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2nd semester college student.

  1. Jan 28, 2009 #1
    Well i have one semester of college under my belt and overall i was pretty relaxed throughout the first half of the year. This semester my course load is 100x harder which is what i expected because i signed up for it! lol My schedule is as follows:
    Organic Chem
    Physics 112(second half of the algebra based)
    French 101

    My usual study method of going through and outlining the chapters does not seem to do the trick any more. For one thing it is VERY time consuming and it does not seem to be helping me in comprehending the material any more efficiently. I guess outlining helped me become more of an active reader rather than a passive one. Since I abandoned the outlining methods due to time constraints(i.e little to no free time) I have reverted back to becoming a passive reader. What do you guys/girls do to become more of an active reader?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2009 #2
    to sum up my question, what are the people carrying 23 credit semester doing to study more efficiently?
  4. Jan 28, 2009 #3
    get a speed reading book by wade cutler. it enhanced my reading speed more than i thought possible.
  5. Jan 28, 2009 #4
    lol I don't know if it would be a good idea to speed read through a chemistry book or any book of science for that matter. But i will look into to that!
  6. Jan 28, 2009 #5
    When I took that many credits, it was especially useful to be an active reader. In physics (in my case the calc-based version) I made sure I could work the sample problems and all assigned and the extra recommended problems. In Organic chem, I kept a page of separate notes on the important reactions that I needed to know about (often on our tests we had to start with one given and write out how to make a desired product). I too took French during my tough term, but I'd had French in high school, so for me this was a bit of a break from my science and math courses (I tested into 300-level french but it didn't fit into my schedule so they let me take 200-level). I honestly cut back drastically on my sleep (not the advice you want to hear or necessarily give, but it's true)... but I did this so I could still have some personal time (I played the piano for thirty minutes every morning before having breakfast at 7AM) and friend time (I remember after a particullarly difficult week I went ice-skating with friends and it wore me out so much I slept a full 8 hours that night... and it felt like I'd slept a week!). That was a personal choice, however, and at the time I was a natural insomniac anyways.
  7. Jan 28, 2009 #6
    lol yeah it seems that sleep is something that many college students sacrifice. Was there any specific technique(s) that you would use while trying to read a dense textbook? Thanks for the input btw!
  8. Jan 28, 2009 #7
    In general I say read a section and make notes in the margins if necessary, then try as many examples as possible. Start out with easy examples that focus on using basic formulas or algorithms. Then move on to the ones that require a bit more depth/understanding of the material. Make a list of questions that you have attempted but were too hard (and keep your attempts on paper) and bring them to your prof's office hours.
  9. Jan 28, 2009 #8


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    Try explaining what you've read to others (a study group for example). You may think you've understood something, but the moment you stand up and try to explain it the areas that you're unsure of start to become very clear.
  10. Jan 29, 2009 #9
    Make mindmaps or "webs" of chemical reactions for the organic section. That way, you can keep track of all the alternative routes to a certain product. It helps a lot if you're a visual learner. You learn patterns instead of swallow lines of facts.
  11. Jan 29, 2009 #10
    this is all GREAT advice! Thanks! Has anyone tried that SQ3R method? overrated?
  12. Jan 29, 2009 #11
    I also found a pretty neat research article about "mapping" in physics just yesterday (attached as an Adobe pdf). It would be a neat idea to organize some of these meetings yourself with fellow students (study groups often help!). Also -- you might want to look into what tutoring centers are available on campus (and the quality of their tutors... sometimes the TA's like to limit themselves to the homework sets only, but other times they are open to trying to help set up the big picture / summarize).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2009
  13. Jan 29, 2009 #12


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    Since the attachment is a journal article, I will provide the link (http://prst-per.aps.org/abstract/PRSTPER/v5/i1/e010102) instead of approving the attachment. At the moment the article is freely available there, but as I don't know that this will be the case in the future, this will avoid any potential copyright issues.
  14. Jan 29, 2009 #13
    I could never seem to build any consistency with them. I could never make it a habit of doing them. I'll have to look into this website though. Thanks!
  15. Jan 30, 2009 #14
    I usually try to read ahead the night before my classes. It seems like when i read a passage or a law I always have problems deducing other things from it. I guess that would mean that I am having some trouble seeing the larger picture so to speak. Has anyone else experienced this?
  16. Jan 30, 2009 #15
    Are you not taking any mathematics courses?
  17. Jan 30, 2009 #16
    No. I am I Biology major and Psychology minor. I only had/have to take Calculus(tested out of) and Statistics.
  18. Feb 6, 2009 #17
    Though I am a 5th semester Engineering Student and the maximum credit hours I have taken so far in one semester is 19, I also had the same problem of having little time and lots of course to cover.

    The way I have handled this problem is by being physically and mentally present in the class, Taking notes and then doing Group study. Even if you do passive reading,It takes lots of time.But if you have a friend explaining to you the details of the topics while you have your notes and book openned infront of you then you might get the same thing done quickly.

    But remember that if your friend and your notes leave some important point given in the book then there is a much greater probability that you never even think that it was in the course till you see it in the exam. So keep good company and try this method sometime. I hope it works for you.
  19. Feb 6, 2009 #18
    When I'm studying a difficult subject, I like to read each chapter at least three times. I have also found that it helpful to write down a summary of important information while reading, such as important concepts and equations.
  20. Feb 6, 2009 #19
    I think this is the most common habbit that all students bring when they enter Professional Colleges. So the problem is that you are not even supposed to memorize the whole chapters by heart. The thing that you should do is

    > Do read and prepare only the topics that are related to your course. Do not try to be "The one who knows everything written in the book (with page numbers as well)".

    >The summary of important points and information should be noted in the lectures and rewritten during preparation so that you are completely clear about them.

    >Study to clarify these important concepts and information. DONT waste time to study the whole chapter three times to just identify these points.IDENTIFICATION SHOULD BE DONE IN THE LECTURES ie notes.

    I hope this works for you.
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