Tips for earning a good grade in this course.

  1. Put away your smart phone in class and take written notes. Studies show that both of these strategies will help you learn better in any class.
  2. Read and study your notes consistently, not all at once before an exam. Consult this list of tips (generated with student input) for how to study for this course, especially the exams, effectively.
  3. Attend class! If you miss class, you will miss out on attendance points as described in the syllabus. These are worth 100 points,  equal to one exam grade.
  4. Attend labs and participate. Do not let your lab partners do all the work and calculations. Material covered in lab will appear on the exams.
  5. Non Service-Learning sections: Do the observing project throughout the semester. The total possible points for the project is 100, again  equal to one exam grade. If you do not do the observations (worth 65 of the 100 points) you will have nothing to summarize at the end of the semester (worth 35 of the 100 points).
    Service-Learning sections: Participate fully in the service-learning projects. Submit the required preparation, reflection, and assessment components promptly.
  6. This is science, and we can’t avoid speaking the language of science- math! The exams will require some short calculations in the form of word problems. If it has been a long time since you did problems like these, pay close attention to the small group exercises we do in class and to the Math Tools boxes in the course textbook. Consider perusing the Background Material, especially the Algebra Review. Consider using the resources at the Khan Academy for more practice. Please see me if you would like any additional guidance or help navigating these or other resources.
  7. Keep track of your course grade and take advantage of extra credit opportunities if need be. See this page for details on how to calculate your grade. Ask me if you have questions.
  8. See this webpage: “Hints on How to Succeed in College Classes” from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.