How to Master a College Science Course

Level 1 :

                     Understand the lectures


If you don’t understand the material, ask for help. I’m available and so are the tutors.


Attaining this level doesn’t mean you will do well on the test, but if you DON’T understand the lectures, you definitely won’t do well on the test.

          ** If this is the only level you achieve you probably won’t do well on the test.

Level 2:

                     Know the details


There is no way around it, this requires rote memory and “practicing” the material.

                        Multiple choice questions often ask you to recall specific details.

          *** If you achieve this level of mastery you will probably pass the test.

Level 3:

                     Be able to explain the material


Use your notes at first, but get to the point where you can explain everything we have gone over without your notes. Doing this out loud is WAY more effective than thinking it through in your head.

          **** If you achieve this level of mastery you should do well on the test.

Level 4:

                     Be able to use the material, apply it to your everyday life, and see connections


***** If you achieve this level of mastery the tests will seem SO easy. Even better, you will be getting your money’s worth out of this class and you will have knowledge, not just a grade.

Good habits for Attaining Mastery


Level 1 habits: 

Never miss class and don’t come late - do you really think that if you were gone the material won’t be on the test?


                                Take complete notes - if it is not in your notes, how can you study it

                                Ask for help if needed - The tutors are there for you


Be polite - don’t sleep, talk, or leave during class (even in this large classroom, if you can see my face, I can see your face)

                                Keep up with the material

                                Come to class prepared


Level 2 habits: 

                                Make note cards for all the terms


Read your notes after class - do they make sense? are they complete?

                                Try saying the overall concepts out loud or teach them to someone

                                Practice saying unfamiliar words


Level 3 habits: 

Start preparing early. Think of studying as being the same process as preparing for a music recital or an athletic event. No musician or athlete would START preparing the night before a big event.


Study actively - not passively. Reading through your notes several times before a test is NOT enough.


Other good habits: 


Make your education job number 1.

                                Never take the first test of the semester “cold”

                                If you don’t do well on a test, change your study strategy !!!!!

                                Power study - study intensely for many, short amounts of time

Last updated on 1 September 2013
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