If you are new to the whole university thing then here are some guidelines for you:
1. Meet your academic advisor – Most academic programs have an ‘academic advisor’ associated with them (e.g., see here for McGill’s website about advising). These individuals are there to help students get through their program, and advisors typically help students with course selection, and help plan a student’s academic program. When arriving on campus, you should book a meeting with your advisor, and more importantly, listen to their advice! Advisors know the ins and outs of your program, and paying attention to them will help you in the long run. You don’t want to end up messing up your academic program because you decided to avoid taking required courses early on in your program! Source: Arthropod Ecology
2. Develop good study habits!
- Use a day planner to keep track of upcoming dates for assignments and tests
- Develop a routine for organizing your workload. Use time between classes to catch up on reading and studying
- Review your course notes on a regular basis
- Keep up to date on all your required reading
- Form a study group to review lecture notes and prepare for your exams. Mixing social interaction with studying will make it more fun
- Get started with assignments right away. Don’t leave things to the last minute
- Review for tests over a longer period of time. Take breaks while studying and avoid “all nighters.” Your memory works best if you recall information frequently over time
- Seek help if you are having trouble with your courses. There are lots of resources available on campus that can help you if you are feeling overwhelmed with your studies
Source: Lakehead University
3. Drag yourself to class – Yes, some profs post all of their notes online (although most of my profs only included outlines, you actually had to go to class to get the full notes) and yes, you can get notes from your friends/classmates. But reading the notes is not the same as actually going to class. Many profs will give subtle hints about what they will test in exams during class. For example, if a prof repeats something several times, you can bet it is important, and will likely show up on the exam. Similarly, you can often pick up on a prof’s body language, as to what they consider important. Those types of things you can’t get from notes. Other profs will do more examples of problems in class than will appear in the posted notes. Source: Yconic.
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