Category: Study Tips

Fall 2014 Seminars for your Success

By , August 26, 2014 3:10 pm

DestinationGraduationYour Destination:  Graduation!  Join us for a full-slate of seminars on success-topics throughout the semester.  Interested in tips to polish your writing skills?  need to know about all the resources UMKC provides?  how to manage stress and test anxiety?  smarter ways to study?  how to make your resume and cover letter stand out from the crowd?

Click here for the full schedule of success seminars.

These topics and more are covered during weekly seminars hosted in the Atterbury Student Success Center by Academic Support and Mentoring, Career Services, MindBody Connection, UMKC Central, UMKC Libraries, and the Writing Studio.

Stress Tips for the end of semester

By , April 22, 2014 8:43 am

calm[Guest post by Kathleen Ramo, Bachelor of Health Sciences student in the School of Nursing]

As the final weeks of the semester creep up on us and we start realizing the many homework assignments, quizzes, papers, and projects that are left to do we realize the deadlines are right around the corner and stress induces. One of the most important things to remember while facing a heavy load of work is to keep our stress to a minimum. I personally have a few things I like to do to reduce stress and clear my mind so I can get through my work with ease. My stress reducing techniques include:

  • Getting plenty of rest. Even though we sometimes find ourselves cramming until the wee hours of the night, studies show that a restful night’s sleep helps us perform better.
  • Take a power nap. If you find yourself dozing off while studying take a 20-30 minute nap to help recharge your batteries.
  • Go for a walk. Fresh air does more for us than we will ever know. Plus, getting some exercise helps stimulate your body.
  • Listen to music. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed I put in my headphones and enjoy. Sometimes music helps get your mind off of whatever you’re thinking about so whenever you take your headphones out you have a clear mind to get back into whatever work you have.
  • Take a relaxing bath.
  • Find something that makes you laugh whether it be television, a movie, or calling up a hilarious friend.
  • One of the most effective things I do to keep my stress levels low is to prepare for exams, papers, and projects in advance. If you know you have assignments due the week before finals the time to start preparing is now!
  • Lastly, reward yourself. Set up something fun to do after you’ve finished your stressful week to unwind.

I hope these ideas helped, because I know we are all starting to feel the effects of stress as the semester comes to an end. Remember, there are three weeks until finals: the time to start preparing for those big projects and papers was yesterday. Stay relaxed and good luck!

Personalized Research Coaching with a UMKC Librarian

By , April 8, 2014 10:41 am

Search Consult Promo ULIBS ScreenSign up for a Free Research Coaching Sessions with a UMKC Librarian

We all need to use an Ask the Expert lifeline once in a while. Lucky for you, UMKC Librarians are expert researchers and are always happy to help.

Sign up for a free 15, 30, or 60-minute coaching session for your study group or just for yourself. During your session, you can expect the librarian to help you develop a search strategy, choose the best databases, locate both popular and scholarly/peer reviewed sources, and give you insider search tips.

Whether you have no idea how to start your research or you’re struggling to find relevant sources, a Research Coaching Session is just what you need to write a stress-free, A+ paper!

Plan Now to Enjoy Spring Break

By , March 11, 2014 9:44 am

maui01Spring break is in TWO WEEKS!  Going from mid-January to the end of March with no breaks is tough, but it’s tougher to take a week off with no plan for when you get back!

First things first–sit down with your calendar and class syllabi and make a list of all the assignments due for the rest of the semester.  This will help you put everything into perspective and give you set of short-term and long-term goals.  For each assignment, think about how long it will take you to complete it–you should now have an idea of your study habits and how long it takes to read class materials.  And by thinking about this now, nothing should sneak up on you after break!

So, right now you should also be thinking about those assignments due just after break.  Take some time now to work ahead and finish these assignments before you leave or make other plans for the week.  That way, if something does come up, you can go without feeling stressed about all the work you have left!

Spring Break is supposed to be relaxing, spending time with friends and family.  But if you do need to catch up on classwork, make sure you plan some time to take a break. One idea is to work on assignments in the morning and then take the rest of the day to relax and get outside.  It’s always best to do your work first–then you can reward yourself with an afternoon movie or dinner out with friends.

Careful planning can make Spring Break a true break, no matter where you go or stay.  Plan now and you can come back to school refreshed and energized!

Study tips for Mid-Terms

By , March 4, 2014 9:17 am

study groupsHello fellow UMKC students. I am Kathleen Ramo, a Bachelor of Health Sciences student in the School of Nursing here at the university. As mid-terms approach I would like to share some study tips that I find useful. Before you get started it’s helpful to find out what your learning style is so your time is used effectively. There are many short quizzes online! To find out your learning style click here: http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles.shtml. Below are some tips I find useful and I hope they are helpful for you as well! Good luck on your mid-terms!

  • Give yourself plenty of time with the amount of material you have to study for.
  • Take a short break when things no longer start to make sense. When you go back to the question after a short break you may find you know the answer with a clear head.
  • Don’t pull “all nighters”. It always ends in regret and your brain doesn’t function at its full capacity without sleep.
  • Eat! Don’t skip meals to cram for exams. Your body needs energy to focus.
  • Ask questions. If something doesn’t make sense don’t hesitate to e-mail your professor or another student. Material that you may not understand maybe someone else can lend helpful hints
  • Study without distractions. Yes, this means turning off your cell phone if you have to and shutting your computer down. You know how tempting social media is.
  • Make “to-do” lists for each class you need to study for and put time frames on each item.
  • Focus on one task at a time. During mid-terms your list of “to-dos” grows and can get quite overwhelming. Cross one thing off at a time so you feel accomplished.
  • Use tables and/or diagrams; draw pictures, use arrows and label. 
  • Make flash cards for key terms.
  • Have someone else quiz you after you are confident with the material. Any questions you cannot answer confidently is material you should go back over.
  • Be organized
  • Highlight and/or use different colored writing materials.
  • Drink plenty of water!
  • Be prepared for your exam. The night before make sure you have everything you need ready to go. No one needs the extra stress of lost car keys the morning of an exam.
  • Details, Details, Details!

Study Tips for classes with a study guide:

  1. Handwrite the questions and the answers. This helps to retain the question and the answer as a whole.
  2. If you prepare you study guide in advance don’t just fill it out and set it aside, go over it! Multiple times!
  3. If you prefer to work in groups make sure you discuss solutions to the answers because just writing down answers does not help with information retention. Always write your own answers after group discussion so each person is learning and working.
  4. Highlight and use different colored writing materials for each chapter or question on the study guide. This helps when you are going back over your study guide so you understand what you’ve written and what material coincides.
  5. If your instructor has prepared lecture notes, use them to help fill out your study guide. If they have taken the time to prepare notes it’s probably important to them.
  6. Watch for reoccurring themes throughout the material. If it appears more than once it’s probably important.

Ready for Finals?

By , November 12, 2013 4:36 pm

study groupsSo here’s the countdown:  this week, next week, Thanksgiving break, first week of December, finals week…are you ready??

Are you starting to stress about the end of the semester?  A little stress is good, but here are some simple suggestions that will make a world of difference in managing the stress of these last few weeks!

First, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.  All-nighters are really not that productive, and in fact can make your memory even worse by focusing too much on the immediate and not enough on long-term retention.  Instead, set aside time each day to review your notes, read a chapter or two, and take time to absorb the material.  Studying with a friend will make the time go faster and you can help each other out by explaining key concepts.  There are great group-study spaces at Miller Nichols Library–and you’ll be close to any resource you might need!

Don’t forget to make some time for yourself–go for a walk or run at Swinney, go to a museum, or go out to dinner with friends.  College is all about balance, and that includes making time to put the focus on you and your mental health.  Sometimes, you just need a break–try meditating or any deep-breathing relaxation techniques.  To get you started, you can check out some of the online resources available on the Counseling Center’s website.  There are also some great free apps for iPad and iPhone that can help.  The MindBody Connection in the Student Success Center can also help you work in some balance and stress relief.

You too can reduce your stress levels!   By taking care of yourself–mentally and physically–and looking at all projects and papers as smaller parts of a puzzle, these next few weeks will breeze by and you will be well-prepared and ready for the final paper, presentation, or exam.

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