Cal U Parent & Family E-News: March/April 2013

Spring Forward, Don't Fall Back: Seven Study Tips to Keep Your Student on Track after Spring Break

Students enjoyed a brief freedom from the books over break. They've returned to campus, bringing some Spring fever along with them. For many, this means a wakeup call to get back into the groove of good study habits. Here are seven savvy tips to help your student maximize study time from University Parent.

1. A Room for Every Thought

According to an article published in the New York Times new scientific research suggests some traditional study habits may be scientifically unsound. One of those, for instance, is the traditional theory that hiding away for long hours in a library - or other quiet place - is the best method to lock in information. New studies by cognitive scientists say that alternating study locations increases the mind's ability to memorize. Alternate locations act as guideposts, so to speak, to catalogue new concepts and ideas.

2. Test to Study, Study to Test

It might leave a disagreeable taste in their mouths, but love it or hate it, testing has shown to be one of the best forms of study. Cognitive scientists say that testing allows the brain to more easily label and catalog information for recall later on. Flash cards, online practice tests, and practice tests with friends can help.

3. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Cramming can be great for a quick fix, but long term, it will leave students wondering where all their late nights went. Like a come-and-go sugar rush, experts say cramming only creates short mental sprints, allowing the brain just enough ability to memorize information for a short time. Gradual and consistent repetition has always been the ideal way to retain complex material. Applying this study skill is crucial for subjects, like math and science that build upon themselves year after year. While cramming may win a battle, in the end, it will lose the war.

4. Good Notes, Good Grades

It might be hard for your student to study, especially, if they don't know what they're studying. While it may seem like a no brainer, it's always good for your student to take detailed notes. According to the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement, which surveyed more than 22,000 students, taking careful notes during class was one of the most frequently used strategies for studying. As a parent, offering a friendly reminder - and perhaps a gift of pencils and a notebook - may be what your student needs to get the right grade.

5. Proactive Success vs. Reactive Failure

"If you're proactive, you don't have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own," said Stephen R. Covey in his best-selling book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The words are more than just motivational mumbo jumbo, according to an article by Psychology Today research shows that the most successful students schedule study time for classes far before their exams hit.

6. When in Doubt Get Help

With constant due dates looming and test times approaching, sometimes the only way for a student to meet demands is to ask for help. If your student is struggling, is stressed out, and doesn't know where to turn, suggest they visit a tutor or join study group. Cal U offers free peer tutoring in variety of subjects. The Math Lab, Reading Clinic, and Writing Center are also excellent resources. Encourage your student to draw upon the no cost expertise. Also, creating a study group with their peers is another good way to get study time while also being with friends.

7. Bad Grades = Good Lessons

When your student calls perhaps distraught or in shock about a bad grade make sure to keep the conversation positive and aimed toward actionable steps your student can take. Help them to identify why they received the grade, specific tasks they can do to improve the grade, and to focus on the big picture. Ultimately, you're student should understand that good grades are about great learning, learning that's important to them personally. Stress to them that earning good grades and gaining knowledge is about their future and personal goals - not just about receiving parental approval.

Gain College Credit at a Fraction of the Cost by Taking the CLEP & DSST Exams

Students and their families are looking for ways to make college more affordable. Has your student considered taking CLEP or DSST exams? The examinations offer a legitimate option to amass credit at a fraction of the cost of a traditional college course.

Cal U accepts up to 30 credits for the exams, which can help students advance to complete their program of study in less time, and the summer months may be a perfect time to prepare. Students can study for the exams at their own pace without the pressure of deadlines.

The CLEP (College Level Examination Program) and DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) provide the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through examinations in undergraduate college courses in Social Sciences and History, English Composition, Natural Sciences, Business, Humanities, and Math. CLEP and DSST exams are a great and affordable option.

The tests are offered throughout the year by appointment in the Placement Testing Center located in Noss 215. Exams cost $80.00 per test with an additional fee for the optional study guides.

For more information click here.

Showcasing Success: Annual Honors Convocation April 6th 

Honors Convocation is an annual event set aside to recognize the academic excellence of students earning Presidential Scholars status. In addition to meeting other requirements, Presidential Scholars must obtain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 for undergraduate students or 3.75 for graduate students. Both full and part-time students are eligible for the award.

Students attending will be officially recognized at the ceremony. Each will receive a personal greeting from Acting President Geraldine Jones as well as a special Presidential Scholars pin and certificate.

We hope that your family will be joining us!

Important Upcoming Dates

Last Day To Withdraw from a Course or the University April 5
Honors Convocation (2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.) April 6
Exam Week (Starting 4:00 p.m. on May 13) May 13-17
Undergraduate Commencement May 18
First Seven-Week Summer Session Begins May 20
First Five-Week/Ten Week Summer Session Begins June 10
Second Five-Week Summer Session Begins July 15
Second Seven-Week Summer Session Begins July 18
Summer Classes End August 23

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