Study Tip: Achieving Academic Success

By , January 25, 2011 8:45 am

[This study tip was provided by Ariel Green, a graduate student in the Bloch School. She also serves as an SI Leader.]

I can clearly remember my first day as a college freshman at UMKC. I was sitting in Royall Hall 111 with around 500 other nervous students at 7:40AM waiting for General Chemistry I to begin. I remember feeling completely incompetent with regards to studying and understanding the material. However, I took the good advice of some more experienced students and came up with my own way of succeeding. Five years later, I would like to share this advice with you.

First of all, there is no one way to study. People learn things differently. I am a visual learner. I found that making flashcards, drawing diagrams, and visually organizing the information helped me to learn the material most effectively. However, other people are auditory learners. It may help to record the lectures, attend study group sessions – SI for example – where the material is discussed, and meet with the teacher. The point is that people are different in many regards, including their learning style. Don’t give up on a subject because one approach is not working. Be creative in your learning. You just might have fun!

Another important thing to note is that UMKC has many resources for students struggling with their coursework. If you’re having problems with math or science, there are SI sessions for many courses and the MRC and SRC offer free tutoring for students. For students having issues in writing courses, there is the writing center, both for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Bloch School. Furthermore, your professors are your best resource with regards to asking them questions about the course. Don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with them. Teachers are people too. You will find a wealth of information from interacting with your professors.  So, go see them during their office hours and discuss your concerns. It rarely hurts for a professor to know your name.

Take advantage of the relationships you have with your fellow colleagues. Study groups are wonderful ways to learn the material. I always found that someone else understood something that I did not and vice versa. Take the time to build relationships with your classmates, both in and out of the classroom. Not only will this advance your academic career, it will enhance your college experience.

These were some of the tips that helped me complete my undergraduate career. I hope that they can help some of you finish yours!

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