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How Your Professors Study For Your Tests

By: Victoria Frank

Several teachers decided to share their own study strategies in addition to study recommendations. In a tough and competitive job market where a college degree is necessary to get any job these days, being a college student is no jest. To get the degree they crave, every college student will need to have good grades. Studying plays a critical role in this. How imperative is studying?

When asked if studying was essential to success, counselor and professor Harry Zarin said, “Tremendously. You can’t possibly learn and retain all the information the teachers give you and spit it back out on a test or a quiz or a paper if you don’t look at it, review it, process it, study it on a regular basis.” Zarin also remarked that students who do not study tend not to do well and only get by.

And when the same inquiry was posed to another professor, Jennifer Polm, who teaches a variety of math courses, responded similarly with, “Yes, studying is definitely essential. Just watching your professor do it in class does not cut it.”

Now how would teachers study now for their classes and test compared to when they were in college? When posed with this question, most of the professors interviewed had one common demoninator in their responses–technology. Professor Barbara LaPilusa stated, “What I would probably do different now is take my notes then type them up on a computer rather than write them down. I would still highlight and focus on examples because they always help.”

Zarin stated something similar in his response in regards to today’s technology, saying that he would type his notes instead of writing them. In today’s age, computers, internet, tablets, and a variety of other technologies exist and students are encouraged to take utmost advantage of them. In Zarin’s terms, “You guys have it made.”

What else would these professors do? Professor Polm would not only take advantage of the technology available but would study with her peers in groups. She would not only take advantage of the technology available but would study with her peers in groups. She would also study the material she learned in class in moderation throughout the course of the semester. Professor Zarin would also study in groups and said that groups are more useful when it comes to studying math; a quiet place is also helpful. And Professor LaPilusa would highlight not only her notes but important facts in books, focusing on examples of the material being learned, and read over her materials repetitively.

How much time should we spend studying? When posed with this question, Professor LaPilusa stated, “There is a formula: every hour you spend in class you should spend two hours studying.” So three credit hours would count as spending six hours every week studying for each class. The other professors mentioned the study formula as well. Professor Polm, however, said “This can vary. A student needs to be self aware of how they feel about the material. But even if you are feeling confident you should do some studying.”

In addition to their own studying techniques, all three professors have provided a myriad of study tips which students definitely should follow. Professor LaPilusa recommends reading your book every day and keeping up with your readings, hightlighting your notes, utilizing note cards, and participating in class. Professor Zarin recommends attending class, practice doing quizzes, doing group reviews, talking to your teachers, and using the tutoring centers on campus. And professor Polm says students should not procrastinate, constantly practice doing problems, complete all of their homework assignments on time, correct their quiz mistakes, take advantage of all of the resource centers MC has to offer like the MAPEL or Writing Center, and studying in groups.

It is obvious that teachers are an excellent resource in general when you are striving to do well in class, and that is the best advice when it comes to studying.

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