Study Tips

Below are some tips for how to use the lectures and course materials to study effectively.

  1. Prepare by listening to recorded lectures (preferable) or reading the slides and/or online text before coming to class.
  2. It is important to attend class, but even more important to engage with the material enough to generate questions. If you do not wish to ask those questions in class, consider asking me via email or in office hours, or ask a classmate, or make an appointment with an undergraduate learning assistant.
  3. Take written notes in class, during lectures, class discussions and small group work, which are designed to reinforce the same concepts. Taking notes will help you remember things later.
  4. Pay particular attention to the following items in the text:
    • Summaries at the end of each chapter
    • Graphs and images, especially those that appear on the slides shown in class or that relate directly to activities/demos done in class
    • The examples within each chapter, which step through sample calculations
  5. When studying for the exam, pay attention to the concepts covered in in-class exercises we have done. These concepts are very likely to appear on the exams. Questions may closely follow those from the in-class questions and from the labs.
  6. Access the online demos and simulations I have used in class. Use these in conjunction with the review questions posted in the slides.
  7. Make good use of time on the exam itself.
    • Read questions slowly and carefully to make sure you understand what is being asked. (You can ask me for clarification of questions during the exam.)
    • Use the process of elimination for multiple choice and check your Scantron answers before handing in the exam.
    • Attempt the short answer and calculation questions. I do give partial credit on these.
  8. Avoid a completely fact-based/memorization way of studying and concentrate instead on understanding concepts, particularly the ones we’ve returned to again and again. This list of themes is a good starting point for this. I know this is more challenging. That is why I’m here to help.