In the first two discussions we tackled the what and when of your student obligations. In the third discussion, we advanced to the how -- focusing on efficient strategies for taking notes and solving problem sets. This discussion picks up where the last left off, turning our attention to test preparation and paper writing.
The same general plan philosophy from part 1 holds here as well. I've repeated the key ideas below...
The plan philosophy argues that you can make your life much better by actually devoting some time to thinking through your approach to academic work. It consists of the following three principles:
There's no perfect strategy for a given academic task that will work for all students in all situations. So long as you follow the three principles from above, however, you'll find the perfect strategy for you. Below in the related articles I provide some suggested strategies to get you started, but ultimately it will be up to you to figure out what works.
(Note: These are the same general links on the philosophy as those listed in last week's discussion.)
Use the project folder method for the exams and papers you face in the remainder of the semester. This method will force you to lay out a specific, step-by-step plan for tackling these challenges.
As with the experiment from the last discussion, don't settle for the first plans that come to mind. Use the above articles to think through something smart. Compare it to the plans devised by your SHOC group members, and solicit feedback.
I have the same warning as in last week's discussion: simplicity rules. Students abandon plans when they become too time consuming and unwieldy to consistently use. Focus on reducing time, not increasing complexity. And if something about a plan doesn't feel right, change it. They key is to find something that you trust is making your life better.