The first few weeks have come and gone. Adult students should be settling into their classes finally, and after maybe having a first test, knowing how their professors intend to evaluate them. Remember, the first test is always a trial, even in an accelerated class. You should now have an idea of the kinds of questions the professor asks. At the same time, you know the workload that will be expected of you throughout the semester.
CALL provides the following tips for a smooth start and a strong finish during your semester:
1) Task Lists -We have always used them when shopping, keeping our items and thoughts in one small place, but some people do not recognize the power of even a small list when it comes to your daily tasks, especially your school work. With the availability of mobile phones and internet access, new tools and software are released every day to help you track your daily activities. Most have ways to access them on the internet or on your mobile phone. Some of the recommended programs are:
2) Test Comparison – After the first test or two, compare the test with your notes. One of the most crucial things you can learn is the difference between what you have taken away from lectures and assignments, and what was asked on the test. This can help you determine what information is most important, and how to alter your listening and note taking. It only takes a few minutes and can be invaluable later in the course.
3) Eyes on the Prize – Comparable to a list or program that helps you keep track of your goals and assignments, mark a calendar for all of your future tests, papers, and projects. Those assignments will be the benchmarks of your semester. So make sure you keep an eye on them.
4) Take a Day Off – Yes. That’s right, whatever you need to do to take a day off, especially after the rush of the first week, take the family out for a picnic, have a barbecue in your back yard, or just enjoy the day. You do not have to take an entire day off, we know our students have very little time on their hands with jobs, families and school, but schedule some actual time to remove yourself from all of those things. Then get right back down to business.
5) Get Ahead – Most important, early on, is to get ahead. Things can quickly escalate; tests and papers can pile up and cause a lot of stress. Do whatever you can to get ahead, even if only slightly. The breathing room will come in handy later on when you may need that day off of homework to focus on other responsibilities. Using tasks lists and noting big assignments and tests ahead will let you navigate the early goings of the semester and align your goals comfortably with the compressed amount of time you have.
If you can apply a few of these suggestions over the course of the next couple of weeks, you’ll be in a better position to handle the rest of the semester and succeed in your pursuits. As always, talk to your college advisors if you need even more help, they are equipped to give you more suggestions. But if you don’t know what to do, just ask below and we’ll do what we can to help as well.