The Study Dude—Seven Study Tips and Tricks

american staffordshire terrier reading a book

From worries to solving calculus, all students have issues.  But, like owners of Pitbulls, we’ve got to manage those hounds.  So, here are seven study tips and tricks to keep your study issues from gnarling your GPA:

Tip 1: Snap your study schedule.  If you study at AU and a physical university, before “the first day of school, take a picture of your schedule and set it as your lock screen on your phone, so you always have it handy” (p.  8 of 295, 3%).  Best idea ever!  Plus, place photocopies of your schedules in every one of your textbooks.  And why not make another photocopy for your wall?  But you might study strictly at AU and not combined with a physical university.  If so, draft up your own schedule to lock screen on your phone.  Lock it up to keep it from biting.

Tip 2: Solve most anything with an app.  “If you’re having trouble with a math problem, plug the equation into www.WolframAlpha.com and it will solve it for you” (p.  8 of 295, 3%).  Best app on the planet.  It has all kinds of subjects from which to make calculations.  You can even find out how many pages equates to your word count.  For instance, 70,000 words equals 140 pages single-spaced, takes nineteen hours to type, and four hours to silently read.   It’s all on the app.

Tip 3: Google prior exams.  “Studying for an important test?  Google ‘site:edu [subject] exam’.  You’ll get a bunch of different college exams with problems similar to what may be on your test” (p.  10 of 295, 4%).  Don’t hesitate to do this for a calculus class.  One search for ‘site:edu math exam” brought up a site listing many calculus exams with fully worked out solutions.  From my experience, to gain top student status in math, we need fully worked out solutions.

Tip 4: Let scholarships pay your education.  “The iPhone app Scholly shows you thousands of potential scholarship opportunities that any student can apply for” (p.  14 of 295, 6%).  I found many apps listing scholarships, including international scholarships (see College Scholarships app).  But don’t just apply for one; apply for them all.  When I took on this strategy, I won $24,000 in a SSHRC scholarship for grad studies.  You’ll be frothing when your first scholarship arrives in the mail.  But make sure you have a prof critique your proposal before you submit.

Tip 5: Get an online solutions manual.  “The site http://www.Mathway.com solves all kinds of math homework problems with step-by-step explanations” (p.  14 of 295, 6%).  You can even upload a picture of a math problem, and this site will solve it.  Technology makes learning easy.

Tip 6: Don’t fret when you misplace your bibliography.  “Need to cite a quote from a book?  Don’t bother looking through every page to find it!  Simply type the quote into Google Books and it will tell you the page number automatically” (p.  20 of 295, 8%).  The worst case scenario is having to drop a quote because you’ve lost the citation.  Now, you can Google Book it.  Keep those references from running wild.

Tip 7: Watch your worries boost your GPA.  If an exam causes stress, take comfort, “writing down your worries before taking an exam has been proven to actually boost your test scores” (p.  36 of 295, 13%).  Possibly, writing your worries reveals areas you need to study.  And journaling lowers stress, too.  The pen replaced anti-anxiety medication for me.   And offered a half-a-decade cure.  Now that’s keeping the hound at bay.

These seven tips and tricks can boost your grades—and help you manage the hounds.  So, when the neighborhood Pitbull growls behind a two-foot fence, it may gnarl your boot, but never your GPA.

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