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First Exams

First Exams

Dear Students, 

It's the time of the semester for the first round of exams. I hope that you see exams as a challenge and an opportunity rather than a hurdle. Faculty give exams to assess how students are learning. That's why we are all here. So approach exams as a learning experience. Better yet, actually work at it. Be systematic. Try different strategies. Work to prepare in a group. Work on your own. Work a little each day. Alternate subjects. Make your own questions. Every class will be different. Becoming an independent learner is one of the best things you can take away from the University. Everyone takes a different approach to this goal, but they often have things in common:

  • Make a plan. Keep strategies that work for you and change others that are less helpful. Study smarter not harder.
  • Be active. We shouldn't call it "studying"; we should call it "practice." If you are not doing it, you are not learning it. Sitting and listening to others or "reading over" material is limited in its effectiveness. Test your own knowledge. Be active in your learning.
  • Be honest with yourself. Don't rationalize. Don't look for excuses. In the end, all that matters is if you really know it. Get to work. You can do it. When you excel, continue to challenge yourself. When you hit bumps in the road, examine what you have been doing (or not doing) and adopt new strategies. Finally, you are not in this alone. Go to office hours. Talk to faculty. Talk to the TA. Find a study group and meet with peers. Take responsibility for your learning.

Press on,
Dr. Vanden Bout

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Wednesday, 03 June 2020

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