc. right away while they are fresh.
Take the time to reread your answer. When we rush, we tend to:
omit words or parts of words
omit parts of questions
miswrite dates and/or figures
There are several on-campus resources that you can seek out in order to obtain help in any of the above areas.
Disability Support Services at Towson University provides accommodations and services to students with various disabilities and some temporary impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. The DSS staff is available to answer questions concerning accommodations and services as well as to provide information about other resources on and off campus.
The Writing Center provides individual writing support to all members of the Towson community, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff members. We work with writers at any stage of the writing process from brainstorming to polishing a final draft.
For distance and commuter students who cannot make it to Towson's main campus, we offer virtual writing assistance. These sessions are conducted much like a live session in the Writing Center, but they take place online using WebEx, Towson's video chat software.