On Successful Test-Taking

The end of another term has arrived! Though it seems that a lot of schools are out for break, a few of you probably still have your week full of sole-crushing final exams to look forward to. My heart goes out to all of you because I think we can all agree that test-taking kind of sucks and most feel they’re just not very good at it in the first place! However, I feel that test taking is an art that can definitely be taught. And once mastered, school definitely gets a lot easier.

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Motivate Yourself!

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajaaaaajdi4otjhndu2ltiznditngq5zc1hogu4ltfmmmrmmjdkyjhkoaAnother personal post? What is this? I guess I just have a lot of feelings going into my second year which apparently get written out at 2 AM when I’m home alone (which means this was written last week. So hello from past Krystal!) Don’t worry! There are some tips at the end and if you don’t want to read through all the narrative, feel free to skip straight there.

I’ve been feeling a giant lack of motivation lately in just about everything in my life. And this is bad…because I feel like I have a lot to do. I have to write. I have to figure out the next step in lab. I have to figure out what the hell this pile of data means. I have to sort of, kind of start thinking about candidacy. And I have to appear like I’ve made some sort of progress before I have a meeting with my boss in October. Yikes!  It’s gotten to the point where I feel that if I keep feeling unmotivated like this–if i keep procrastinating–everything is just going to go to pure…shit, for lack of a better word. And shit is not what I want in my life right now. So, in a desperate effort, I’ve been trying to pinpoint the reason for all these negative feelings (and by pinpoint I mean lying on the floor, blasting angsty music in my hears wondering why the world hates me) and I think that I’ve finally narrowed it down.

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Avoiding End of the Semester Chaos

1349964343947It seems that there is always a point in the school terms where everything feels like it’s piling up at once. Deadline after deadline approaches at lightning speeds and honestly all you want to do is catch your breath. I feel that 90% of the student population goes through this. Trust me. I’m going through this at this very second (and yet here I am writing a blog post, but I digress). Anyway, though this may be a little too late for those reaching the end of their quarters right now, I present to you my hard-earned advice that I wish I listened to on how to prevent that end of the semester chaos that brings stress levels to an all time high. Continue reading

Tips for Studying on your Period

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Periods. They can be uncomfortable and annoying to deal with. Unfortunately, though, life doesn’t stop for your period and those times of discomfort can arrive during times when term papers are due, exams are quickly approaching and studying just needs to get done. So, here are some things I do when I’m on my period in order to ease the symptoms and keep my mind sharp and focused! Continue reading

Note-Taking for Different Lecture Styles

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So, when I entered college, I was amazed at how many different lecture styles professors could have. Some used PowerPoints, some used the white board and some just talked at you and expected you to learn that way. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe amazed is not the right word. Maybe it’s better put as “culture-shocked to the point that required me to up my note-taking game.”

Regardless of the word you choose, there will eventually be a point in college (or grad school) where your regular note-taking style just can’t efficiently sort through the information presented to you. Therefore, I have decided to write a post that talks about how I adapted with each lecture styles in order to take the most efficient notes and ultimately determine the important test-worthy information. Continue reading

Starting off the semester right

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Hi everyone,

I hope this post finds you all prepared to start your winter/spring terms! Since I’m getting ready to go back to class myself, I thought I’d make a super duper quick post on some things I’m doing to start of the new semester on the right foot! 🙂

Hope this is helpful! Any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments and let me know!

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Relieving Test Anxiety

fbf46c36277067a5de185cd33f6ec639Hello, my fellow students. Unfortunately, I greet you during that dreaded time of the year: finals week. And yeah, sure, the long nights of studying are pretty bad, admittedly. But, in my opinion, what can be even worse is that little voice in you head that that starts speaking up right before the final. You know the one. It says horrible things such, “You studied the wrong material,” or even, “I bet you’re going to forget everything you studied the moment you sit down!” Gosh. What a jerk that voice is. 😦

Anyway, I feel that a lot of the time, it’s this test anxiety that makes finals week so nerve-wracking, scary and stressful! However, over my test-taking years I’ve found a few techniques that have helped me reduce my anxiety and go into the exam room feeling focused, awake and confident! Listed below are my techniques in hopes that this helps you all have the best finals week ever! Kick those test’s butt! ❤

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Surviving Lab Classes

Extended version of this! Oh and sorta this too!

daa412c3f51cf7c76447dfb4fc8a2480As a STEM major, there is a high probability that you’re going to have at least one class that has some sort of lab component. Whether it’s a three to four hour lab once a week or in the worst case (read: as a chemistry major), two four-hour labs a week. 😦

Of course, the difference between lab-based courses and lecture-based courses is that there is a significant portion of your grade is no longer based on exams and problem sets. Rather, a large chunk is now based on three other things: (1) how accurately and efficiently can you do your experiment in the allotted time, (2) how well you can remember your lab manual for quizzes, as well as (3) how well you can write it up (read: defend your results) on your lab report.

Unfortunately, for those that are starting on their first serious lab courses, it’s always these components that can sometimes be the trickiest to master. So, having survived quite a few lab courses as a chemistry major, here is my take on how I survived my lab courses in hopes that it helps you too! 🙂

Good luck & science away!

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How to Succeed in Hard Science Classes

So I think at least once in everyone’s college career there is that one class that just becomes the bane of your existence. Either the professor cannot explain the subject well enough, or the material itself is practically in another language (Read: Physics). For me as a chemistry major, these classes were E&M Physics, Chemical Thermodynamics, Multivariable Calculus and the NMR Spectroscopy part of Organic Chemistry. Evil! Evil! Evil!

Yet, somehow I passed! Not always with a perfect A, but close enough that my GPA survived! 🙂

How did I manage, you ask! Here are my tips and tricks on surviving those evil, difficult classes!

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Study Tips for Headache Sufferers

Image from Pinterest

So according to my doctor, a side affect from being an awesome “type A” personality that gets shit done is apparently getting frequent headaches that make doing work so much more difficult. As if my workload wasn’t enough to deal with, I apparently have to get headaches on top of all that too. Just my luck. (I mean, at least I don’t have to deal with migraines, because that’s a whole other ball game. Though I was warned that may be in my future… D:)

So how do I still keep the ball rolling when my temples feel like they’re being pounded by a sledgehammer? Well, I let me show you the tips that work for me!

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