HPU students living in Hawai‘i have a lot of fun extra activities
to keep them distracted from studying: beautiful beaches, Waikiki
nightlife, warm sunny days and star-lit nights. With all these
distractions, studying usually is one of the last things on
a student’s mind.
However, there is hope for those students who want to study
less and still get good grades. With the help of some techniques
and tips, students can learn to retain more in less time.
First, college must be viewed as a business; like any business,
it requires neatness, deadlines, and knowledge of the business
materials. The appearance of your papers counts, because professors
often make a judgment just by looking at it that your paper
deserves an A, B, C or other grade. Consider this: What if all
the students in your class presented a paper that was neat and
free of visible flaws, but your paper had whiteout all over
and was crumpled up a bit because you dropped it on your way
to school. Your paper will stand out, and not favorably. It
is to your advantage to reprint a corrected copy, instead of
taking a chance on your paper being negatively judged against
all the other flawless papers.
Second, sit in the front row in your classes. People in the
first row usually get the most attention and are less likely
to get distracted by others, therefore, they learn more in class.
Selecting courses tailored to your interest is another way
to help get better grades. Choose courses you like, and take
tough courses at other colleges because credits transfer, grades
don’t. Make sure to first check with your advisor before doing
this, because some colleges won’t let you transfer in other
classes once you have been established there for a certain length
Other ways to help improve your grades are to audit difficult
courses by purchasing the book first and reviewing it, then
taking the course the following semester. Talk to students who
are currently taking the course for their opinion. And test
professors before they test you, by selecting instructors as
carefully as you select courses.
While reading your textbook, study by using both sides of your
brain, visual and auditory: read out loud. If you are left brain
dominate, take some music classes to help stimulate the right
brain. You could even record your reading and listen to the
tape when driving in your car or playing at the beach. Take
notes while reading by abbreviating everything, because we think
in short words. And read actively with a pen in hand to jot
down questions and answers.
During mid-terms and final exam week, you are sure to have
brain burnout, a condition that can be reversed by propping
up your feet while keeping you head high and blood flowing to
the brain. Other helpful hints are to eat a little bit of something
sweet like chocolate, breath deeply to help oxygenate your brain,
and study in bright light. And remember, when taking tests go
with your first impression: it is usually the best answer, because
it is your right brain working.