Posts for the Topic preparation

5 Productivity strategies for university students

Student typing on computer with a book open beside her

I always find that the winter term is particularly hard to get through. It’s cold, dreary, has long days, and it never seems like summer is on its way. Being productive during this time is difficult because you just want to curl up in bed and wait for the warm weather to arrive. However, as the exam season approaches, you have to start planning out the best way to study and even think about what you can do to improve your study habits for next term. 

Here are five productivity strategies to help you study!

1. Eliminate Distractions

Looking ahead: planning for the fall term

fall themed welcome back

September can bring many things: a new school, a new term, a new adventure or a new job. As the leaves are just starting to change, you may be too. A new school year can mean new goals, expectations, discoveries and challenges. As a student heading into my third year of studies, September represents a chance to get back on track and refocus. After a summer of working at the Writing and Communication Centre and seeing so many students achieve their own academic goals, face their own challenges and learn new things in their field, I’m excited to do the same.

Tackling the essay exam

student sweating during exam

Essay exams often test you on the big picture concepts of a course. The idea of writing an essay in one sitting, especially without knowing the question in advance, may seem like an impossible task. Preparing for these exams may seem intimidating; however, essay exams can become a bit more bearable with some good preparation.

Overcoming public speaking

public speaker sweating

Almost everyone gets nervous before they have to speak in public. It’s natural and common, but can actually be a positive thing. Public speaking is an important part of many careers and professions, and being an effective public speaking is a huge asset to have. Whether you are speaking in front of an audience of 300 or speaking in front of a board or committee of 10 people, effective public communication skills are essential to getting ahead professionally. First and foremost, you must understand that nerves are okay; it’s your body telling you that something is at stake.

Holiday Wrap: Reflecting on the Past and Planning for the Winter Term

New Yorker cartoon captioned "I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to pointless, incessant barking"

Seeing as this will be my final posting, this is a perfect time to reflect on the fall term and project to the upcoming winter term. Fittingly, one of the big takeaways from my experience with a vastly diverse group of students is plan ahead. And I don’t mean that in a remedial or punitive way at all. It’s more of a general sentiment on developing a process, a process which you’re concurrently tweaking as it develops. Perhaps this is too meta (considering this post is prefaced on looking forward), but I’ve heard that being self-referential on the internet is the thing to do.

9 Tips to Ace That Timed Essay

Image of a happy dog with the caption "Good luck on the exam, hope it isn't too ruff"

Exams are almost upon us, and a familiar sense of foreboding has settled over the campus. One exam element that can be particularly intimidating for some students is the timed essay: an exam question which demands a full essay on a topic that is typically revealed for the first time during the test. While these kinds of questions may seem scary, there are plenty of ways to make them easy for yourself. Read on for tips about how to prepare in advance of the exam and how to approach timed essays before, during, and after the writing process.

The 3 Rs of University Survival

When someone hears mention of the 3 Rs they usually think of reduce, reuse, and recycle (I do at least).  Well, I am here to tell you that there is another list of Rs you should look into if you want to survive university!  The list consists of being reasonable, being responsible, and being rational.  If you do not like using schedules for organizing your time, these 3 words will help you manage your time and think through choices you have to make.

Midterms and “Doing Too Much Stress”

I’m sure you know the stressful feeling when midterms are either just around the corner or already happening.  As midterms come around the corner, it feels like students simultaneously take out their blinders, put them on and think “no distractions, only study”.  Everyone becomes machinelike; you feel as if you can read the notes someone else studied the night before because they are etched so deep into their brain that you can see it in their eyes.

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