How to Succeed in Living Environment
How do I get a good grade in this course?
1. Come to class every day. Try to avoid being absent from school as much as possible. Do not schedule guidance or doctor's appointments during class. Attendance at lab is essential. If you have to miss a lab for any reason, make it up immediately!
2. Do all the homework, on time.
3. Study at least two hours for each exam (in addition to homework). Remember that coming to class, paying attention, and doing homework are necessary to succeed, but doing only those things are not enough. See below for studying tips.
4. If you have questions or concerns about assignments, your grade, or course material, it is your responsibility to ask me immediately. See me during your OPTA or after school for extra help.
Successful Study Strategies
Rereading your notes can be helpful, but it is better to do something more active with the material so that you will learn it better. Some suggestions include:
1. Reread your notes and handouts every night and write down questions that you have. This will take less than 20 minutes each day, but may save hours of study time when it comes closer to the exams. Discuss the questions that you write down with peers or with me.
2. Make your own study guide. Go through your notes and handouts, picking out all the information that is important (key words, concepts, etc.) and summarizing this information on another sheet of paper that you will use to help you study.
3. Write down a list of questions that you expect to appear on the exam. Try to answer each one in writing (not just saying the answer aloud), using complete sentences. As an even better study tool, do this with a friend in the class and then exchange papers so you each have to answer the other person's expected exam questions.
4. Make flashcards for vocabulary with the key word on one side and the definition or example on the back. You can study your flashcards at home, on the train or bus, or during lunch.
5. When you have finished reviewing the subject matter, visit the "Practice Exam Questions" page on the course webpage, and practice with as many of the topic-specific questions that you can. Most students find this extremely helpful because they familiarize themselves with the types of questions that tend to be asked on the exam.
Other Helpful Hints
Do not study in a place where you cannot concentrate. It may be difficult to focus in a noisy cafeteria or subway car, in front of the television, or when you are surrounded by your friends. Find a quiet, well-lit place in your house or school where you can work without distraction. Avoid places that you associate with sleep rather than work (your bed, for example).
When you get back a graded homework assignment, test, quiz, or project, take the time to read my comments. Make sure that you understand why all of your wrong answers were wrong.
Relax right before an exam. Do not try to frantically review minutes before the exam. Instead, take a deep breath.
When writing, be as specific as possible. Try to avoid using the words "it", "they", or "thing"; instead, make it clear what you are referring to. ("Glucose molecules move out of the cell membrane" is an acceptable answer, but "they will move out" will not receive any credit.)
Finally, always be sure that you answer the question you are being asked. (If the questions asks for an example of homeostasis, then make sure that you are actually giving an example of homeostasis rather than just giving a definition.) Read the question carefully and underline the key words in the question.