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School is hard.


DuWayne Steurer
Brewer Fanatic Contributor

Yes, it only took me 15 years after high school to decide to quit putzing around and go get an education. I feel like I'm doing pretty good, but between work and family, there's not a lot of time for homework and study. I'm going to be getting into a few of the first exams fairly soon now. So let me ask the "adult learners" here........what are some good study tips and habits when you're working 40+ hours a week, taking care of family and home, and just basically don't have a lot of time to spare?

 

I don't feel like the material is "above" my ability or anything, I'm just having a little bit of a rough go at memorizing things that I know are going to be on exams.

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I find it's best to get out of your house to study - go to a library, coffee shop...whatever works for you. Then just knock out whatever you have to do in a few hours with no distractions. I find that Saturday mornings are a great time to study - I usually waste that time away just sitting around anyway.
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What I did when I was in college was spend lots of time in the school's library and sleep alot less. Generally staying up a few hours after everyone was asleep to get that extra time alone to focus on what needed to be done. It can be done, it just is more difficult.
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As the above posters have mentioned, going to your local library is a HUGE asset. I go to college right now and have the pleasure (or burden, if you want to look at it that way) of living with four other guys, and it gets hectic around here a lot -- escaping that hooplah really helps me to concentrate and get my work/studying done. Also, I find it really does help to bring a set of headphones and an iPod to the library and listen to some soothing/quiet music to help you concentrate on your work and not your surroundings. Hope that helps, RoCo. = )
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Yes, it sounds like for you it'll take some sequestered time in the library or other quiet spot. If you only have a small amount of time you'll have to be productive so reducing distractions is a must.

 

While I know some people (like myself -- just check the timestamp -- or gbpacker40) are productive at late hours, it will generally be a mistake to cut out a good night's sleep if you are memorizing concepts or terms.

 

In my opinion, if it comes to it, you're better off studying 75% of the material and getting to bed than taking an extra couple hours to cover everything and then miss out on sleep.

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In my opinion, if it comes to it, you're better off studying 75% of the material and getting to bed than taking an extra couple hours to cover everything and then miss out on sleep.

Seconded. I always took the approach that if I had a clearer and less sleep deprived mind, I'd have a better chance of remembering details and/or putting them together. My undergrad GPA was 3.8 (not to brag, only to point out that my methods brought results).

 

Good luck.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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My advice: Sleep! Even those 20 minute power naps can be gold.

 

Here is a CNN article from a few years ago that talks about the importance of sleep in regard to creativity, problem solving, and academic performance. The findings were actually rather substantial.

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I think a lot of it also has to do with HOW you're memorizing things. I used to do it by repetition, but realized how tedious and frustrating that could be. I don't like doing something when it feels like it's not going anyplace. I found that if I learn the material once, then pretend to teach it to a class in my mind, it sticks a whole lot better and it's a much quicker process. And if you start to question what you're "teaching", you have a the resource right there. This allows you to know the things you know and concentrate only on the things you need to work on.

If I had Braun's pee in my fridge I'd tell everybody.

~Nottso

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That's an interesting approach, jazzytrav. I know what 'worked' for me was to write things out -- I'd set out to make study guides, but what really helped me remember the material was the act of creating them. Then, sure, I'd use them to review, but that was their second most-helpful function for me. For whatever reason (perhaps the same that jazzytrav had), that different act of repetition seemed to work.
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I'm writing this from College Library right now, so I recommend if you go to the library, don't bring anything that could get you distracted like a laptop :-)

 

I'm a believer that you have to cut into your 8 hours of sleep to succeed. However, you can only get away with it for so long. Sometimes I wonder if the people who sleep 8 hours per night and get good grades are just capable of doing more with less time. But then again, most people haven't had to deal with atmospheric dynamics exams.

 

As for actual study habits, I agree that writing/typing it out is the way to go. I've heard also that teaching the material to your roommate/family works really well--you don't truly understand the material until you can teach it to someone else.

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I've heard also that teaching the material to your roommate/family works really well--you don't truly understand the material until you can teach it to someone else.

I guess this is basically what I was getting at, but I just do it in my head and imagine myself in front of a pit class. You start explaining it to the class, then when you run into a problem, you go to the book and figure it out. Then, continue teaching.

 

Oddly enough, obsessedwithbrewcrew, I first started doing this when I was in Weather and Climate class http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

If I had Braun's pee in my fridge I'd tell everybody.

~Nottso

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Like people have said, a lot of it has to do with what type of learner you are.

 

I'm a big fan of the VAK (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic) model of learning - more info can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles#Visual.2C_Auditory.2C_and_Kinesthetic

 

To those who like to write things out, even that can be Kinesthetic. Most people are some form of combination of the learning styles. I'm mostly kinesthetic and visual. If something is just auditory (like a professor talking at a podium with no powerpoint or notes) I get lost/disinterested really quickly.

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I know when my father was getting his Masters and Doctorate while I was growing up he would basically lock himself in a room for an hour every night and my mom and the rest of us kids were not allowed to bother him at all.
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Even when I would take my laptop to school, I would still prefer to write out my notes by hand and then wait until a week or so before the exam and then go back and type them out. Not only are you getting all of the info back into you head when you type it back up but I feel its easier to study off of something that is typed than something that comes out of a notebook. I was a political science major though, so most of the stuff I was writing down wasn't in the form of a diagram or anything that I couldn't just explain or convert into word format. I definitely second the idea of getting out of the house. I have to do this for just about any sort of work I need to get done. It's funny I work at a desk in front of a computer all day and I have a lot of down time but I can;t get myself going on studies until I remove myself from the possibility of browsing the interwebs.
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I know this is nearly impossible to do, but the one time I got a 4.0 in college I actually read ahead in the book - that way I was already familiar with the material before the lecture.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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