Free University Project
College Prep Online 2000
This page is dedicated to:(The following links are repeated at the end of this file.)
- College bound high school juniors and seniors, and recent graduates.
- Currently enrolled college students.
- Those returning to college after a prolonged absence.
- Adult learners enrolling in college for the first time.
Introductionby Jack C. Star
Even if you can find time for only two 60 to 90 minute study sessions a week you should take advantage of this site
If you are going to college for the first time, or returning after a long absence, and your core skills are weak, you may be required to take a remedial class which will waste time and money; If you improve your vocabulary, writing, math and study skills, you may improve your chances of obtaining, or maintaining, a scholarship; If you gain the confidence to take one or more proficiency exams to obtain college course credit by examination you will gain greater flexibility in scheduling your regular classes; Even if you decide not to take the exam, you can use the lectures linked through the Free University Project to obtain better grades.
(That said, however, I won't promise you a rose garden. See disclaimer.)
Set up a Study Calendar several months at a timeThe calendar can be as general or specific as you like. You can, for example, first block out all days when you are working, going on a trip, or have a previously scheduled event. Then determine what hours are available on working days and weekends. Once these days and times have been established, you can note what hours you are setting aside for study each week. Always plan a couple of extra study sessions each month in case something unanticipated comes up.
Make your plan; then work your plan. If you have never done this kind of independent study before:
- Set aside your first three or four sessions as planning sessions;
- Go through each of the following sections and follow all of the links;
- Take notes of those you may want to refer to later and bookmark them;
- Make a guesstimate of the time you will need to spend, and then block out that time in your calendar .
Learn to keep a journalBefore you start your study sessions plan to keep a journal to record your study activities. The journal will help in at least four ways:
- You have a physical record of your activity that will give you some sense of your accomplishments -- a form of positive reinforcement;
- You have a record you can refer to to refresh your memory;
- You have evidence, if required, to show others;
- You will develop a very valuable habit.The journal should contain, as a minimum, an entry for every study session -- even a 5 minute vocabulary review -- the date, the amount of time spent, material covered. Record the URL of every site you visit with at least a brief note of its contents. (I frequently print the first page of a site that I want to remember and file it with my notes.) For off line material: record the standard bibliographic reference for every book (title, author, date published, publisher, etc.), what sections you read, and some notes about content and your thoughts. Enter similar information for educational TV programs, videos, audio tapes, and CD-ROMs.
If you are not in the habit of recording study sessions you may not immediately see the value of developing this habit. Give it a shot. Plan to set aside a few minutes at the end of every study session to enter this information. The brief review you go though in your own mind as you write the entries will help you remember what you studied.
The Best Kept Secret to Good GradesRemember to use a good encyclopedia early and often. Before you take the first lecture of any course read the description of the course in the college course catalog. Pick out the keywords and look them up in a good encyclopedia; follow major cross references. You will establish a good frame of reference and become acquainted with the specialized vocabulary of that subject. If you receive a syllabus of the course you will be able to read related entries in the encyclopedia before you go to class. As you read your textbook you will find still more keywords, names of important people, places, etc. to look up.
Take notes of the encyclopedia entries. Don't be discouraged if you have trouble understanding some entries. As the course progresses that understanding should come.
(The Encyclopdia Britannica is now available online free. You can search both the full encyclopedia and access some of their extensive Internet links.)
If you become adapt at taking these tests (The CLEP, for example, from The College Board -- click on Students and Parents.
Your questions and comments are always welcome.
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