organizing myself...


The Freshmaker!
Jun 29, 2004
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Poland, Sz-n
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hi ... it's me again with another students' problem :)

I agree... I'm a busy girl. I study and I spend time at university every day. then I com home, eat something and start learning for tomorrow, write essays or I go to training or extra classes. ok it may make it easier:
monday: school 10-6 pm
thuesday: school 10-4 pm, 5pm-7pm volleyball training
wednesday: school 8-4
thursday: 9-12 school; 12.30-14 work;
friday: school 8-12, 4 -7 english classes, 7.45-10pm dancing classes...

I need somebody to help me organize myself and give some tips and tricks on good way to study. it's been bothering me that i spend so much time in the evening preparing for tests and exams and my notes are not very satisfying.
And well.. I started to think because I've been learning so hard mostly for notes - I do want to have a scholarship... but after all it is not a big cash... that's why I was thinking on applying for a job on weekends and/or evenings... part time something. but it will definitely harm my studies... not that I'll fail but I'll have lower notes and so on... ehhhh

ehhhh I know this post is without any sens but ... well.. write me please how did you study... did you work during university/ college? how did you practice after school then?
sounds like a busy schedule mentos, i don't envy you... i didn't really enjoy school that much. I had tuition waivers and worked part-time (15 hours/week). I wasn't very organized so I'm not going to be much help to you there. I think school in the states is pretty easy compared to other countries because I ditched a lot of my classes and still managed to graduate in the top 10% of my class. So, take my advice with a grain of salt because i know everybody learns differently...

Look at past exams for the class you are taking, talk to people that have had the class/professor before just to get a feel for the style of tests, which will help you focus your studies on the right subjects. During lectures, try to predict test questions the prof may come up with on the material he is presenting... some times you will actually notice them extra emphasizing something... make a note of it. When it comes time to study for an exam, you should be able to predict the types of questions you will see. This will help you focus your studies and spend less time studying less important elements.

I got good at taking tests so i rarely "studied". I did the required assignments, slept through most of my classes, and crammed hard before each exam. it worked in all but 2 of my classes. To me one intense night of stress was better than three weeks of stressed out nights.

And if there is ever a special study session right before the test... be sure to attend these! they recap everything that will be covered on the test.

Good Luck!
this may depend on what kind of person you are... but i would get a feel for my classes and set realistic goals so i wouldn't kill myself. If I could get a 'B' in a class with minimal effort whilst an 'A' would destroy me mentally and physically, i would shoot for the 'B' which would allow me to focus more attention on other classes where an 'A' was a little easier to obtain. Otherwise you may expend all your energy on that one class and the rest of your grades/marks will suffer for it.

Of course some people won't except less than perfect marks... my sisters both graduated with perfect 4.0 GPAs... of course they didn't have much of a life for 4 years either...
If you are keeping those hours you must be doing something right!

I went to school from 8-3 and worked from 4-11:30 PM. During the summer I worked two jobs. If I studied it was when I got home. I didn't study a lot and my grades were B's most of the time. I tried not to let school run my life and to maintain some sort of a normal life. I knew a lot of kids who were killing themselves trying to get all "A" grades but it wasn't that important to me.

It appears your weekends are free and that is a good time to study. If you need the money and have to work weekends then like you said, it cuts into your study time.

I think it is important to keep some time for yourself and not to burn yourself out.

Of course I went to school under different conditions than young people face today but that's what worked for me. I'm more than likely the most unorganized person you ever meet but I don't care. Life is to short not to enjoy it.
looks like you're already pretty well organised mentos.

I read somewhere that it is a good idea to have the same room where you study all the time. If you can, try and make it the same room that you will eventually take your exam in. Breaks are very important to have, this allows your brain to assimilate what you have been rivising, do something different and try not to think about it for 20 minutes.

Your probably best ignoring my advice though. I never passed many exams when i was at school :(
if your weekends are free. Study or work on saturday but make sunday your rest day. Don't study don't work. Do things around the house. Instead of taking 1 hour to rush the ironing, do it on sunday infront of the telly with your favourite movie. If you are behind on study do a little, but make sure you have a bit of "me" time. What's the point of studying if you'll burn yourself out or have no idea about the world around you.
One of my mum's techniques, which is quite effective is to summarise (precis really) a section of a course onto a small rolodex card. It's clever, because to summarise or precis something, you need to fully understand it.

So... try getting a big concept onto a card. You'll find that you will be able to completely recall the card when doing an exam. The trick is to making sure you got everything you need to answer the questions onto the card.

That's a technique I find effective for revising, but to read your question, you were asking how to manage your work/study/money/life balance. Well that's a bit more tricky really isn't it!! If you are tired, stressed and working too hard, your memory will suffer. Downtime is essential - take at least one day to avoid mental strain. (if you can!) Otherwise, you've just got to soldier on through it and see what happens at the other end.

General advice (all things that worked for me) - With any study session, summarise your notes at the end of it. Set yourself some questions and see if you can answer them without looking at the notes. Try explaining what you have studied to someone who knows nothing about it. Review your summary again the next day.

Exam technique. Read the instructions carefully, and answer the right number of questions. Each question will be worth a certain number of marks. If there are 100 marks in total and it is a 3 hour exam, then you have 1.8 minutes per mark, so work out how much time to spend on each question (e.g. 20 marks = 20 x 1.8 = 36 minutes, including the time to read the question and makes notes before you start your answer). When the time is up, move on, because then you won't run out of time at the end. Also, you will already have scored most of the marks you are going to get for that question and you will do better by moving on to the next one and getting the easy marks on that. If you have time at the end, come back and add anything else that you think of. Read all your answers again before the end of the exam, and correct any mistakes if you can. If really pressed for time and can't finish (because you didn't follow the advice above!) then brief notes are better than no answer at all.

Sometimes it will depend on what you are studying. For example, when I was doing financial accounting and tax exams, I did lots of practice questions. Endless tax calculations, until my head felt like it would explode, but the exams were stress free. When I was doing law exams I obviously read the books, then to learn the cases I would write the name on one side of a card (Jones v. Smith 1907, Mrs Carlill v The Carbolic Smokeball Company, or whatever) and the details of the case on the other side, and went over them and over them like a 2 year old with flashcards. I did the same thing with the basic legal principles (a valid contract requires an offer, acceptance and valuable consideration - see, I can still remember it 12 years later...)

Years later I decided to move out of accountancy and into IT, so I did a university course in software design. What worked there was writing bits of code, and I used the flashcard thing again.

Phew. Does any of that make sense?

On time management, I did my accountancy exams after university while working, and my IT exams also while working, so that was 40 hours in the office plus 15 hours of study. The only way to do this is to have a schedule, put the study times in your diary, and give yourself some kind of reward at the end of the session - "Another 2 pages and I can have a cup of tea. Just one more hour and I can have a bath". You can't be disciplined with yourself if the only reward is a good job in 3 years time! You need short term incentives as well.

Thomsk (over qualified)
ahhh Photo Gal.. thanks for a hug! I needed it :)

ThomThomsk, Rob - thank you - that's a great bit of advice!
ThomThomsk said:
You can't be disciplined with yourself if the only reward is a good job in 3 years time! You need short term incentives as well.

and man would you be smelly

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