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Tips to study properly needed

  1. Dec 31, 2014 #1

    Table of contents:

    I: Summary
    II: Introduction
    III: Subjects I study
    IV: My problem
    V: Schedule and time I can spend studying
    VI: Questions I have


    I'm taking three subjects that I failed due to missing out on studying the last two months of the semester. I will take these exams again in 6-7 weeks. Excluding new subjects and time spent on those, I will have 32 hours each week to revise the failed subjects, which I can adjust as I like (my preferred schedule is under V). These subjects are very exercise based (math, statistics, physics, electronic circuits).

    How can I best spend my time to understand these subjects? Please read the last paragraph, the one under VI, for more detailed questions.

    I want to prepare as good as I can and show to myself that this can be done. I'm tired of failing.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I see a lot of similar threads, and I've dived into them without feeling particularly confident of how to combat my own problem of the sort.

    Due to a few tragic happenings in my close family 1-2 months before Christmas (serious illness and death) I had a lot of other things to take care off during this time - and I wasn't focused mentally on my final exams. This resulted in grades on my exams that I'm not comfortable with, and I will take them again in February (mid/late).

    These subjects are math (concerning topics such as La place transform/inverse, fourier series and transform etc.) and statistics (Mario F. Triola: Elementary Statistics chapters 1-14 (excluding chapter 12 and 13). This is one subject.

    Another subject is physics. I have amazing notes regarding this subject. Motion, newtons laws, work and energy, momentum and mass center, rotation, elasticity (slightly touching on the subject), fluid mechanics,thermal properties and thermodynamics. We also touch on chemistry, but that's only 30%. It's very basic chemistry.

    Lastly, I did ok in my electronics subject regarding transistor circuits, mosfet, op amps etc. I will, however, do this again as well if I have time. But the top two are my priority.

    In addition to this, I get three new subjects - all regarding electrical subjects. I'm not sure what the subjects translate to, but they're regarding PLC (subject is directly translated to Industrial controlling), electrical low voltage "systems" and automated systems.

    This is just to give you an idea of the difficulty, or lack there of, in my studies.

    What I'd like to know is how I can study these subjects efficiently. The three new subjects I'm comfortable with, because we have a lot of lectures and we now have opportunities to consult our teacher. Last year my university had a problem with a lot of teachers quitting at once mid semester so we barely had lectures and no opportunities to consult teachers. So I think I'll be fine if I put in work in these subjects.

    My problem is the other subjects, to fit them into my schedule. I reckon I have 6 weeks to study before my exams because they will under no conditions be any sooner. And if I get an extra week or two - that's bonus.

    Keep in mind that these aren't subjects that I'm totally blank on. I understand the very basics, and I kept along until the last two months of the semester - then I threw it away. This means I don't remember a lot of the easy parts we went through the first weeks - but with some revision I will be fine.

    Starting next week, this is my schedule: Lectures 8 am - 4 pm excluding:
    Monday: 3 hours.
    Tuesday: 1 hour.
    Wednesday: 4 hours.
    Thursday: 5 hours.
    Friday: 3 hours.

    This is subject to change, but I'll have 16 hours a week I can spend studying other subjects. I also reckon I can study at least 2 hours monday - friday during week days without burning myself out, and 6 hours on saturday/sunday. My plan is to take either saturday or sunday completely off - but if that's a bad idea please let me know.

    I'm going to assume that I get all the work done in my new subjects at school. If I don't, I will chuck in some extra work during some days so it doesn't affect the time I spend on my "failed" subjects. To make things clear, this is the time I will have to spend on math/stat, physics/chemistry and electronics including spare hours at school, spare time at home and 1 weekend day:
    Monday: 5 hours
    Tuesday: 3 hours.
    Wednesday: 6 hours.
    Thursday: 7 hours.
    Friday: 5 hours
    Saturday/sunday: 6 hours combined.

    = 32 hours per week when school starts - for 5 weeks = 165 hours + the week before starting now.

    These hours are outlined as I prefer to spend my time. I can increase or decrease time spent at any day. I just feel that this is a good plan for not burning out - but it's just a feeling I have.

    As you can see, I'm just trying to get an overview of the situation here, trying to convince myself that this task is possible.

    Things I would like to know: Is it good to assign each day to one subject? Such as Tuesday and Friday are physics/chemistry only, Monday and Thursday are math/stat only and Wednesday and weekend are electronics only? How often should I revise what I go through? Would I be better off splitting each day into 3 parts, and do a bit of all subjects, then do some revision at the end of the day - then spending my weekend day for revision only? Should I work for 45 minutes then take a walk for 15 minutes etc.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor

    You give potential advisors the task of reading a long post to deduce which topics concern you and how much time to have to study them. I suggest you summarize those facts. (Perhaps summarizing them would bring the problem into focus in you own mind.)
  4. Dec 31, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the comment! I rushed the post a bit, and I apologize for that. I've changed the opening post a bit, I hope it looks better.
  5. Dec 31, 2014 #4
    Ditch the triaola stats book. He is a very good professor (had him in person), however his book was not that great. I prefer ed Elementary Statistics: A step by step approach (forgot author).

    I am a bit puzzed. Are you taking differential equations and calculus 2? With a stats class? Physics? No wonder you had a hard time. I would advice to takr a class maybe 2 less.
  6. Dec 31, 2014 #5
    Awesome advice on the book, thanks a lot. I will be getting it.

    As far as the equivalents of the math based subject I'm taking, I'm not sure I can give you an answer. A teacher that's worked at the university I attend is teaching with his own notes, and it's a 3 part course. 1st semester, 2nd and 3rd. The 3rd one which I failed also included statistics.
    First and second order linear differential equations and putting these to use was a part of the course, as was Fourier series and transform, Laplace transform and inverse transform as well as Z-transform. Spherical geometry was also touched upon. We did a lot of other things as well, but these were the main categories. If you like, I can write down every category - no problem. Even if you're just curious :-p The statistics part was an introduction of course, and it also included these categories:

    Probability distribution
    Binomial and Poisson distribution
    Continuous probability distribution
    Normal distribution, with application?
    Hypothesis testing
    Comparison of two selections
    Correlation and regression
    Chi-square test
    Statistical process control

    I just included everything here.

    The physics part was mentioned in detail in my opening post.

    And while I do agree that it's a lot of work, I felt comfortable with it, and even if our teachers weren't available after lectures, I got a lot of help on these forums when I needed it. Even when I started losing lectures I got help, but it got to a point where I felt I couldn't rely on the good folks on this forums anymore.

    Not sure if you're interested in any of the information above, and if I've rambled on for no reason again, I apologize.

    I'm thankful for your reply and tips for the stat book, but I'm curious if you have any experience with how it's best to structure the workload? It might be very individual...
  7. Dec 31, 2014 #6


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    Try visiting the site http://www.cas.lsu.edu [Broken] and check out the section on learning strategies. In particular, you might find the description of the study cycle helpful in answering your questions.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Jan 1, 2015 #7
    The site looks very interesting indeed, but does it require any log ins or purchase to get the full content?

    It seems as a lot of information is missing on the site for me, and I'm not finding the study cycle that you refer to - only this: http://cas.lsu.edu/incorporating-study-cycle-instruction [Broken]

    It seems to show what the study cycle helps with, and from a teachers point of view, but I can't seem to find the actual cycle... :confused:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Jan 3, 2015 #8
    I apologize! I had some addons, popups or Java settings blocked so I couldn't see the slides.

    I'm now halfway through one of them, and I just got to the study cycle. I've been taking notes, and I just want to say this for everyone looking to improve their structure, effectiveness or the amount of actual knowledge gained from studying: Take a look at this site, take the tests, take notes from the slides and really do commit to understand what they're trying to teach.

    It's amazing, and it was just what I wished to gain from this post.

    Thank you so much Vela.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  10. Jan 3, 2015 #9


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    Glad you found the site helpful. A couple of my students last semester attended a presentation given by the person who runs that center at LSU, and they all said they found it helpful and wanted to try out some of her strategies. Hope it works out for you.
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