Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Procrastination and Distractions

Final exams are just around the corner, if you haven't started reviewing... this would be a good time to start.

List of review tips

Procrastination is a problem that almost everyone at one point or another has experienced.

Procrastination starts with a distraction, followed by the thought "I'll do it tomorrow" and ends with you following suit.

Distractions (that causes procrastination) are all around us....
  • that new movie that just came out and you must watch on opening day
  • the remote control on the couch
  • your computer "accidentally" open to Facebook/Twitter/Youtube page and now you're chatting/watching/updating
  • you hate doing the laundry but for some reason, just before the test, you don't hate it anymore
  • your friend told you to watch this new TV series. For weeks you ignored the recommendation but all of a sudden you're very interested
  • thinking you need to go for some fresh air, but 3 hours later you come back with a handful of shopping bags
  • it has been 3 hours since your phone rang, and you are still chatting
  • you spent an hour re-arranging your bedroom but not much has changed
Has any of the above ever happen to you? Well don't worry, you're not alone.

Today's Tip of the Day:
Strategies to Reduce Procrastination:
  1. Identify the roadblocks, your distractions (above list). Why do you think you're procrastinating? Awareness is the first step towards change.

  2. Pay attention to self-talk. Don't fall into the "Mañana Trap." (Mañana means "tomorrow" in Spanish.) Whenever you are tempted to do it later, ask yourself why later is better than now. (Actually, yesterday was probably the best time to do it, right?)

  3. Have trouble starting? Try the 5 minute plan. Spend five minutes actively working on the task. Your resistance will go down, and you'll likely want to keep working.

    • if you find yourself distracted try "PATs" model (from my previous blog entry) reminder:
      • Pick the best environment for you to study
      • Always reduce visual distractions
      • Try to eliminate noise around you
      • Self talk to control distracting thoughts

  4. Reward yourself. Give yourself something to look forward to when the task is completed.

    • if you finished a chapter of reading, or finished a practice exam, then treat yourself to something!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Multiple Choice Tests

Most tests we take will have a multiple choice portion and today's tip will give you strategies to figure out the A, B, C and D (so on).

MQ's are usually constructed of two parts:

A) a stem that identifies the problem or the question and

B) a set of alternatives. Alternatives contain the key (correct or the "best" answer) and the distractors (possible but incorrect answers).

Our Job is to pick out the correct answer out of the list given, but MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions)c an be challenging because they tend to test for detail. No part marks given, thus you cannot justify your answer. You either know it, you don't, or you guessed well.

Good news is, there is tricks to MCQs and today's tip will help you with MCQ tests.

Today's Tip:

Strategies for Writing Multiple Choice Exams
  • Watch your time. Don't spend too much time on one question
  • Underline qualifying words like "always," "never," etc. You'll pay closer attention to them.
  • Watch for typos as clues to the best answer. If one of the alternatives has a typo, it is probably not the key.
  • Eliminate wrong answers and see what is left over.
  • Beware of true statements that don't address the stem. Make sure the true statement refers to the stem.
  • If two items have similar wording, one of the parallel statements is probably correct. Often the choice comes down to two very similar answers. Pick the most complete response.
  • In a question with an "all of the above" choice, if you see at least two true statements, then "all of the above" is the right answer. This is self-explanatory.
  • Be systematic with confusing MCQ's with many alternatives, such as "all of the above," "A, B and D," etc. Evaluate each alternative carefully.
  • Review your answers. Always leave time to check your work.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Study Tips to Prepare You for Finals!

As we approach the end of the semester we also approach the season of final exams. Finals can be daunting especially when there are many of exams back to back, so to help you study, here's a collection of all the study skills tips aimed at helping you study and to get you focused.

The key is to study smart, not hard. Take a minute to read some of these tips...it might help you save a lot of time when you study! Study a little bit at a time and try your best to avoid procrastination.

Multiple Choice Exams

Improving Your Memory

Note Taking and Listening

Textbook Reading

General Reading Tips

Managing your time

Procrastination and Distraction

"PATs" studying model

Reward Yourself

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Right: Developing you own Checks and Balances

Today's Tip: Finding the right balance.

Do you remember when Goldilocks broke into the three bear's house and sampled everything from beds to porridge? Everything as either too this or too that or just right?

If you look around at the people you work with, you will start to notice the same trend. There are three types of people- coasters, workaholics and the just-rights.

Usually the workaholics are your boss and managers, usually the coasters are those people that have been there forever and haven't really seen any upward mobilities, surfing through the weeks looking for Fridays.

Then there are the just-rights. They find that work/life stability that gets them ahead not only in their careers but also in in their personal lives. They're not too much of a workaholic and they're not too much of a coaster---they are just-right.

How do you find your own system of checks and balances between the three?

Here's a few tips:

#1 Work for it: Find your inner workaholic. Sometime syou just have to get down to work. Projects come against dealines, customer demand satisfaction and dises need cleaning. You wnat to get ahead and management expects you to get the job done....so eat lunch at your desk and stay late a few nights this week.

Show them you are willing to work hard and put in some extra effort to get the job done and that our job MATTERS to you.

Enjoy the thrill of being crunched for time and tired out of your mind. BUT don't over do it or you'll burn yourself out. If you feel on the brink of burning out remember too.......

#2 Relax a little: Go coaster. After all the stress, whether one or six weeks, you need to find some time for yourself. You worked late getting that project done one time last week, you satisfied your customers and the dishes are done! Now it's time to take a minute and browse the internet while no one's looking or put on some music. If yo finish early, ask if you can leave early. Rest on Friday nights, party on Saturday night..catch up on TV shows or start a new series (I recommend Big Bang Theory or Community--good laugh).

#3 ride the wave: Get it just-right. Surfing involes some serious work but it also invovles some serious floating.

Workaholics work and work and as a reslult their careers might move up and up...but on the flipside their personal lives takes a dive. Coasters focus on hteir lives outside of while, and while their social lives might be intact their careers can become stagnant and simply a means to an end.

Work hard when you need to...but don't forget to take some time for yourself. Ride the wave and find the perfect balance.

Article from the magazine Jobpostings page 32 (Available at AC 213)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview Smarts

Have you ever been asked the question: "Give an example of a time when you had to work with someone who was difficult to deal with; Why were they difficult and how did you handle it?"

Flipping through the magazine Jobpostings, I found an article on Interview Smarts (page 8 of Nov/Dec issue), where David Meister (Campus Recruitment @ Suncor Energy) gave some pointers on how to answer the above question.

Usually when this question is asked, it always changed the mood and candidates struggle to find examples. The reasion interviewers ask this question is not to identify how easgoing you are, but to understand how you manage through challenging situations.

Tips to preparing for this question:
1) To prepare for the question, think of a time when you had to deal with a problematic individual.
2)Practice descibing the situation; why you considered this person "difficult"
, and what the goal was in your interaction.
3)Then descibe teh action you took to resolve the issue or to reach and finally prepare to discuss teh result of your action.

The article continues to give an example of how this interview question could be answered. You can find this article and many others in the JobPosting Magazine. Get your copy at the Academic Adving and Career Centre at AC213!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Note Taking and Listening tips

Have you ever sat in class with everyone around you constantly scribbling/typing notes, and you're wondering what everyone is writing down? Well today's tip is to help you take good notes and write down what is important.

Today's Tips:

#1) Active Listening is KEY to Taking Good Notes!
  • Puts you in a better position to understand and recall material.
  • Greater recall when studying for midterms and exams.
  • Makes class more interesting because you are involved.
  • Listen for cues as evidence of what the instructor thinks is important.

    • "The three main issues are..." • "The key issue here is..." • "I'll begin by..." • "To sum up..." • "This is really important!"
#2) Try the Cornell Notetaking System - PQ5R

Step 1 - PREPARE

  • Read and review any assigned readings.
  • Review notes from the last lecture.
  • Preview the lecture powerpoint slides if you get them in advance.


  • Get unanswered questions from the readings answered in class.
  • Write down questions you predict may appear on future tests.

Step 3 - REDUCE

Set up your lecture notes like this:
  • The key column is where you write key questions about the notes
  • The notes column is where you write full notes during class.
  • Within 24 hours of lecture, generate key questions or phrases about the notes. Write these in the key column.

Step 4 - RECITE

  • Cover over the notes column and answer the questions in the key column.
  • Recite the material in your own words.
  • Did you cover all the points correctly? If so, move on the to the next question.

Step 5 - REFLECT

  • Ask yourself - how does this material relate to previous lectures?
  • Look for connections. Connections could point to future test questions.
  • Write short summaries of each page of your lecture notes in your own words.
  • Complete all steps within 24 hours of class to maximize memory.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Managing your time

With a full course load, part/full time jobs, extra curricular activities and a need for some free time it is a challenge to manage everything into the short span of 7 days a week.

Everyone wants to reduce procrastination, have more control over their schedule, limiting stress, complete more tasks, and at the same time enjoy some free time. This all sounds good but how to manage it is not as simple.

Tip of the Day is Time Management Strategies

#1) Let's start off with:
Plan your week ahead of time with a daytimer/scheduler. Slot in:
  • Committed activities - classes, labs, tutorials, part-time job, meetings
  • Well-being activities - exercise, lunches, breaks, social activities
  • Academic work - 2-3 hours of study for every hour you spend in lecture
#2) Use a semester planner to keep track of the year. Using your course outlines write down:
  • Assignments
  • Tests
  • Exams
#3) Make a to-do lists. Writing down tasks that you want to complete achieves three important goals:
  • You track what has to be done
  • It helps you to come up with a more accurate estimate of how long a project will take to complete
  • You are making a firm commitment to get the work done
#4) Following through on your goals:
  • Stay motivated!
    1. Reward yourself!(see entry on Reward yourself)
    2. something small after finishing a chapter: (such as a half-hour of guilt-free TV-watching after reading your assigned chapters)
    3. a larger reward after a midterm/submitting an essay (an evening out with friends after handing in a big paper).
  • Avoid procrastinating
    1. Avoiding distractions and procrastination (See blog entry on procrastination and distraction)

  • Evaluate your progress
    1. This will give you the information you need to modify your time management strategies

Friday, October 29, 2010

Improving your memory

Having a good memory is a cornerstone of academic success. Today's tip is set on helping you improve your memory.

It is thought that humans possess two major types of memory: short‐term memory (STM) and long‐term memory (LTM). If you wish to be successful on tests and exams, it is important to have crucial information stored in your longterm memory.

Frequent review of material is important.

Today's TIP:

Always review your lecture notes and recite material within 24 hours of your class to encourage information transfer from your STM to your LTM. LTM allows retrieval of information decades after it is stored, and its capacity is considered to be infinite.

I know it's not the most exciting exercise to go through your lecture notes, as reading your notes can be very dull and by the end of ther material you still don't remember.

Instead, try to go through your notes and write post-its of the most important points. Then post the sticky-notes around your room, and the next couple days go through your sticky-notes to refresh your memory. You might find that the information starts to stick and next time you go through your lecture notes you will remember points faster.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Study Tips are back!

For those who were not around during the summer, I have been posting up Study-Tips to help everyone study smarter. These study-tips are courtesy of the Academic and Career Centre Tip-Sheets.

Today's tip is about the different types of learning styles and how finding the right style will make a huge difference when you are studying.

Today’s TIP:

Learning styles makes a difference when you're studying.

#1 If you prefer auditory modality of learning (learning by listening):
  • Reciting material to yourself while studying, talking outloud
  • Tape recording study notes so that you can listen to them while travelling to and from school or while exercising.
  • Have discussion groups, talk to someone else
#2 If you prefer the visual modality of learning (learning through sight):
  • Try using colour coding and highlighting text material
  • Using bullets to separate ideas
  • Making pictorial representations and diagrams of material to be learned
#3 Kinesthetic learners are those who prefer using whole body movement and real life experiences to help them to learn. If you are a kinesthetic learner, you will learn best from:
  • Typing notes into your computer (assuming you have time and are a fairly fast typist!)
  • Underlining or taking notes while reading
  • Making flash cards to record information for review
  • Actively writing on lecture notes and on print out readings to help yourself understand
Hope today's Study Tip is helpful, if you want to know more about study styles and other study skills, you can visit the AACC tipsheets for Learning Styles and other tipsheets.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Resources and Locations on campus (Photo Blog)

Remember the previous blog where I took you on a tour of the different places to eat on campus? Well, this time I will be taking you on a tour to the many interesting resources and locations at UTSC.

The Academic and Career Centre

Starting with the Academic and Career Centre. Located at AC 213 near the library, this is where you can find help with academic advising and career counselling.

You can find learning resources, latest job postings, private peer counselling..and many more other resources.

You can also make appointments to speak one-on-one with an academic or career counsellor at the centre.

So feel free to pop in sometime or visit the AACC website!

The Library

Not far from the Academic Advising and Career Centre is the Library. Located in the ARC near Tim Hortons and the Writing Centre.

Besides endless shelves of books, the library homes many quiet study spaces...great for studying on your own and working on group projects!

If you have term papers, essays or any other assignments that involves you researching outside resources, then definitely take some time at the library. The library offers librarians who are there to help with just that!

The Bookstore
Need to buy a textbook? Pens? Binders? Backpacks? Mugs? UofT memorabilias? Then visit the UTSC BookStore!

Located in the 3rd floor of Bladen Wing, the Bookstore holds all your academic needs!

The Health and Wellness Centre

Not feeling well? The Health and Wellness Centre has many trained professionals to provide you medical, nursing, wellness information and health promotion.

Located upstairs of the Student Centre, SL-270


Need to photocopy something? Need to fax a form/letter? Need to print an assignment/file?? Well then visit CopyKats!

Located in Science wing, besides the Meeting Place. Look for the sign CopyKats

Women's Centre

The Women's Centre is located upstairs of the Student Centre, SL-224

The centre is there to improve the condition and status of women at U of T.

If you need someone to talk to, questions or other concerns feel free to visit the centre or visit the Women's Centre website

Math & Statistics Learning Centre

The Math and Statistics Learning Centre (MSLC) is located in AC312 of the ARC

MSLC provides free seminars, workshops, virtual tutoring, individual appointments, and small-group consultations to improve students’ proficiency in various subjects of mathematics and statistics.

The Math Aid Room is located in S-506F of the Science Wing

The Office of Student Affairs & Services

The Office of Student Affairs & Services is located in Student Centre, Room SL-157

The Office of Student Affairs provides leadership and general oversight for the entire division of student affairs, including all student services as well as providing unique campus services such as notary public services, budget leadership for the Council on Student Services, managing the undergraduate Academic Travel Fund and IT coordination for all departments.

The Office also functions as a clearing house for information and referral related to the student co-curricular and extra- curricular experience.

The Writing Centre

Need help with a paper? Essay? or any writing needs? Visit the Writing Centre. Located across from the Library in the ARC.

The Writing Centre service provides support for teaching and learning through writing for all University of Toronto Scarborough students

Also, the centre offers many seminars that helps you with academic writing and reading. Visit Writing Centre website for list of seminars and sign up on the intranet.

The Doris McMarthy Gallery
The Doris McCarthy Gallery is located in the Academic Resource Centre.

DMG houses many permanent collections as well as many exhibits. Visit the DMG website for more information!

Hope this little tour across campus is helpful. Stay tuned for more interesting locations on campus!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010/11 school year

Welcome back to the new school year! And to new students, welcome to UofT!

As second week of school reaches an end, there are couple of important dates and up and coming seminars to take note of.

Important date(s):
The last day to add courses is this Sunday, Sept 26th, 2010

The last day to apply for credit/no-credit is also Sunday, Sept 26th, 2010

Upcoming seminars (Sign up on INTRANET for seminars):
Study Smarter, Not Harder Seminar is on Monday, September 27th , 12:00 – 1:30pm

Extreme Time Management Seminar is on Wednesday, September 29th, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Mastering Multiple Choice Questions Seminar is on Thursday, September 30th, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Stay tuned for next blog where I will show you some interesting spots on UTSC campus (including places to get photo copy and location of lost&found.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ace is everywhere Part one (photo blog)

This week's photoblog, I will take you on a tour to some interesting spots on campus!

Do you need to photocopy, print or fax files??? Do you need to print items that's not on the standard letter paper? Then CopyKats awaits your visit! Located in the Science Wing right next to the meeting place (the giant square area of the Science Wing). I am a frequent visitor of CopyKats as you can see in the photo :)

Science Wing Meeting Place, where most of the Acedemic Advising and Career Centre Fairs are held. As well as many special events.

Study study study! There are many study spaces around campus, you can find them in the Science Wing, H wing, Arc and library. If you need it to be absolutely silent, there are Ultra Quiet study spaces upstairs of the Library. My favourite spot is in the Science Wing, as you can see in the photo.

Checking out the latest news on campus. You can find these TV all over campus with the latest campus news as well as the weather report.

If you forgot to bring your cell phone and need to call someoneyou can do what I do... use pay phones on campus. You can find these pay phones in the AA building first floor across from the "Welcome Hall".

Need to do a research paperor essay? In need of a quiet place to study? And you don't mind being surrounded by books? Then the library is the perfect place for you! Located in the Arc building...you can't miss it!

In a hurry and don't have a chance to wash your hands, you can find these Hand sanitizer Stands all over the campus.

If you live far from UTSC and need a place to stay while studying at UTSC there are on campus residences! Town houses and Foley Hall located in the South Rez and Town Houses located in North Rez, all set aside so students can stay on campus.

Stay tuned for more interesting places on campus in the Ace is Everywhere Part Two photoblog where I will be showing the resources on campus!

Ace is hungry (Photo Blog)

I was studying earlier and felt hungry. So I went on a little tour around school to the many places to eat on campus...in my attempt to decide what I wanted to eat.

My stop took me to the vending machine in the Science Wing
. Great place to go for food when everything else is closed!

Next, I passed Tim Horton's, or as I like to call Timmys.
With two entrances and a lot of seating, Timmy's is one of my favourite place to hang out. After I grabbed
some timbits, I am off to the next location on campus!

Not far from Timmy's is the Market Place.
Located in the H Wing of the school. The Market Place offers a large variety of food from burgers to pasta. There's also two floors of seating connected to the Market Place, great place to have meals with friends.

In the Student Centre, you can find Subway, A&W, Treats as well as Asian Gourmet. My favourite is Treats, where you can find me buying myself bubble tea and sandwiches!
I bought myself a cookie here and set off to the next location.

Next, my tour around campus takes me to where I spent most of my time watching the FIFA World Cup and other sporting events: Rex's Den!
There's not games on TV today, so I moved on to the next location.Downstairs of the Student Centre is Rex's Den where large screen TV and restaurant combine for the perfect sports-watching environment.

Campus Xpress, housed also in the Student Centre is, what I like to call the on campus convenience store. If you are craving chocolate bars, chips, drinks, candy, coffee, ice cream, yogurt, assorted gummy candy and just about any other snacks...then I would recommend you visit the Campus Xpress. (Also, this is where you can buy TTC tokens, hoodies, stationaries and other non-food items...more on that in later blog entries.) I am feeling thirsty, so I bought (an infamous) Arizona tea here.

I finally found what I wanted to eat at UTSC's own hot dog stand. Located outside of the Student Centre near the student drop off area is the Hot Dog stand. Chicken, beef, vegetarian hot dogs...all can be found here! I bought myself one and now I am ready to study once again.

Stay tuned! More photo blogs to come!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Why do an internship? To gain skills and experience for a competitive edge in the workplace, confirm if a career is the right fit for you, to gain valuable contacts in your field, be offered more long‐term positions, and gain understanding into workplace issues and ethics.

Step 1: Assessing Your Goals
Prior to selecting an internship, you will need to have a clear understanding of what you are hoping to gain from the
experience. Do you want experience in Canada or abroad? Are you looking for a large or small organization? Are
there financial issues you need to address? What experience and skills do you need to develop? The “Choosing Your
Career” workshop can assist you. Sign up on the intranet.

Step 2: Finding an Internship
As internships can take on a variety of forms, there is often confusion as to what an internship really is, which can
make it tricky to locate the internship of your dreams. Internships can be listed in a variety of places (or not listed at
all!), so you need to have a multi‐pronged approach to find yours. Be sure to attend our Volunteer & Internship Fair
offered each year. Start with some of the resources listed on this tipsheet to help you identify potential opportunities.
Most of these resources are on‐line as there are less and less internship directories being printed. The print
directories, although older, can still be useful for generating some leads as they typically list organizations that are
larger and more stable. It would be beneficial to look at specific company websites to see if they offer internships. If
you would like to intern with a specific company or organization, but they do not advertise internships, contact them,
explain your interest in the company and your background and ask if they would sponsor an internship for you. Many
students have found internships by taking this initiative. If you need help identifying employers in your field, consult
the employer directories available in the Career Resource Library.

Step 3: Researching the Organization
You can never know too much about a potential placement. The Career Resource Library and the Internet are good
places to start. You will want to find out about the current trends, challenges facing the organization, innovations,
recent successes, and workplace philosophy.

Step 4: Applying and interviewing
Applying to an internship typically involves writing an effective résumé/application that clearly outlines your skills,
education, experience, volunteer work, accomplishments and interests. If you are writing a résumé, be sure to include
a targeted cover letter. For help, attend a “Winning Résumés and Cover Letters” seminar. Also, have these documents
critiqued with the Résumé Critique Service, to ensure you are marketing yourself effectively. If an interview is
required, prepare for it as seriously as you would for any other job interview. The Academic Advising & Career Centre
offers the “Interview Techniques to Land That Job” seminar as well as one‐on‐one Practice Interview sessions. In
addition to these services, the Career Resource Library (AC213) offers a number of resources on résumés, cover
letters, and interviews.

Step 5: Making the most of your internship
This is your chance to get some of that much needed work experience! For a successful internship be sure to be
punctual and professional; show initiative, energy and commitment; learn from those who have more experience than
you; participate in team projects; ask questions; understand how the company operates; learn about the
organization’s recruitment strategy; ask for a letter of recommendation when you leave and keep in touch with the
company; send a thank you letter upon completion of the internship.

For list of internship websites visit the Internship Tipsheet brought to you by the Academic and Career Centre

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Choosing your program

Unsure of what program to go into? Today's tip is directed to those who are indecisive and unsure about the program they to major/minor in.

As you know University of Toronto Scarborough students may only register in Scarborough programs. If you are a degree student and you have at least 4.0 credits, you must register in a program or programs.

Today's tip(s):

Choosing Your Program(s)

There are many factors to consider when choosing your program(s). There is not one universal ‘right’ choice; each person must look at his/her own situation and decide upon the right program options for him/her. Ask yourself these questions:

What are you interested in?
Studying subjects that are interesting to you means you will enjoy your time at university more, you will be more
focused in your learning and probably achieve higher marks.

Where do your strengths lie?
This means looking at where your skills lie; are you a good writer, researcher, problem solver, organizer? Are you
good with numbers, creative expression, or intricate details? Assessing your strengths and understanding those
required by different programs may give you some ideas as to which programs are best for you.

• What courses have you done well in?
It is important to assess this now, as you complete your first courses at university. You may have been good at a
number of subjects in high school; usually, the field is narrowed down by the intensity of study at the university
level. Assess what you are better at in the university setting.

• Have you checked to see if enrolment in the program is limited or unlimited?
Enrolment in some programs is limited, so you have to meet standards to gain admittance. If you do not have the required standard, you will need to choose another program of study. Please refer to the UTSC Calendar to determine if the program has prerequisites or grade requirements.

• What career opportunities are available with this program?
For many programs there are a number of career opportunities available. The answer lies not so much with the program, but with each person. What skills, interests, personal qualities and values does this person have? These
factors, gathered through all your life experiences, will help you choose the career option that is right for you.

If you would like to discuss your career options, phone the Academic Advising and Career Centre at 416‐287‐7561
and book an appointment with a Career Counsellor.

Why do you want this program?
Examine why you are making this choice; look at the above factors, and ensure that your program is interesting to
you, that you can succeed at it and that it offers courses and career options that are right for you.

• How Do I Register in a Program?
You should begin by reading your Calendar. Read the regulations regarding Programs of Study to be aware


Need further assistance? Use the Career Centre Resources and Services

• Use the Career Centre library located in Room AC213 for descriptions of different careers, their educational
requirements, and potential employment opportunities.
• Talk to people in your field of interest; find them by using our Networking binder.
• Explore the field through job shadowing with the Extern program.
• Peruse the Volunteer listings and Part‐time and Summer jobs to find opportunities to build relevant skills.
• You can find out more by visiting the Choose Program Tipsheet

Monday, June 14, 2010

Testbook Reading Tip

Continuing from the previous entry on Reading tips, today's tip will be focused on textbook reading.

Textbook readings can be a challenge and difficult to get through. The best way to jump into a chapter is to get organized first. Get to know what the chapter will be aimed towards before you plow in. Last thing you want is to reread the chapter.

Follow today's tip on the 5 steps to textbook reading (Reading Tipsheet by Academic Advising and Career Centre)

Today's TIP:

Textbook Reading: The SQ3R Method

  • Preview the material first, by looking at all headings and sub-headings, glancing at diagrams and reading the chapter summary.

  • Organize a brief outline of the chapter, emphasizing main themes.

  • Note the length of the chapter and estimate how long it will take you to read it.


  • Turn headings and subheadings into questions you can use to test yourself on the material. Answer these questions while your read.

  • Jot down any unanswered questions you may have after reading to clarify in class.

Step 3 - READ

  • Watch for bold and italicized printing as clues for important topics.

  • Take notes in your own words. Use color, diagrams, key words, etc.

  • After each section, stop and take a moment to summarize that section.

Step 4 - RECITE

  • Answer questions about what you just read. Use the questions you generated when surveying the chapter.

  • Recite important ideas and any connections you see between chapters.
Step 5 - REVIEW
  • Review your textbook notes within 24 hours so material is not forgotten. (Skim over your notes, keeping the material fresh)

  • If possible, discuss the material with a classmate. (Ask them questions or just discuss the chapter)

  • Aim for a major review of all notes at least once before your midterm or exam.

  • Ask questions! Best way to remember and understand a reading is to ask questions.

General Reading Tips

Assigned readings, be it from textbooks, Xeroxes, PDFs, or novels, can be quite time consuming and challenging. Let’s face it, some readings can be quite dull and painful to get through.

Today's tip is to give you some brief reading strategies and to give you some motivation.

TIP of the Day:

General Reading Strategies:

  1. Read the assigned materials. Don't assume professors will cover textbook material in class

  2. Read ahead. Make sure you have assigned readings done BEFORE lectures. If possible, stay one week ahead of lecture.
    • Try and get some reading done before class because professors usually talk about the importance of each reading
    • If the reading is long and your time is limited then:
      • TRY to get a general idea of each reading
      • Read the introduction, read a bit from each paragraph to get the overall idea and finish the conclusion
  3. Read for comprehension. Don't read to memorize.

Stay tuned, the next TIP OF THE DAY will be focused on Tips with Textbook reading!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

preparing for midterms

With midterms just around the corner, this would be a good time to do a Test Preparation and Writing for Tip of the Day

#1 Test Preparation Strategies:
  1. Say goodbye to cramming. Set a study schedule for intense review 1-2 weeks before the test or exam.
  2. Commit to a (good) study group. If the group can't stay focused, they may not be the group for you.
  3. If you find yourself chatting, eating, laughing and joking around...this might not be a good study group.
  4. Protect your health. Do what you need to do to stay healthy:
    Eat well: fruits, vegetables, plenty of water everyday
    Exercise: go for a run in the gym, prepare a gym work out schedule
  5. Sleep well: 6-8 hours of sleep is recommended;
  6. Take Naps (if needed):
    -Don't burn out, if you didn't get enough sleep during the night then take a short nap!
    -Try and avoid long naps (2o minutes is recommended), last thing you need is to wake up from a nap feeling drowsy.
  7. Find out what is going to be on the midterm. Attend the lectures and tutorials, where midterm content is revealed. Ask your professor what to expect.
  8. Match your study strategies to the test format.
    -If it's a multiple choice test, focus on details.
    -If it's essay or short answer start making short outlines and structures as practice.
    -Test yourself. Practice problems from assignments and old exams.
    -Have a friend quiz you. Use flash cards.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

use PATS to help you study

As the weather is warming up, midterms are coming up as well. Midterms and summer just doesn't mix, it is hard to study with the sun beating down.

Continuing my Study Tip of the Day, today's tip will be targeted at helping you study.

TIP of the Day:

Staying on task is quite difficult sometimes. If you find it hard to focus try the PATS model to help you stay on task:

  • Pick the best environment for you to study
  • Always reduce visual distractions
  • Try to eliminate noise around you
  • Self talk to control distracting thoughts
This is not as easy as it sounds. So here's some pointers that I use to help me follow "PATS".

If you are studying around your computer/laptop, turn it off or (if it's a laptop) put it away so you won't see it. If you need the computer to type notes, unplug the internet to help you stay focused. If you need internet for research, then log out of all social networks (like facebook, twitter, and messengers.)

Clear your table of newspapers, magazines, and novels that can distract you.

Find a quiet location, a place where there aren't so many noises.

If you like to listen to music whilst studying, try and listen to instrumentals only. Meaning songs that have its lyrics removed and with only instrument playing. This will help keep you focused and avoid singing along with the song. Use noise canceling earphones or use big headphones that cover your ears.

By staying focused, you can retain information easily and get studying done quicker. Don't forget to take short breaks during your studying time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reward yourself

♫♪Everybody's working for the weekend. Everybody wants a new... ♫---ooops sorry, had my earphones on. Just needed a little motivation for the weekend.

It was such a lovely day today, sun was shining, a small breeze....almost perfect. However, I did spend most of the morning indoors writing working on an essay and finishing some text readings. Studying shouldn't be be dull and without rewards. During my studying time today, I did take the occasional break and once I finished a chapter I rewarded myself with half an hour of TV time (in which I watched The Big Bang Theory). This leads me to today's tip!


TIP of the day!

Following through on your goals:

#1 Stay motivated!

Reward yourself for accomplishments.

You can plan small rewards (such as a half-hour of guilt-free TV-watching after reading your assigned chapters) or a large reward (an evening out with friends after handing in a big paper). Or even the occasional 5 minute breaks to rest and listen to some music.

#2 Avoid procratinating

See our procrastination tip sheet for more info. (This will be my TIP of the Day on my next blog.)

#3 Evaluate your progress

This will give you the information you need to modify your time management strategies.

Want to know more about tips and other study skills? You can visit the AACC tipsheets for more!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Career Compass Certificate

I am happy to announce the Career Compass Certificate by the Academic Advising and Career Center (AACC) has began.

What is Career Compass Certificate?
The Career Compass Certificate is a certificate given to students in recognition of their attendance to the set of seminars offered by the AACC targeted towards exploring career and employment options.

Why should I go to the seminars?
By attending these seminars offered by the AACC, you not only get a certificate but you also get experience with discovering career/employment options, writing effective resumes, cover letters, how to search for work, networking skills and interview techniques!

How can I get the certificate?
The Career Compass Certificate is comprised of 7 seminars aimed to help you explore your career options and prepare for employment. In order to get the certificate you will need to attend 5 of the 7 seminars:

You must attend ONE of the following:

Plus, ALL of the following:

Interested in participating?
If you are interested in taking part of the certificate, pick up your stamp card from the Academic Advising & Career Centre, Room AC213 today!

Each time you attend a seminar, you will receive a signature or stamp from the seminar leader. When you have completed 5 seminars, please submit your card to the Academic Advising & Career Centre. Once your attendance has been confirmed, you will receive a signed certificate.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer seminars and events!

To those who aren't taking summer courses: have a fun and safe vacation!

To those taking summer courses: welcome to another semester and pay attention to the Academic and Career Centre Website for updates on upcoming events.

This week is HIRE POWER, if you missed out on the week of events don't worry! There are other seminars and events throughout the month of May that are targeted towards job hunting and resume writing.

Discover Your Skills and Career Options
Mon, 10 May, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Sign up on intranet!

Winning Resumes & Cover Letters
Wed, 12 May, 10:00am – 11:30am
Sign up on intranet!

Interview Techniques to Land that Job
Thu, 13 May, 10:00am – 11:30am
Sign up on intranet!

and another Resume Blitz!!

Resume Blitz
Thu, 13 May, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Lobby of Arc building, in front of the lecture hall.
First come first serve!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reminder: Hire Power and Career Info Fair NEXT WEEK


Reminder to those who has registered for Hire Power, it is coming up next week May 3rd - May 6th.

Here's what you can expect to learn from career conference:

  • How to create a job search and career plan
  • Strategies for an effective job search
  • Personal branding techniques
  • Industry trends
  • Etiquette guidelines
  • How to build and target your resume and cover letter
  • Interviewing strategies
  • Networking techniques as well as opportunities to engage with employers

The Career Information Fair is coming next week:

Dates: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Place: Science Wing Meeting Place

This Fair is a great opportunity for you to get a head start on finding your future career! Network with professionals from a wide range of organizations about typical career paths available in their field. Learn what skills, experience and education are needed for your future career.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Upcoming events, seminars and more!!

It's that time of the year again when those big winter jackets are thrown into the back of the closet to make room for sun glasses, shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, beach towel...you get the idea. Yes, summer is almost here!

Like myself, many of you might be looking for a summer job. Searching job posts, preparing resumes, writing cover letters, and getting together references.

The Academic and Career Centre is aware of everyone's search, thus is offering many seminars and events in the coming weeks (yes after the final exams)!! All of which are aimed at helping you get that summer job you've wanted!

Resume Blitz :

Wed, April 28, 1:00 – 4:00pm
Wed, May 12 , 1:00 – 4:00pm
Thu, May 13, 1:00 – 4:00pm

First come first serve!!

Career Fair

Dates: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Place: Science Wing Meeting Place

This Fair is a great opportunity for you to get a head start on finding your future career! Network with professionals from a wide range of organizations about typical career paths available in their field. Learn what skills, experience and education are needed for your future career.

How to Find Work

Tue, May 11, 10:30 – 12:00

Come to this seminar and learn more about the hidden job market. Discover alternative job search strategies and resources that can help you generate and follow up on leads for jobs you really want. Sign up on intranet required!

Making Connections: Networking to Find Work

Tue, May 11, 13:00 – 14:30

Come to this interactive workshop to learn more about networking and get a chance to gain hands-on experience using networking skills.
Sign up on intranet required!

Winning Resumes & Cover Letters

Wed, May 12, 10:00 – 11:30am

Sign up on intranet required!

Interview Techniques to Land that Job

Thu, May 13, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Sign up on intranet required!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Resume Blitz and Hire Power

Final exams has started, which means Summer is just around the corner.

As you are studying don't forget to take breaks and get some exercise!

Resume Blitz is back!

It will be held on Wed Apr 21, 1pm – 4pm and Wed Apr 28, 1pm - 4pm.

First come first serve.

Hire Power: Strategies for Finding and Keeping Work

Hosted by the UTSC Academic Advising & Career Centre and the Office of Alumni Relations, this four-day event is aimed at providing new graduates with the skills and resources needed to find and keep work.

This four day event will be held from Mon May 3 – Thu May 6.

For information on the event and registration visit Hire Power.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Want to win a $100 Mastercard??

Then go to
and help i
mprove the Academic Advising & Career Centre!!

Survey Closes Thursday, April 8th!!

Good Luck!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Making history

Hello all! It has been a busy term! Everything is winding down and finals are arriving soon. Amongst the rush of getting midterms finished and assignments completed UTSC held the historic student referendum for a new athletic complex.

UTSC has voted "YES" to the new state-of-the-art athletics complex following a historic referendum. Here's parts from the article:

The unofficial vote count is: 1454 yes, 748 no, representing a 62 per cent majority in favour of YES (with 58 abstained and 77 spoiled ballots). The results are unofficial until they pass through the normal schedule of ratification by the SCSU and the University.

With 2,337 ballots cast, this represents 23 per cent of the student body and the highest participation level of any student referendum on the UTSC campus. For the past 18 months, the students at UTSC have been working side-by-side with the other partners in developing plans for this new athletics and recreation complex. Students at UTSC have been advocating for decades for enhanced facilities. The existing athletics facility was designed for 4,000 students and is inadequate for today’s student population of over 10,000.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Exam help and graduate school information

Graduate School Panel

Are you thinking of attending graduate school? Do you have questions? If so then visit the Graduate School Panel.

Hear from students who have been admitted into graduate programs.
The panel will be held on Tue, March 23, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Sign up on the intranet to attend!


Exam Preparation and Exam Writing: How to Ace Your Finals

As finals are closing in and stress levels are going up. Before final exams begin you should visit the Exam Preparation and Exam Writing: How to Ace Your Finals seminar. You'll be glad you did.

This seminar addresses exam preparation timelines and strategies for the day of the exam. It also discusses "exam stress," general test anxiety, and writing MCQ and essay style exams.

The seminar will be held on: March 31, 2010, 5-6:30pm

Sign up on the intranet to attend.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March events!

I wanted to inform everyone of some of the events happening this month!

Program Information Session

There are many program information sessions are occurring this month. Visit AACC website for more information on dates and location of the sessions.


The Environmental Career Fair is coming up on March 31st, From 12 noon- 2pm at Science Wing meeting place.

Two events associated with the Environmental fair:
  1. the Green Resume: Communicating your Environmental Experience will be held on Wednesday March 24, 3-4:0pm

  2. Before you go to the fair visit the Maximize Your Result at Career Fair seminar, held Tuesday March 30th from 1pm- 2pm.

If you have questions regarding the fair please feel free to visit the AACC website or come visit us in person at AC213 in the ark.

Other Sessions and seminars

AACC is offering many information sessions and seminars throughout March and here are some topics:
  • Discover your skills and career options
  • How to find work
  • Interview techniques to land that job

you will need to sign up on the intranet for these seminars. Visit the AACC website for more information

Monday, February 22, 2010

Reading week and Olympics!

The 2010 winter Olympics is occurring in Vancouver, BC. As a hockey and speed skating fan, I am so excited to have reading week off to watch the games.

A bit of an update for those who have not been following the winter games: Canada has 4 Gold metals, 4 silver and 1 bronze. For those who are unaware, Canada has never won gold on HOME SOIL- meaning Canada has won gold before...just never won gold in an olympic held in Canada.

Alexandre Bilodeau broke that record by winning Canada's first Gold on HOME SOIL, as well Ricker, Montgomery and Nesbitt has gold for Canada.

picture: Bilodeau winning gold

Speaking of sports, UTSC is hoping to bring in a recreational centre to the campus. Visit re-imagine your campus to find out more!!

Students can be skating, playing hockey and swimming without having to leave campus! Imagine that!! As an athlete and sport enthusiast this is so exciting for me to share with everyone.

Anyways, welcome back to campus, hope you had a good reading week.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Program information session!!

There are many factors to consider when choosing your program(s).

Visit the different Program information Sessions offered to find out more about the different programs offered here at UTSC. I chose my program after attending a program information session.

Throughout March the Academic Advising & Career Centre coordinates Program Information Sessions for many UTSC programs. Program Supervisors or other staff will present the information you will need about potential programs.

Most students, however, need to explore the range of programs available at UTSC. They should attend as many sessions as possible—and seek advice and information in the Academic Advising & Career Centre and/or from the supervisors and faculty in programs for which there are no formal Information Sessions.

These information will be held in March 2010, so mark your calendars!

CTEP (Concurrent Teacher Education Program) Information session
Tuesday, March 2nd, 12-1 pm B360

Management Information Session
Wednesday, March 10th, 4-6 pm, AC223

Physical Sciences
Monday, March 15th, 12-1 pm, AA160

Monday, March 22nd, 4-5:30 pm, B360

Tuesday, March 23rd, 4-5:30 pm, AA160

Joint programs- Paramedicine & Industrial Microbiology
Thursday March 24th, 4-5:30 pm, B360

Psychology/ Neuroscience & Mental Health Studies
Wednesday, March 10th, 1-2 pm and 2-3 pm, AA160

Find out more about programs and ask program supervisor/staff questions. Take advantage of these information this March.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Get involved...and earn extra money!

Want to get involved on campus, but never had the opportunity to or found the right activity? Well I want to inform you of the Get Started Coach with the Get Started Program.

If you're looking for a position that's energetic, highly-interpersonal, and interactive, being a Get Started Coach offers this and much more! The Academic Advising & Career Centre is hiring up to 15 coaches for these part time positions.

This is a great opportunity for upper year students to get involved on campus and earn some extra money while doing it!

This is a position that requires a positive outlook, humour, and a willingness to engage with others. As a Coach, this program will offer you an opportunity to be a campus leader, shaping your skills and taking it to the next level by putting you to the test - each day is an opportunity to positively influence a student's transition into university.

Applications are due FRIDAY MARCH 5TH at 12NOON. Please submit your cover letter, resume and a copy of the job posting to AC213.

Please see the website below for a copy of the job posting.

- 2008 & 2009 Coach
Get Started gave me the opportunity to work alongside fantastic campus leaders, and become a mentor for incoming students by sharing my university experience. Make a positive influence, become a better public speaker, and have a fantastic summer meeting new people everyday. Hope to see you at Get Started 2010!

- Attended in 2008
My name is Fran and I attended Get Started in my first year. It was a great experience for me and it allowed me to make friends and meet new people. I also learned everything I needed to be a successful student!

Apply to be a Get Started Coach! Not only can you get involved on campus but you can help a student's transition into university!