Ace your next exam!

College Tips 

I’m halfway into my junior year now, and I can safely say I learned even more about college (and life in general) during my sophomore year than I did the year before. I learned some big lessons that changed my life altogether, and I also learned many small tips along the way that helped out as well. Here are just 27 of them. I’m sure I’ve got more, but these are the ones that stuck out to me.

Don’t do things for the resume

To be clear – and you can probably tell this from the size of your scroll bar – this post is ginormous. It isn’t the be-all-end-all guide to college, but there is a lot here. You may want to simply browse it and come back a few times to read more.

When I started my sophomore year, I took a good look at my resume and said, “I NEED MOAR STUFF!” And so, with the bravado of a baby bird taking his first jump out of the nest, I went looking for leadership opportunities. I joined multiple committees, became the webmaster for the school’s business council, and started volunteering 10-15 hours a week for the sound team at a church. At the same time, I was still juggling a full course load and 20 hours a week at my job.

Unless you have parents who are both rich enough and nice enough to pay for your college, you probably spent a good amount of your time during the last two or three years of high school looking for scholarships. I certainly did; I think I ended up applying for 30 or 40 off of Fastweb before I graduated.

So many more tips!

Ace Your Next Exam

Earning an A on a test is like beating Super Mario Bros. All the groundwork is established in the game’s earlier levels. You learn the foundations, steadily encounter more and more difficult levels, and generally get a sense for what the game can throw at you. You have to master each of the core concepts in order to progress.

Do a test preparation ritual

However, once you reach the final world, you have to bring your A-game (I did not intend for this to be a pun). Like any good game, the final world takes everything you’ve learned and cranks it all up to 11. It takes a lot of focused effort and practice to make it through to the end.

Do a test preparation ritual, which consists of two parts. First, if you’re prone to test anxiety, take a few minutes to write down your worries and get them out of your head. Research has shown that this actually helps students improve their test grades. Second, after the test starts, brain-dump any important facts you’re afraid you’ll forget onto scratch paper – formulas, measurement conversions, etc.

Keep an eye out for questions on the test that provide clues or answers to other questions. Oftentimes, questions cover similar material and might provide insight to others. This is yet another reason why it’s a good idea to double-check your test after finishing.

Create quizzes!

Monday Shower Thoughts 

  1. Coffee makes you hyper, but coffee shops are designed for people to chill
  2. Tissue companies profit off of sickness, sadness and shame.
  3. The most terrifying thing that could happen to a fly is zooming through an audience attending a live performance of We will rock you
  4. The most useful thing about cats is how well they validate your desire to lie around all day.

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