The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW Student Success Days-Professor uncovers secrets of science classrooms

By Abrina Carrington/reporter

Students have often wondered what the average college student needs to be successful in a science class.
To help them find the answer, Dr. Janice Yoder Smith, NW biology professor, presented Shhh! Secrets to Getting a Good Grade in Science Class Sept. 11-12. Part of Student Success Days, Smith offered tips and tricks to help students gain a better grade in any science class.

One important guideline for students to follow, Smith said, is working from a good foundation. So she recommended students take any developmental courses required before attempting a science class.

“ All science courses require good reading comprehension, and many require good math skills including calculation and graphing,” she said.

Understanding different learning styles and being able to figure out how they learn will help the student develop a study plan that will benefit them the most, Smith said.

Although there are a number of ways for students to learn how they learn, Smith suggested VARK (www.vark-learn.com), which stands for visual, aural (hearing), read/write and kinesthetic. The VARK questionnaire, which consists of 16 questions, will give students an idea of what study strategy will work best for their learning style. Smith said it offers tips suited for each of the four styles and develops a plan of study that will take students from the class lecture to the test.

When studying, Smith said, students should keep study sessions down to 45 minutes or less separated with breaks and self-quizzes.

“ Write questions as you study, put answers and page numbers on a separate sheet of paper, and review before ending each session,” she said.

Each study session should begin with a quiz of the last session covered.

Test taking causes many students anxiety, and Smith offered ways to relieve even the worst pre-test stress.
If permitted, “write down anything you think you might forget at the beginning of the test,” she said. “Pace yourself; start with the easy questions first, then go back and try to conquer the harder ones. Most of all, remember it is only a test and not a matter of life and death or a measure of self-worth.”

Other study tips Smith provided include learn the lingo of science, start studying early, and “repeat, repeat, repeat.”

Smith ended with a major rule of thumb to remember in any class.

“ If you can’t put [the information] in your own words, you don’t know it.”

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