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Frequently Asked Questions
I am working very hard and I still can't seem to stay caught up.
Believe it or not, it is not always how hard you work or how much time you spend studying that matters. The most important thing is HOW you are working--your work habits. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Are you studying in an area that is quiet, like the library, or in a place where learning is not the priority, for example, your residence hall?
- When you study, what methods work best for you?
- At what time of day do you learn best?
- How can you budget your time more efficiently?
Knowing all this can be very helpful, and save you countless difficult hours of study time. At the Student Learning Center (585) 395-2293 they can help you to learn more methods of studying and budgeting your time. You may even find that your grades go up, AND you have more free time!
Every day I go to class without having done all of the reading that was assigned for that day. What should I do?
This is a very common feeling among first-year students, so remember that you are not alone. The first advice that we can give related to this problem is not to let it discourage you or make you anxious. It is much more difficult to absorb reading material when you are feeling rushed or stressed about not getting it done. Do your best to understand what you read, even if it is only half of the assignment.
Next we recommend that you improve on just what your "best" is by improving your reading strategies. If you are simply sitting down and reading the homework from beginning to end, highlighting the things that you think are important, you can definitely do better. Visit or call the Student Learning Center to find out more about how to get that reading done on time, and have greater comprehension of what you read.
I feel like I understand the material, but I am not doing well on the tests. I get really nervous. What should I do?
Test anxiety is a real problem for many students. No matter how well they know the material, many students "freeze up" or "go blank" during exams. At the Student Learning Center you can get advice on how to prepare for exams that will help you reduce anxiety. You will learn specific strategies to help you prevent those anxious moments.
Remember, test anxiety is a sign that you are concerned about your performance on exams, and that is a good thing. Students should also contact the Counseling Center for help with anxiety issues.
Every time I sit down to study, I get distracted by others in my hall. I am behind in my work. What can I do?
Trying to study in the residence halls is not recommended. To study, you need to have no distractions, or at least very few. Choose an environment in which you have more control over. Usually, this just means stepping away from busy parts of campus for a while. Every good student has one or two favorite places to go to when he or she has a lot of studying to do, such as:
- Private rooms on the second floor of the library
- An empty classroom
- A cafe or restaurant on Main Street
- Picnic tables or under a tree somewhere on campus
I am not doing well in one of my classes. What can I do to get help?
The Student Learning Center at (585) 395-2293 is the place for you. Students of all ability levels receive academic support, usually in the form of tutoring, from fellow students who have been trained to help. A great majority of classes are covered by the students at the SLC, so don't hesitate to call them - they're there to help you!
I have never been good at writing. Who can help me?
The Student Learning Center provides assistance at every stage of the writing process. There, you will conference with a writing tutor who will point out your errors and make suggestions for how to improve the writing assignment. It is helpful to work with the same writing tutor on a regular basis. It is also important to remember that the tutors are not proofreaders. You are ultimately responsible for your own piece of writing.
I can't seem to focus. How can I get better at concentrating?
Everyone has his or her own method of focusing. Some listen to music on headphones in order to drown out outside noises. Others need complete silence. Some can only work for 20 minutes at a time before having to get up from the chair and walk around. Still others learn best while walking around--they may put lectures on audio tape and walk across campus while listening to them. If you are a social person, try studying with a classmate by quizzing each other or explaining concepts to each other.
Most of all, remember that concentrating does not necessarily mean sitting by yourself in a closed room, not getting up from your seat for hours, and forcing yourself to learn the material. The more quickly you learn how you learn best, the better you will do in college. For more ideas about approaches to concentration and studying, contact the Student Learning Center at (585) 395-2293.