Study Time in College

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crop380w_istock_000002193842xsmall-booksWith finals approaching quickly, Jenny Fiedeldey, the Math Department Chair, wanted to share her advice on study time.

College courses require time and repetition of materials and concepts.  The general rule of thumb for a college class is to work 2-3 hours a week outside of class for every hour in class.  Because most of the Chatfield College classes last 2 ½ hours long, this works out to 5-7.5 hours of study time PER WEEK.
Welcome to your new part-time job!

If you really want to succeed in class, this is what it takes.  So after doing homework, what else is there to do?  Study time includes:

Planning your study time– you’ve got to set aside time to study; otherwise it won’t happen
Reading the text book– there might be other topics or examples the teacher didn’t cover
Making note cards– great for reinforcing dates, formulas, vocabulary, lists of steps, etc
Copying daily class notes– into another notebook to reinforce ideas and to see what’s missing in the class notes
Working in study groups – teaching/learning from other students is sometimes easier
Practicing vocabulary– every course has its own set of words that you need to learn/understand
Working with a tutor– working one-on-one with another person can get you individual attention
Making list of questions to ask– being prepared for the next class uses class time wisely
Working extra problems to prepare for any quizzes or tests- do more than what is assigned, especially if you are having difficulties.  Not every student “gets it” in the same amount of time.
Organizing your folders/binders – being organized with your papers actually helps your brain to be organized with the material.  Date all handouts and notes so they can be organized.
Practicing note cards– keep those note cards handy so that any time you are waiting (in line, picking up kids at practice, etc) you can flip through them.  Great for quizzes and tests!
Working problems/reading articles online – the internet has tons of videos on YouTube. Khan Academy and other sites that explain how to do many, many things.  There is also an abundance of articles to read on multiple topics.  Take advantage of these to help you understand material.
Meeting with instructor– ANY time you have an issue, the first person you should see and talk with is the instructor.  They can help themselves or at least point you in the direction you need to go.  This can be done via email or in person before/after class.  Make an appointment to have any discussion more than 5 minutes long.

For most students with work and family responsibilities, this is hard, but not impossible, even in the best of circumstances.  PLAN your study time so that it gets on the calendar.  If you find you are falling behind, DON”T WAIT, seek help from the many resources that the college has to offer, including your teacher!

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