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.