Preparing for class, Before, During and After

books and eyeglasses with a pen and paper

(image by by It’s So Sunny! via Creative Commons)

The semester has just begun, and if you’re classes are like mine, you’re already swamped with work. Every professor gives assignments, every professor gives tests, and every professor wants you to prepare before coming to class. So, every semester, I make a resolution that I will not get behind on my work, that I will prepare the material before class instead of after, and that I will not cram before the tests. Rather, I will study in a manner that will allow me to retain the information. Somehow I always end up sticking to the plan for the first two exams, and doing really well, but after mid-semester evaluations, I get that “Spring Fever” slump. I become less disciplined, and it is reflected in my grades.

So, the question is how I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen again this semester. I have a plan that I have implemented that hopefully will allow me to continue to do well in my classes throughout the semester without getting burnt out in the middle of the semester. My plan has three parts: Before, During, and After

In the Before stage of my plan, I attempt to figure out my schedule BEFORE the semester, allowing me to prioritize school, work, and free time. I bought a planner that has time slots for every day from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. I have made a tentative plan for when I will prepare for the classes, when I will review after the classes, when I will be available to work, and when I will give myself a break from school work. I have done the planning in pencil to allow for necessary changes to the schedule. The schedule allows time for things that come up unexpectedly, as well as taking in to account my personal sleep requirements. Most college students know how much time they need for sleep, preparation and assignments. I challenge you to figure ou your BEFORE schedule.

In the During phase of the plan, I intend to become actively involved in the course material both DURING the class and while studying. I do this by asking questions during class, teaching the material to other students or family and friends, and applying the material from my classes to my every day life. In order to implement the DURING phase of my plan, it is essential that I achieve the proper balance between school, work and free time to allow myself to remain actively involved during school and homework while still maintaining my sanity and not allowing myself to become burnt out. It is essential, at this point to allow myself adequate time for regular living and stress relief as well as sleep and balanced meals. So, how will you balance your DURING?

The last part of my plan, the After stage, involves reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses after an exam and recognizing where I have room for improvement. This is a continuous phase, essential for the success of my plan. AFTER all is said and done, it is only with continuous reflection that I will be able to gauge my progress in achieving my goals.

So I’m interested in knowing, how have you prepared for the semester? What are your New Semester Resolutions? How will you ensure your success?

2 thoughts on “Preparing for class, Before, During and After

  1. Ruchoma – I’m so glad to see this new blog, and the things you have to say in your post are just great! I think that your advice, if followed with discipline, could probably eliminate 90% of the failing grades at citytech (really, it’s that great!). But like anything involving self-discipline, it’s easier said than done… I wonder if you could write a followup post towards the end of the semester, and let us know how your plan went — we could learn a lot from both your successes and your challenges.
    Looking forward to hearing more from The Buzz,
    -Mr. Reitz, Mathematics

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