Preparing for Round Two of Midterms

It is now the seventh week of Fall Quarter! Like most of you, I am always surprised at how quickly the quarter progresses. By now, we have all taken our first set of midterms and are most likely preparing for the second set. Many of us may be looking to improve our scores, since the first set of midterms is always difficult because we are unfamiliar with the class or the professor’s teaching style. Here are some tips I always try to keep in mind when preparing for my second set of midterms:

 

Self-Evaluate Your Work

Self-evaluating previous work is essential for improvement. Although the material from the first midterm may be different than what will be tested on the second midterm, reviewing your old midterm for errors can be very helpful. Under the pressure of taking an exam, it is common to make easily avoidable mistakes. Looking back on your work from the previous midterm can help you become aware of these mistakes and avoid making them a second time. It is also important to think about what worked and what didn’t when you were studying for your midterm. Did you study individually or in a group? Did you study at home or on campus? Did you go to office hours? These are important questions to ask yourself, because it will help you determine what works best for you. If something you did wasn’t helpful, try to change it. Taking the time to self-evaluate your work and study habits is always worth it!

Seek Help

There are so many resources on campus designed to help you succeed academically. For example, you can go to your professor or TA’s office hours, academic tutors in the SASC, or residence hall tutoring. Using any of these resources can be the difference between getting a B and getting an A. If you didn’t try out these resources when studying for you first midterm, you might want to consider trying them for your second midterm, or at least dropping by to see what they have to offer. I remember being disappointed by my first Chem 118A midterm score, so I decided to attend the weekly workshops at the SASC, and was able to improve my second midterm score. We all know practice makes perfect, and what better way to practice than with someone who already knows the material?

The SASC also offers Study Skill Workshops through out the quarter. These workshops cover a variety of topics, so you can pick and choose which ones you would like to attend based on what you think you need to improve on. There are sessions covering a variety of topics, including time management series, success strategies, and core study skills.

Stay motivated

Always keep your goals in mind and remember what you are working towards. Doing this will help you stay motivated to keep up with your school work and do your best on your second midterms. I have always found it helpful to reflect on my goals and my future plans, because it keeps me motivated to do well and finish the quarter strong.

Remember to Stay Healthy

This time of the quarter is always stressful because the quarter is winding down and finals are just around the corner, so it is more important than ever to stay healthy. Getting enough sleep, eating enough fruits and vegetables, and remembering to exercise can go a long way. Although you might feel like you need to study all day, remember to balance your life and keep your body healthy. I always try to do this by going to the ARC to study. I like to use the quiet study rooms during the day, and when I need a study break I’m able to go exercise. I also remember to bring healthy snacks so I don’t resort to eating unhealthy. This keeps me feeling healthy and awake, so my studies end up being more productive.

When it comes to focusing on health, the Student Health and Counseling Services center at North Hall is a great place to go. They offer programs like “What is Wellness?” which describes the seven dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, and occupational) and how we can work to balance these dimensions in our lives to stay healthy.

Midterms can be really stressful, but remember to stay focused, positive, and healthy. Good luck!

Zoe Lim

Biological Sciences

BASC Peer Adviser

 

Student Academic Success Center (Resource Highlight)

Fall quarter at UC Davis is now working through its 6th week! This seems pretty crazy because I know my brain is still relaxing on those warm beaches of summer. If your brain is still in summer mode, and/or if you need some extra help with courses, a great campus resource to utilize is the Student Academic Success Center (SASC)! This resource offers tutoring, study skills workshops, and pre-graduate advising. SASC is divided into two buildings, Dutton Hall and South Hall. All of the resources offered are free for UC Davis students. Let us highlight the main resources of the Student Academic Success Center.

South Hall

south_hall

Dutton Hall

dutton_hall

1. Drop in tutoring: SASC offers tutoring for many subjects, such as, writing, math, chemistry, physics, statistics, and biology.

  • Writing: Dutton Hall, second floor, is the place you want to head if you need help with grammar, thesis sentences, or anything writing. They have drop in tutors on MW 8:30am to 4:00pm, TR 8:30am to 3:00 pm, and F 8:30 to 12:00 pm. I have used these tutors many times. They are great for an extra pair of eyes to catch grammar errors or look for clarity in your paper. SASC offers writing specialists that are available by appointment or same day appointments (If you get there early enough to sign up). SASC also offers writing workshops. These workshops focus on helpful topics, such as, “In Class Writing”. For dates and descriptions on workshops please visit:http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/workshops-writing.html. For more information on drop in tutoring visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/writing.html
  • Chemistry, Math, Statistics, and Physics: Drop in tutoring for math, chemistry, statistics, and physics hours typically range from 9 am to 5 pm, but for a more detailed schedule check out: http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/dropin.html. There are also workshops offered for general chemistry, organic chemistry, all of the math series( 16, 17, 21), and physics. I love these workshops! They go hand-in-hand with the instructor’s lectures. The specialists who instruct these workshops slow down the lessons and answer a lot of questions.
  • Biology: Drop in tutoring is also available for BIS 2A- 2C. They also recently added tutoring for the upper division biology courses, such as, BIS 101, 102, 103 in SLB 1079 for Fall Quarter.

2. Another portion of SASC are the multiple programs that SASC houses. Some of these include: Guardian Scholars Program (GSP), Educational Opportunity Program(EOP), or TRIOs Scholars Program. All of these programs are geared towards supporting under represented students advance in higher education. For information on each of these programs visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/programs/index.html

3. The SASC offers study skills workshops. These workshops are free to UC Davis students! They are offered multiple times over the quarter and are held in 114 South Hall. Some of the workshops include topics such as Time Management Basics or Success Strategies. For a more detailed list of the workshops offered and times visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/study-skills/index.html

4. Pre-Grad/Professional advising: These advising centers are located in South hall and offer advising for pre- grad school, pre-health, and or pre-law. The center offers advisers who are specialized in helping students become ready to apply for these programs. For more information visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/grad-prof/index.html

5. Transfer Reentry Veterans Center (TRV): The center is located in 1210 Dutton hall. They strive to help students who are transfer, reentry, or veteran students. You can visit to the TRV any time Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m  to utilize their many resources such as academic advising or support resources. Some of the support resources they offer include a Graduate School Information or Financial Aid: Renewing the FAFSA workshops. They also offer a range of social activities. For more information please visit http://success.ucdavis.edu/trv/

SASC is a great resource on campus to take advantage of. It offers a diversity of resources for all of the students on campus. Please drop in to South Hall or Dutton Hall to get more information or drop in to BASC, so a peer advisor can point you in the right direction!

Brenda Garibay

3rd year Biological Sciences Major

Biology Academic Success Center Peer Advisor

5 Tips on Developing Impeccable Studying Habits

Let’s face it: these science classes are no joke. Cramming is often an issue because CBS students often have to juggle a multitude of extracurricular activities simultaneously with their academics. However, we all know cramming is likely not the best approach to getting the grade you want and doesn’t help us retain information in the long run. Hence, it is important that we should explore ways to work/study efficiently (but not necessarily longer). From personal experience, I recommend the following approaches:

1. Be Organized!

At the beginning of each quarter, allot some time to use the given syllabi from classes to fill in your calendar. Write down explicitly all assignment deadlines and examination dates. In addition to being an overview of what your quarter entails, doing this will allow you to prepare mentally for weeks that may be more rigorous than usual.

Now that the quarter schedule is in front of you, the most important step is to plan your studying sessions in advance! Being consistent in sticking with these planned sessions like you would for an actual class and you will reap the awards. Don’t forget to include a session to review all the material you have been studying before any examination.

2. Stay up-to-date

Reviewing your progress every week can let you assess what you have done, but, more importantly, what you have not yet done. Be realistic and flexible in making up missed-work from the previous week.

Staying up-to-date also applies to material covered in class. During lecture, be able to follow along by reading assigned text before. Doing so will take a lot of discipline but will ultimately be rewarding.

3. Use Your Resources

There will be a point when you are confused on a certain subject. Don’t be shy and go seek help! Attend your professor or teaching assistant’s office hours and get clarification. Check out the Student Academic Success Center (http://success.ucdavis.edu/) for tutoring and workshops.

Lastly, your colleagues are sometimes under-utilized as a resource. Get study groups going to quiz each other on the material. A certain topic might cause confusion for you, but your friend might be able to explain it in a way that makes sense. These groups work best when kept small (no more than 4 people).

4. Get in the ZONE!

Rid all distractions. How can one expect to study effectively with the television on, iTunes playing, and Facebook right in front of you? Put your phone away and disconnect yourself from multimedia during your studies. Taking short breaks (say, 5 minutes for every half hour of studying) can keep you sane.

Identify an ideal location to study and don’t settle for a mediocre spot. This location can serve you for many quarters and helps you get in the mood easier each time.

5. CHALLENGE yourself.

Tackle the subjects that you find the most difficult first. Push yourself to look at your notes whenever you can (I like to do this on the bus). Compete with friends to see who can draw the Kreb’s Cycle faster.


These are just some of the basics. For more information, check out the SASC’s study-skills workshops (http://success.ucdavis.edu/study-skills/). Every student can and will find a way that works for them. Know your goals and let them motivate you.

Good Luck,

 

Wilson Ng

BASC Peer Advisor