So it’s no secret college textbooks are a scam, with prices skyrocketing in recent years. Yet just because that book is mandatory, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. The largest library is the internet, and there is a chance someone scanned or uploaded that book you need onto some website.
Finding it is the hard part. But we are here to help. Try this custom google search, it delves the archives of hundreds of ebook websites:Textbook Holy Grail
There’s no guarantee you won’t have to shell out for that textbook, but this tool will certainly help spare you from that horrible option a lot of the time.
-Keith Parker, UMASS Boston
When studying arts at university, take notes on your prof’s political/philosophical ideologies and worldviews. Regurgitate in essays and on exams for an A grade. Also, margins, font, font size, etc. are incredibly important. Never neglect these. Many professors I’ve had want to hear their own opinion parroted back at them so they can feel as if their view point was valid. I haven’t met many who would like to hear their opinion torn down, no matter how well done. They’re human, so if they’re going to have human biases you want to make sure their on your side.
-Tiffany Durant, University of Kansas
Contrary to popular belief, teachers are usually human beings. Like all human beings, your teachers rely on Google for everything, including teaching the course you’re in. Luckily, you can use this to your advantage. Google search for your college textbook’s publisher and include the phrase “Companion Website”. You’ll find practice tests, review sheets, chapter summaries, and lists of important topics.
I’ve done this for many of my textbooks and I find a companion website 80% of the time. Even better, many professors will take exam questions directly from the companion website since they think the student doesn’t know about it. I figured this out last year, and my GPA went from a 2.6 to a 3.4. So take my advice, find the companion website, and this could also be your ticket out of mediocrity!
Rainy Mood and Simply Noise are the cheatcodes for studying/working without distraction. Or listen to classical music for this. It’s relaxing without being too interesting, and it won’t distract you with any lyrics. Film scores and other instrumental works will work too.
Hey guys! So, there’s this lecture called “Study Less Study Smart” that I’ve seen mentioned around here before. It’s probably the most-viewed study advice video on YouTube – but it’s an hour long.
This week, I challenged myself to create a video that summarized those parts in 1/10th the time of the lecture.
To do that, I watched and took detailed notes on the lecture, which essentially boils down to 7 main tips:
-Break studying down into chunked sessions
-Create a dedicated study area
-Study actively – quiz yourself
-Take smart notes and expand on them ASAP after class
-Summarize/teach others what you learn
-Study your books with SQ3R (I have some thoughts on this)
-Use mnemonics to study effectively
In the video, you’ll find a quick rundown of each of these. Want to see my notes on the entire lecture? Here you go.
-Jake Reaver, Arizona State
Ratemyprofessors.com is the closest thing to having a crystal ball as possible for college courses. It gives you the freedom to choose a professor that will fit your personality, and also gives you a chance to balance your course load and have an idea on what you’re getting into.
At my college, we can look up the grade distributions (average gpa of students in class) for each professor, class or combination of the two. Ratemyprofessor is great for opinions on the professor and the class, especially if they have a large number of reviews. Reviews are usually skewed one way or another, but the law of averages means you get a good idea of what you’re in for. My advice is to aim for classes/professors with high GPA distributions. Put it in as another tool in your academic toolbelt, and you’re one step closer to being the Bob the Builder of your school.
Individual module folders. I know this sounds really obvious, but I was terrible when I started University, and I would have killed to have someone sit me down and tell me this stuff. When Note taking, clear and concise sentences. Also to accompany your notes (and if your professor has made it available) download and print off copies of the lecture slide show/power point. If your notes aren’t great or need context, this will help greatly.
-Nick Belanger, UNJ
Look into CLEP testing. Basically, you pay $200, and you take a 90 minute comprehensive exam on a subject. Most good colleges accept at least some of them, and you get full credit for them. I CLEP tested out of as many prerequisites as I could.
SOURCE: I have a Master’s in business from UNM
College Board Exam
-Harry Wodlen, UNM
Regardless if you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, you should save and hold on to a copy of every syllabus for the classes you have taken. Many people think that the college/university they enroll in will be the one they graduate from, but life happens and things change. It happened to me. When it comes time to transfer and your new institution says they won’t transfer the credit over, supplying them with a copy of the syllabus for that class can get you the credit. Easier to save a syllabus than to take a class again that you already passed.
-Rebecca Halbert, SNHU
Don’t study in bed. A psych professor in college told me that your bed should be used solely for sleeping and sex. If you start studying in bed then you’re going to eventually have trouble sleeping since your brain is associating the bed with activities other than sleep. Sleep is SO important to succeeding in school.
-Lucie Widovski, URI
Find something you like — art, writing, math, science. From that point look into the real jobs that are based in those areas. Make sure it’s a career path that isn’t incredibly difficult to enter. Look for people who work in that filed, talk to them, ask them questions.
Don’t just go for a STEM major either. They’re great and even better if that’s your interest, but if you’re not into it you’re setting yourself up for failure. I was a dumb English major and I have a decent writing job.
Go talk to Career Services and ask them for help. Almost every University has one, and they can usually help you out with things like free career aptitude test and advice. Good luck with picking a major.
-Henry Sandbore, Virginia Tech
Create a Google account and get acquainted with Google Drive and Google Calendar.
Put all your classes in your calendar, your clubs, time at the gym, etc. You will be amazed at how much time you’ll be able to find for yourself when you are organized. If you have a smartphone you can sync up your calendar so you can view it on the go.
Create a folder in your Google Drive for each class (History, Physics, etc). This way you know where all your work is and you can easily access it anywhere. If you have a smart phone, there is a Drive app that lets you access your work on your phone – you can send your paper to your professor at the last minute if you forget and are nowhere near a computer.
Just get organized before you get overwhelmed.
-Herman Scoffield, Bates
“I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.”
I’m now an old man, I graduated grad school a year ago. As I look back at my academic career, I am overwhelmed with one regret: I wish I had bought a decent pen.
Over the years, I’ve been plagued with pen problems. Ink ran out. It broke in my pocket. I lost 5 pens in my backpack, today. Somewhere out there, there’s a room full of my lost socks and pens stacked higher than Mount Everest.
So for my graduation present, I bought myself a pen. a sleek little number that I can take with me forever, and doesn’t fail me as I try to write my name down. So my college cheat code, get an mature pen and watch your life change forever.
-Ted Dawson, NYU
I never took notes instead while reading a course book for the first time I would underline anything that seemed vaguely important with a pencil.And later when I was studying for my final exams I would only have to read the already underlined lines. But the book looks extremely untidy.
-Allen Jayson, Harding
To get access to the best range of reading material library-wise: START EARLY. You can be guaranteed that their will be an influx of desperate assholes in the last quarter of the term putting holds on books etc and the best ones will be damn near impossible to get hold of. If you get in there early, you will be rewarded. Take references next to EVERY quotation and do your full book reference as soon as you get the book. This saves SO MUCH TIME, and if you have to give a book back due to a hold etc, you won’t be running around trying to get an exact reference. Key essay writing tip at University: keep intros and conclusions short and sweet, and should essentially be how your going answer the question and your argument and how you answered the question and what you proved, pointed out etc (Intro and Conclusion respectively)
Make use of any journal databases you have access to (Jstor was a life saver for me). One more library tip, if your Library has a short loan section, reserve the overnight slot. You have more time with the book, and you have to get up early to give the book back, so you’ll be ready for a full day.