- Start by understanding why you need this class. Is it required for your degree? Is it providing you with skills you want to learn to help you get the job you want? If you understand why you are in the class, you’re more likely to be motivated to do well in the class. If you don’t know why you’re in it, ask your guidance counselor either at the high school or PDCCC. This is your college experience- own it!
- Schedule a time to work on your class. This is especially important if the class is online. Make an appointment with yourself at least twice a week to work on the class. If you have a really busy schedule with lots of sports, clubs, etc. plot your entire week out, making specific “dates” with yourself to work on each class.
“Make time for yourself. While you are doing something to benefit you, it is a lot of work. Remember to set aside time for you, whether it is a social life, sports, or just alone time; have that for yourself.” Christine Pinell, NRHS
- If you are working on a subject that is particularly challenging for you, be sure to work on that class when you are at your peak during the day. If you’re not a morning person, don’t arrange to work on the class until afternoon. If you have the most energy at 10:00 p.m., work on the class then. If you are full of energy during the day, try to avoid waiting until later in the night to study.
“Use your time wisely! Keep your head up if you get a bad grade, and prove to everyone that you are a capable student and that bad grade is not who you are as a student.” John Lowry, NRHS
- Arrange your study area. Make it a separate spot from where you relax; get away from video games, TV, pets, family members or anything else that can distract you from the work. If necessary, go to a library. Focus is key!
- Once you’ve found your spot, have all the tools you need at hand: highlighters, notecards, calculator, pens, etc. so you don’t waste study time searching for things or risk getting distracted.
- Identify what kind of learner you are. If you learn best by hearing (auditory), try recording yourself reading your notes out loud, or using a study group. If you learn best by seeing (visual), try notecards with specific facts or formulas on each one. Color code these if it helps. If you learn best by doing (kinesthetic), try acting out the information, or reading your textbook while on the treadmill or standing up.
“Take it seriously, and try your best in all of your classes.” Shadeejah Hunt, FHS
- Begin the first day of class by reading the syllabus thoroughly. Make sure you write down every single deadline. Be sure you know what the consequences will be for late or missing assignments. Turn EVERY assignment in, take EVERY test and quiz. Every point counts.
“Do your work according to the syllabus. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask the instructor. All of the Paul D. Camp Community College instructors have always been respectful and kind.” Rhema Johnson, SHS
- Get to know your teacher, even if your class is online. Send an email introducing yourself. Tell the instructor what your goals are for your college career and your life after that. Become a face, not just a name.
- When studying, write your notes as you go. Then read them over 3 times. Studies have proven we learn best when we visit material at least that many times- once to be exposed to the information, twice to learn the information and the third time to remember the information. Try to read your assignments three times also!
- Prioritize your studies according to consequence. If you have a test worth 500 points and a small assignment worth 10 points, you’ll probably want to spend the most amount of time preparing for the test. If you have a club meeting and a paper due at the same time, think of what might happen if you miss the meeting compared to what might happen if you miss the deadline to submit the paper. Ask yourself: In a year’s time, will this problem still matter in my life? If the answer is no, let that area go for a while. If the answer is yes, focus on that area. Remember, the grades you earn in a college course will stay on your transcript for the rest of your life!
“I will not lie, it will be stressful and you will feel like giving up many times, but this is something that will build you. It will mentally prepare you for college. Transitioning to college from high school will be easier for you because you already know what to expect. Taking dual enrollment is not for your peers or your parents, it is for you. It will better you as a person and a student.” Lexus Isom, LHS
- Choose a Study Buddy for every class. This is a fellow student who can help when you don’t understand something, or who can give you notes if you missed class. Be sure to reciprocate, but be very careful to always do your own work!
- Get involved in a study group for your class. If there isn’t one, start one. Help fellow class members who are struggling; by helping them to understand material, you are helping yourself understand it better also.
“Be resourceful! There are plenty of people ready, willing and able to help you. You can also form study groups with other peers who are also taking dual enrollment courses.” Shamar Ballard, FHS
- Always ask, ask, ask. Don’t ever think you are the only person in the class who doesn’t understand something. If you don’t get it, there is almost a 100% certainty that someone else didn’t understand it either. Ask. Show the teacher you want to learn!
“Make each class worth learning about….Patience is key, and have fun.” Richard Hyman III, NRHS
- Take advantage of tutoring opportunities in your school. PDCCC also offers SMARTTHINKING free of charge, online and at your service.
- If you have test anxiety, try this: when the test is handed to you, don’t even look at it yet. Flip it over to the back and write down all the things that are in your head: formulas, dates, terms, etc. This isn’t cheating, because it came out of your brain, not from notes or anything else you brought in with you! Just putting the information down on paper will help you relax. Now, look at the clock and see how much time you have. Count how many questions are in the test and figure out how many minutes you can devote to answering each of them. Now go get ‘em!
- If you are writing an essay test, remember content matters! Don’t be in such a hurry that you only write a sentence or two. Compute how much time you have to answer the question and use up every bit of that time.
“Be open-minded, communicate with professors and fellow students, and study for exams.” Nora Hathan, FHS
- Surround yourself with other motivated students. If you are constantly in the company of others who are not taking college classes or who have other goals, you’ll find lots of excuses not to do your work.
- Last but not least; this is all you! In college, nobody nags you to go to class, be on time, remember to hand in your assignment, find out what you missed when you were sick, etc. You have to be your own nag…if you really want this, you have to do it on your own. Nobody else can earn this degree for you.
“It takes a lot of self- motivation to do well in some these courses, especially the online classes, because there is no one pushing you or telling you to complete your assignments. .Make sure it is something you are willing to set time aside for, because these classes do require more time than an average high school class. I would also recommend starting dual credit classes your sophomore year so that you have more time to space out your schedule.” Nadia Purvis, SHS