Archive for January 2011

A New Semester Begins

January 5, 2011

It is the start of a new year. For most of us, that means the start of a new semester and further study. We start brand new. We have a chance to aim for and attain the highest grades. Here are some tips to get you started on the right track.

1. Buy your textbooks. You can not get by without them. Even if you have to borrow money for the books or share a book with a friend, buy the book. The lessons and assignments depend on them. Examples of excellent writing are in those books.

2. If a computer program comes with the book, use it. Get logged into the account within the first week of school. There are examples, exercises, rules and tips in these computer programs. Use them to their maximum advantage.

3. Sit in a spot in your class room so that you will not be distracted. To some this means sitting in the front row. If it is a distance class, look up your professor’s on line office hours and put this information in a prominent place so you can ask questions and get help throughout the semester.

4. Get the teacher to know your name. In large classes, this is somewhat more challenging. In distance education classes this comes through on line participation. Ask questions if you are unsure and make comments appropriately. The questions you have and might be afraid to ask are probably the same questions that many other people have. Participate.

5. Go to the lectures and the labs. Use your time wisely. Skipping a 3 hour class, puts you way behind. It is hard to catch up. Go to class with paper and pens or computer. Expect to learn something new each class. Use your lab time starting the assignments and completing the work required of you. If it is a distance class, do the readings and the exercises as is suggested in the overall plan. If you fail to do the reading, you will not be able to do the assignments properly. The exercises help you understand what you are learning and help measure your success.

6. Use an agenda. Most schools give you an agenda in September or at the start of a semester. Write all the due dates for all your major projects and your test dates into the agenda. Many of you can use the calender feature on your phone to do the same thing. This will help you so that you do not over commit at work or to friends and family. Follow your agenda.

7. Use time in between classes wisely. Use it to study or read the chapters or do your homework. Social life is really important, but you are attending post secondary education to help launch your career. School should be your first priority. If you are in distance education, use your time between assignments wisely. Do the readings and reread past papers and comments on them to help you improve.

These are just some ideas to get you started. The sky is the limit. No matter how you did in your classes last semester, you have a new chance to excel. Go for excellence and perhaps it just might land you a scholarship next year!