Exam Prep Starts Yesterday!

Yes, you’re still prepping and learning new material, but it’s not too early to start studying for exams as well. Wait any longer, and it could be too late.

Here are some steps you might take:

  1. Find out whether your exams will occur during or before exam week, perhaps in some other form, such as a paper or take-home of some sort.
  2. Find out, if you don’t already know, whether your exams will be cumulative or just final-unit tests (or something else entirely).
  3. Find out, if your profs haven’t already told you, not only what your exams will cover but also how. How will your profs want you to be able to show what you know? And just knowing ‘multiple choice’ or ‘essay’ or ‘short answer’ or ‘matching’ doesn’t cut it. Like what?
  4. Based on the answers to that last question, now study in ways that match those expectations. If you will need to do problems, do many practice problems. If you will need to relate one thing to another, practice relating. If you will need simply to recall (such as vocab), practice recalling, etc. In other words, don’t just “go through your notes.”
  5. Do such things a little at a time AND almost every day from here on. You will learn better through many easy-going reviews than through only a couple strenuous reviews.
  6. Find out early what you don’t understand so you still have time to get help from profs, TA’s, tutors, help sessions, math lab, fellow students, etc.
  7. Go ahead and study with friends, but remember you’ll eventually have to know things all by yourself. If you can’t do a problem on your own, e.g., you don’t know it.
  8. Keep circling back to draw everything together and to show yourself you still know what you knew five days ago in the ways in which you will have to show what you know.

You only have two to three weeks to go. Putting in the extra time starting now and every day from here on will help you learn better, discover early what you still need to learn, and reduce the stress of otherwise useless cramming during the day or two before an exam.

Peer Academic Coaching from the ASC

You’re in that limbo between first tests and midterms, first papers and upcoming projects, more demanding curriculars and even more attractive extra-curriculars. And maybe it’s hitting you that life feels a little out of control and not getting any better.

At one-third of the way through the semester (yes!), you might want to do something about it.

One step to take is to the Academic Success Center (ASC) where you can access various kinds of help. Tutors, for example, are great for help in specific classes and highly recommended. But what if you’re dealing more vaguely with just “doing college”?

Peer Academic Coaching could be just what you need.

An ASC-trained student can pair up with you to help you discover and implement new routines and strategies that fit and work for you: organization, time-management, motivation, anti-procrastination, efficient reading, note-taking, test prep, test-taking, and/or balancing academic and social lives.

A crew of wonderful peer coaches is ready to serve. It’s easy to apply and get started. Check it out!

De-Cram Your Exams!

Of course you’re already prepping for exams–in fact, you’ve been studying for them since late January, right? Right……..

Well, you may still be tempted to cram your final “learning” into the couple of days just before and during exam week itself, hoping you’ll remember everything long enough to get you through.

Yes, that’s one way to do it, and for sure a rather popular one. But, face it, not a good one.

We at the Academic Success Center encourage you to de-cram your exams: start preparing now, even though you probably still have new material coming at you. You will be amazed by how much more you learn and retain.

This link will take you to the ASC’s “De-Cram Your Exams Resources” page, which is chock-full of information, suggestions, planning tools, and links to other resources. Just clicking to it will break the procrastination ice and get you started toward a solid end to the semester.

And here’s a link to the ASC’s “Student Resources” page, a complete set of study tips and strategies to help you now and anytime during any semester.

Best wishes for semester’s end and the summer ahead.

Does Your Motivation Need a Boost to Finish the Semester?

If you’d answer ‘yes’ to that question, it’s not surprising. Any combination of factors could be contributing to a dip in your academic energy: Disappointing or even surprisingly low midterm grades? Difficulty restarting after that ‘long’ Easter break? The onset of nicer weather? The longing for more normal social interaction due to COVID deprivation, nicer weather or not? Or . . . ?

First of all, hard as it is, please know that you’re not alone. Just ask around. This helps! Second of all, there are some fairly easy steps you can take to improve the situation.

The Academic Success Center’s “Student Resources” page can link you to a variety of tips for boosting your motivation – as well as for dealing with other study and self-management issues – but here are a few highlights:

► Set a series of small goals. Completing them one by one will show you progress.

► Celebrate each completion with a small reward that doesn’t take you off track.

► Set and stick to a routine that includes personal wellness – sleep, exercise, etc.

► Get support – from friends, family, CAPS, a chaplain – to help regain focus and relax.

► Remember – or imagine – the big picture of why you’re in college.

Would a tutor for a course help? You still have until Monday, April 26th to apply.

Would a peer academic coach help? Apply anytime, but the sooner the better.

You CAN do the next five weeks, and you do know that. You just might need to re-convince yourself! Feel free to contact us at the ASC if you’d like further information or just to chat about this very real and essential aspect of your life at Hope: motivation.

Course Tutoring, Academic Coaching, & Success Strategies!

The Academic Success Center is up and running virtually with all of our usual services:

Content tutoring for most 100- and 200-level courses has opened and as always is in high demand. Apply now!

Group study opportunities for accounting, organic chemistry, computer science 225, 235, and 265, and any math class up to 232 are also available. Check it out!

Peer Academic Coaching for 1-on-1 help with study strategies and simply “doing” college is also open. Apply now!

The ASC has upgraded its “Student Resources” page and now links to even more studying tips than ever. Check it out!

De-Cram Your Exams!

Join the ASC Staff for our virtual exam-preparation workshop, “De-Cram Your Exams!” this Thursday, November 12th, from 11:00 – 11:30am.

Here is the Google Meet link to connect you with customized advice on how you might best organize your own run-up to final exams, which start on Wednesday, November 18th and end on Tuesday, November 24th.

Also, check out the Academic Success Center website for advice and materials to help you navigate this stressful time on your own or, even better, with a staff member during our virtual workshop.

Yes, you can do this!

It’s Not Too Late: ASC Course Tutoring and Peer Academic Coaching

With this shortened semester coming to a faster close than usual, you may feel like whatever’s going to happen academically is just going to happens–whether you like it or not. But in case you’re not particularly liking what’s happening, and you don’t particularly believe there’s much you can do about it, it’s actually not too late to take positive steps.

Believe it or not, you can still be assigned a peer content tutor for most 100- or 200-level courses. But only until Tuesday, November 3rd. Read about it and complete the application at this link, and a staff member will respond within 2 business days about the status of your request. This is the ASC’s most used service (approaching 500 assignments this semester alone!), and students can’t say enough about how much it helps.

Also, it’s not too late to pair up with a peer academic coach. A coach could both help you navigate the remaining days and weeks of this semester as well as stay paired with you to help you make a fresh start next semester if you so desire.

Whereas an ASC peer content tutor helps students exclusively with a specific course, an ASC peer academic coach helps students more generally to “do college,” whatever that might entail. From helping create situation-specific study and time-management strategies to helping set goals and balance the various aspects of college life, coaches recognize that different students need different things. Successful students themselves, peer coaches meet students where they are and help them go where they want to go.

Here’s a link to our website’s description of peer academic coaching as well as the online application. Getting paired up with a coach can take as few as a couple of days, and it could make a big difference in both finishing this semester and settling into next semester right from the start.

And seriously, it’s not too late.

ASC peer content tutoring

ASC peer academic coaching

Life After Midterm Grades

Midterm grades are up (and in case you weren’t aware, you’ll find yours at your plus.hope account). So now what?

First, if you’re a new student, be aware that these grades are not “official.” Unlike some high schools’ first- or third-quarter grades, they will not factor into your final semester grades or appear on your transcript in any way. In fact, at some point, they will mysteriously disappear altogether.

Second, they may simply reflect how you already know you are doing in your classes, and if that’s “well,” well, you just got affirmed! But if not so well, now you know your profs agree, and you need to get moving.

Midterm grades can cue you to head off

oblivious non-performance at the pass.

Third, they may surprise you. If positively, congrats! But if negatively, now you know you need to check in with your profs to find out what’s going on (though maybe re-read your syllabi first, in case the answers are amazingly there!). Midterm grades can cue you to head off oblivious non-performance at the pass. And usually it’s not too late to do so. So DO so!

By the way, professors truly want their students to succeed, and it’s even in their job description to help. Yes, it might feel intimidating, but set up a meeting with them to discuss how you can get yourself back on track. It will also be good PR and make the next time seem less scary. (Guaranteed, there will be next times!)

Here are a few more next steps to try:

► If you haven’t been, start going to every class, F2F or virtually, like it’s your job, which it is!

► Get organized, and manage your time. Get help with this if you need to, like from a peer academic coach, which you can arrange through the Academic Success Center.

► Turn in all assignments, no matter what. If you don’t understand one, ask—a friend, a classmate, the T.A., your tutor, your prof, your astrophysicist aunt. One of the main reasons why students procrastinate on homework is that they don’t understand what they’re supposed to do. Find out, and do. (Another reason is that they’re not particularly interested, for which there are also solutions. Ask.)

► Look into the various kinds of FREE help you can receive through the Academic Success Center, including course-content tutoring, group study for certain subjects, peer academic coaching, study-skills tutoring, and student resources you can use all on your own and are clickable at the ASC website. And if you don’t know what you need or where to start, just email asc@hope.edu, and we’ll answer your questions.

If doing well in college matters to you, there ARE ways to help yourself do it. Ask.

ASC Study Tip- LOTS of FREE Resources on campus!

Review & Reflect Regularly- What’s working? What’s not? Make a plan to adjust.

Don’t wait until you are doing poorly to seek out help- seek out resources before it’s too late to turn things around!

Many FREE resources are available to you:

Your professors and academic advisor

Your RA and/or RD

Academic Success Center

Tutoring Services

Group Study Sessions

Peer Academic Coaching and Study Strategy Assistance

Online Student Resources

Klooster Writing Center

Disability and Accessibility Resources

Counseling and Psychological Services

Boerigter Center for Calling and Career

ASC offers limited tutoring for May Term

The Academic Success Center will have limited remote tutoring for May Term. Tutoring will take place through Google Hangouts Meet. Please visit the ASC website for information and the application to request a tutor. Applications for May Term tutoring will be accepted through May 18. Please email the asc@hope.edu if you are interested in other ASC services. All ASC services are FREE.