Lecture Notes: Study Skills
· Be organized!
· As you read the assigned sections in the textbook, take notes. Write down the definitions and the steps to solve the problems. Not only will writing out those notes help you to find them without having to go back into the e-book, but the act of writing it down by hand is helpful in the learning process.
· Don’t just read the examples from the text but try to work out the problems as you write them down. If you ever have questions about why a step wa done that way, ask your instructor.
· Write out your work neatly! When you are working your homework problems, number the problems on your paper, write out the problem and write out each step. The more steps you write out, the less likely you are to make a mistake, and if you do make a mistake you can find it more easily if you can see your steps.
· Keep everything in one place! Keep the homework for a section with the notes for that section and make sure it is clearly labeled. Again, this will make things easier when you study for a quiz or test.
· Doing homework
· Do not wait until the last minute to take the assignments, and do not try to rush through the assignment just to get it finished in time. This will not help you succeed in the course. Math concepts builds on what has been learned, and you need to make sure you fully understand a concept before trying to build on that. It is like the story in Matthew 7:24–27 about the man who built his house on a foundation of rock and the man who built his house on a foundation of sand. This course is trying to give you the strong foundation that you need to succeed in the math courses you will take in the future.
· Write out each problem and work out the problem step-by-step. You can use this to refer back to when studying and preparing for tests, and, if you get the problem wrong, you can look back over your work to try to find any minor mistakes you may have made.
· Do not stay on one problem for an hour. Once you get frustrated with a problem, take a break, go on to another problem, or take a break from math altogether for a few minutes. Try the problem again. If you still cannot get the correct answer, ask your instructor.
· Evaluating feedback
· When you get a question wrong, do not just accept that you do not know how to do it and move on. Review your work to try to find any minor mistakes. Ask your instructor if you do not understand how to get the correct answer. You have a limited numer of attempts on each homework question. If you are struggling with a problem, ask for help before you run out of attempts.
· Quizzes and tests will also tell you which questions are incorrect and what the correct answers are after the assignment is submitted. Review your work and try to get the correct answer. This is where it is helpful for you to have written out all of your steps in solving the problems. Try to find what mistake you made in the questions you got wrong so you can understand what should have been done. You can then attempt to avoid making that mistake again. You are never going to be able to avoid making mistakes altogether. Everyone makes mistakes, but, if you see something that you are consistently doing wrong, you can attempt to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
· Do not give up!
· Work, practice, and be diligent in your studies. Do not be lazy in doing your work.
· You may have been placed in this course, and you may not want to take this class. However, passing this course is a step you have to take in order to make it through the math that is required for your degree.
· Philippians 3:15–16: “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it” (MSG).
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