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Getting Ready for A New Course

 

 

School is stressful, especially if a student wants to attend a great university in the future. The anxiety and stress quickly builds up, and can make school subjects that used to be enjoyable instead seem difficult due to the added stress.

 

However, there are several proven techniques that any student can use to reduce their sense of stress and anxiety, while also increasing their general management abilities. These techniques can be used for any subject, not just those you find in school.

 

Here are two of the most well-known ones.

 

Read the Class Syllabus, Preview Your Subjects, and Create an Assignment Calendar

 

On the first day of any class, you will receive a class syllabus, which outlines all the assignments, quizzes, and tests you will have during that term or semester. Upon receiving the syllabus, you should review it, make note of when your assignments, even homework, are due, and you should create a calendar. By doing so, you will be able to keep up with your assignments as they become due, and you will never find yourself in a situation where you hand in an assignment late, or cram the night before for an exam.

 

You should also use computer programs and online programs to your advantage. Trello.com is a great resource to use when categorizing your assignments and academic todo lists. You can sync your iCalendar to your email so you always have a reminder a few days before the assignment is due. You can form study groups on Facebook to ensure that you will always be able to prepare in advance for tests with your fellow classmates.

 

The longer you wait before you catch up with your assignments, the more difficult it will be to do so. You need to be on top of your assignments, starting Day 1, in order to give yourself the largest advantage going into the semester or term as possible.

 

NOTE: You may not get a syllabus on the first day for every class. So do not worry if you do not. In this case, you can still prepare well for your classes. Here is what you do.

  1. Preview the textbook.  You can start by reading the introduction.

  2. Start taking notes from day one, and start reviewing your notes every night after class.

  3. Read through the chapter list in your assigned textbook. This will give you a good idea of the progression of learning you will experience in this class.

  4. Look through the glossary at the back of the book. Here is where many important definitions will be that you may need to use for class later on.

  5. Find an older student in the year above you. He or she may have good insights into the course, and he or she may provide you with his or her notes as well. While his or her notes may not be entirely accurate, as students rarely get 100% in a course, it will give you a good idea about the class for when you take notes of your own.

 

Start Thinking in Terms of Your Subjects

 

Just like in language classes, you should be thinking of your school subjects throughout the day in order to get better at them. Use percentages to quickly calculate your taxes while in line at the corner store. Use geometry to figure out the quickest route home from school. Use physics to become better at throwing a baseball. Compare current politics and news to the politics and news of ancient civilizations. The possibilities are endless.

 

By thinking in terms of your subjects, you will become better at retrieving this information when it matters most to your academic career. You will write better papers, sit better exams, and become a better student overall.

 

Little by little, as you perceive yourself being able to create larger connections between  academic information, you will become more confident in your abilities, and your academic goals. This is the best way to limit, or even eliminate, your anxieties and stresses regarding your schoolwork.

 

For more tips and techniques that can help you succeed, Student Coaching Services can help. We offer student coaches, subject tutors, and college planners to help you achieve your academic goals.  

 

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