Suggestions on Study habits

  1. i'm 29 (almost 30...yuck!)i started going to college in 97/98. i did english, 58,1a and nutrition. i got an a in all of them. you would think i have great study habits. however i have a problem with being a perfectionist. i get burned out, and when i don't do perfect, i quit. i become obsessed with keeping my 4.0.

    my question: what study methods work best for you? any certain trick that has helped? how can i get over that i don't have perfect grades?

    i usually would take detailed notes as i read a chapter. it would take me forever to do it this way. is there a book out there to prepare me to study more efficiently during college? also, how many of you bring laptops to class? im going to be taking pre algebra in the fall, then algebra in spring. what helps with math? i have really bad math anxiety.



  2. Visit amber74 profile page

    About amber74

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 109


  3. by   stressgal
    " You are smarter than you think" is a book that helps you determine your learning style. It has really helped me with Anatomy and Physiology.
    As far as striving for straight A's, I too was obsessed with A's but A & P 1 last quarter got me over that real fast, studied VERY hard (don't work and do not have children at home) and ended with a B. Having an exam or test each time the class met( 3x/week) helped me look at the big picture. I'm now interested in knowing the material rather than worrying about what questions will be on the test. As a classmate constantly reminds me, C means continue. I still strive for the best grade I can get, but realize there are hard classes that I cannot be perfect in, and that's ok.
    Good luck!
  4. by   Nikki730
    sort of on a tangent here, but at Texas A&M we had the sayings, "C is for cookie and that's good enough for me" (quoting the cookie monster there) and also, "D for degree" (some classes in the upper levels, that were not needed as pre-reqs for anything else, you could graduate with a D in them, not having to take them again.)

    I would view it like this, investigate the typical grades you need to get in to a particular school you are going for (esp. if it's based mainly on GPA) and strive for that GPA or better. This way, you can keep a perfectionism that is practical, while "forgiving" yourself for making the occasional B, knowing you haven't gone "off track"? Just a thought.
  5. by   bbear

    I KNOW how you feel. I used to be the same way. I would almost break into a sweat at the thought of ruining my perfect 4.0 GPA. But life goes on while you are going to school and, unless you are fortunate enough not to have any responsibilities in your life, sooner or later something will happen that will distract you from your mission. Maybe you'll be able to stay focused enough to keep the 4.0, or maybe you'll decide that there are more important things in your life than your GPA.

    For me, it was my wife developing serious complications during her pregnancy. And now I have a 3.9 GPA. It wasn't the end of the world. In fact, it was an emotional relief. I went back to my studies with a new attitude and have actually enjoyed the journey instead of just focusing on the destination.

    Regarding study habits, different methods prove beneficial to different people. It will help you to discover whether you are a visual, auditory, or tactile learner. Once you figure that out you can tailor your studying to suit your learning style. Also, learning when not to study--that is, knowing when to walk away from the books and have fun for a little while--is an important thing too. It refreshes the mind and maintains the sanity.

    Regarding studying for math, there's only 1 method I have heard of to be universally effective--practice, practice, practice. Algebra is an exercise in abstract reasoning, so you can never simply "memorize" the material. You have to work the problems. Then work them backwards. Learn how to show your work so that you can figure out where you're going wrong. But my recommendation would be to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day working practice problems, even if that means coming up with your own problems out of the book. That's what I did with both Algebra and Statistics and it worked very well for me.
    Last edit by bbear on May 5, '04
  6. by   bbear
    Forgot to mention something:

    Regarding your comment that you read through a chapter and take notes--if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    But here's how I do it.

    First I read through the chapter, not making any notes at all. My purpose during this first run is to try to get a grip on the overview of what is being discussed (visual learning).

    Second, I go back through the chapter and hi-lite information I think is important (visual and tactile learning).

    Then I go through and take notes on the hi-lites (visual and tactile learning again).

    Finally, I explain what my notes mean to my wife or one of my children (visual and auditory learning). When you can explain what the material means to somebody else, then you know that you truly have a grip on it. And if anybody gives you grief about being taught, just tell them that you're not charging them nearly what it cost you to learn that information. LOL

    (side note) My children are excelling in their studies, thanks to me. LOL
  7. by   amber74
    What a great post! Im so glad someone understood. Im sure a lot of people would love a 4.0. It really can be a burden because I put this undeserved pressure on myself. Having three children myself, something will have to give. My problem was, something gets hard and I quit.
    Im going to try your method of studying.Im a very visual person. I remember things that I see, not hear.Of course,I will have to improve my auditory skills being a nurse. Im sure a doctor will not want to hear me say,"hey doc, I can't understand that order...can you right that down for me?"
    Thanks for the advice!
  8. by   Kora0880
    I find it helpful to study if I can totaly concentrate on one thing. Supprisingly I do that much easily in new environment (but not distracting) than in the same room and place over and over. I like change and it works for me. Also it helps if you approach the material by thinking "I better know this because I will use it one day and without this knowledge my work will be that much more difficulf and less effective, and anyway this stuf is interesting" rather than "Ohh no, not more reading to do!!Please shoot me know" Also keepin mind if others did it, so can you!!!

    Good luck
  9. by   bbear
    Amber, it is also now believed that, regardless of what type of learner you are, there is great benefit in implementing all of the learning styles into your studying. Here's an analogy to explain why:

    Imagine that there are 2 file rooms located in your brain, and that there are people who work in those rooms filing the information your studying sends them. One of the file rooms is located in the limbic portion of the brain (the center of your brain where long term memory files are kept). The other file system is located in the periphery of your brain (short term memory).

    By default, everything you study will first go to the short term files. It's a more rapid file system designed to get the information back to you in a hurry if you need it. But it's also not a very large file system. So if you don't use it relatively quickly the people working in that area will throw that information away to make room for more information that might come in.

    In order to get that information from short term memory to long term memory you have to convince the people running the short term memory department that the information is important enough to forward on to the long term memory department. The way to do this is to keep sending the short term memory the same information over and over again, and in as many different ways as possible (visual, auditory, tactile). Pretty soon the short term memory is saying, "Hey. We keep getting this same information. It must be important! We'd better send it to the long term department."

    Once the information is in the long term memory, it's there to stay. But it's a HUGE filing system. So files that are not used very much are archived. Sometimes that makes it difficult to find files there as well. So the best way to keep that information readily available is to prevent it from being archived--go over that information every once in a while to make sure the files stay active and are not archived.
    Last edit by bbear on May 6, '04
  10. by   KattB
    Quote from amber74
    i'm 29 (almost 30...yuck!)

    being 30 is not bad at all, life has been so much better since i have been in my 30's, so cheer up and look forward to it!
  11. by   studentNY
    [QUOTE=bbear] Here's an analogy to explain why:

    Imagine that there are 2 file rooms located in your brain........................

    That is excellent!! A few months ago I would have been very unhappy with anything less than a 4.0. Then Micro came along with the nutty professor. I was very happy with a B. It's almost a relief in a way, I am so over the 4.0 thing. It was fun while it lasted though.
  12. by   purplekath
    For me, I like to work out how much time I need to invest in each assignment. I do them early, then let them "sit" for a week or two so that I can come back to them with fresh eyes.

    Save your brain-dead time for reading and doing housework. If you are a good quick writer, it's often helpful to write a little of your understanding of each learning outcome to help you prepare for future exams.

    Figure out the way you learn best (auditory? Doing? Reading? ) and focus on incorporating YOUR learning style into your study. Work out when your "best time of day" is...for me it's mornings. Then keep those times free to do your hardest work.

    Make sleep a priority. You can achieve four times as much on a good night's sleep than you can on a little sleep. Don't pull an allnighter unless you are absolutely desperate! They set you back for a week or more!

    You sound like you are going to do great!
  13. by   Energizer Bunny
    I'm a very visual student so if I re-copy my notes after class or write down anything from the book that I need to know I can visualize it during an exam or when needed.

    I, too, am a pefectionist and mised my 4.0 by 2 points during my A&P I practical final. I was devastated, especially since I made a stupid mistake, but I know that I am not going to be able to pull a 4.0 with three little ones. It's just going to be impossible. Sometimes, I think you just have to let're gonna make yourself nuts trying to keep that GPA! Take it easy, relax and breathe!
  14. by   purplemania

    Try this website. Once you determine your learning style you can get advice on how to maximize it. I recommend taking more than one of these assessments, for comparison. My personal favorite is Felders Index of Learning Styles. He has a website too (Richard Felder).

    When you get your license no one will know if you were at the top or bottom of your class. However, most nurses are a little obsessive compulsive, which is necessary for all the tiny details pertaining to our job. Learn to channel your energy. Focus on what you are doing RIGHT NOW, and leave nursing behind when you are with family and friends. You will do great!