The Road to the Dean’s List

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With Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day and May flowers beginning to bloom during the spring semester, sometimes it’s hard to stay focused.  To make dean’s list and stay on track this semester, follow these tips!

Manage Your Time Well and Be Organized: If you’re not organized, you won’t know what you are responsible for or even when you’re responsible for it. You will then not do your work, which may lead to lower grades and, thus, no dean’s list. Consequently, you will get pregnant and die (yes, even if you’re a guy). If it wasn’t self-explanatory before, it most certainly is now.

Know How to Read a Textbook: Ask your professor how much of the readings you will be responsible for on the exam. If the readings are supposed to be used as enrichment, just read them and try to absorb as much as possible. If you’ll be specifically tested on material from the book that isn’t covered in class, take notes as you go. Most importantly, it’s very helpful to read the material before it’s discussed in class.

Attend Every Class: It’s the worst when people who don’t go to class complain about a sub-par grade. Don’t allow this to be your excuse – just go.

Focus in Class: ‘Focus’ here doesn’t mean going through your friend’s new “Studying Abroad in Middle Earth!” Facebook album, flirting with the cutie from math via Words With Friends or even scavenging through your Gmail for President’s Day deals. ‘Focus’ here means paying attention to what the professor is saying (strange concept to some, I know); sit at the front of the classroom if you have to.

Take Good Notes: If you have access to PowerPoint slides before class, print them out and take your notes on the printed slides—six to a page normally works. This way you only have to write down the things your professor says that are not on the slides. No slides? Bring your book with you to class. Write down as much as you can, but if you’re feeling rushed or incapable of keeping up, mark excerpts in the text that you can go back to later.

Use Available Services: At any point during the semester if you feel like you don’t understand something, go to your professor's or T.A.’s office hours, hire a tutor, ask another student in your class for help, see if a former student has any tips for you or utilize the free math success/writing center on campus if yours has one.

Study Smart: This involves studying for a segment of time every day up until the test. Spend an hour every day for up to two weeks before the exam reading through or re-writing notes, making flashcards, quizzing yourself or creating study guides.

Reduce Test Anxiety: Pause for a moment to take a deep breath with your eyes closed, or look up at the ceiling. Removing yourself from the exam for even just a split-second can make a world of a difference. (Unless it's a driving test—eyes on the road at all times.)

Know How to Take Tests: On your first go-through, complete all of the questions that you either know for certain, can do quickly or can figure out in little to no time. Then, go back through the test and answer the rest. This way you won’t stress yourself out at the beginning by spending a lot of time on one particularly annoying question.

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