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Studying for Final Exams . . . Using Twitter?! April 28, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in social media, success.
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by Haley Higgs
Georgia Southern University Senior
PRSSA President

This semester, you’ve learned a lot about social media. One of my favorite things about social media, specifically Twitter, is that you can put a question out there and get feedback from all over. On April 19th, I tweeted this:

Working on blog post for @BarbaraNixon to share with her freshman class. What are your best tips for getting ready for final exams?#FYE1220

Here are some of the tips I got in return:

Create an outline & write down content that will be on exam. Eat a piece of dark choc. to help w/ short-term memory before exam

Make a fake exam with the material that will be on the test

Don’t forget the value of sleeping and drinking water. Don’t rely on energy drinks!

See, if you ask a question on Twitter you can learn new things. Who knew dark chocolate helps with your memory?! But, being a senior, I couldn’t leave it all up to Twitter. I have learned a few things through my years at Georgia Southern.

Here are my top five things to do to prepare for final exams:

1. Study Ahead: Finals cover everything and should be approached in that mind-frame. Don’t wait until the night before and try to cram; it can’t be done.

2. Review The Things You Think You Know: Don’t just study what you don’t know. Sometimes you can be so focused on what you don’t know that you can confuse yourself about what you do know…or what you thought you knew.

3. Flashcards Help: You probably don’t believe me but making flashcards can really help you study. Make the cards and go through them over and over. The repetition helps lock it in your brain.

4. Don’t Over Analyze: Like the saying goes, always go with your first choice. Read exam questions for what they are. Don’t try to read into them because you will only confuse yourself more.

And lastly, the big one…

5. Remember To Breathe: As dumb as that sounds, you would be surprised how many times we forget it. Yes, finals are big. In fact, they’re huge. But you can’t blow it out of proportion. Typically, finals are only a small portion of your final grade. Truth is, if you have attended class and kept up with assignments, you should do fine. Keep in mind, professors can only test you over what they’ve taught you. So, that being said, don’t pull an all-nighter before the exam. Don’t skip meals. And don’t have a panic attack when that exam is put in front of you. It’s just a TEST.

GOOD LUCK!!! : )

[Cross-posted from Haley Higgs’ blog Social Media and PR]


How to Study for Final Exams April 21, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in success.
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final-examsFinal exams are approaching on college campuses around the world. Finals can be stressful, even for the most prepared students. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

Preparing for the Final

  • Find out what your entire final exam schedule is so that you’ll know how many finals you will have on each day.
  • Prepare a written schedule for yourself indicating when you will study for each test. Leave some time in your schedule for exercise and relaxation, too.
  • If the professor offers a study guide, use it.
  • If the professor offers a review session for the exam, go to it.
  • If you study well in groups, form a study group.
  • Know if the final is comprehensive (covering everything since the beginning of the semester or quarter).
  • Find out what kind of exam it will be. You’d study differently for a multiple-choice (Scantron) final than an essay (blue book) one.
  • If the final will be taken online, find out if you have to go to a specific computer lab on campus at a specific time, or if you’ll be allowed to take the final on your own computer. Also find out how many chances you will have to take the final. Assume it’s just one chance unless you hear differently from the professor.
  • If you have your previous exams available, scour the exams for things that you think will be on the final. Flag your notes by highlighting or using Post-It notes.
  • Don’t pull an all-nighter. (Though some people are successful with studying all night and then taking a test with no sleep, I wouldn’t recommend you try it for the first time on a final exam.)
  • Calculate your grades in the class. Determine what score you will need to get the grade you’re hoping for in the class. You may discover that you can’t possibly get an A, no matter how well you do on the final, but to get a B, you only need to get a few questions right.
  • If you’re an auditory learner, record yourself reading your notes aloud, then play the recording back several times.
  • If the exam is an open-book exam, this does not mean that you don’t have to study at all. In fact, one of the most challenging exams I ever took as an undergrad was an open-book essay exam. Flag your textbook based on where you believe the questions will come from.
  • Consider creating a detailed Final Exam Battle Plan.

On the Day of the Final

  • Eat a meal and drink water.
  • Don’t overdo it with the caffeine.
  • Know what to bring with you to the final. Do you need a blue book? A Scantron? (And if you need a Scantron, which specific type do you need?) A pencil? A pen?
  • Are food and drinks allowed in the classroom where your final will be? Sometimes, the rules are different for exam days than other days.
  • Even if you don’t usually wear a watch, take one with you to the final. It’s unlikely you will be able to look at your cell phone to check the time during the final.

During the Final

  • For a paper-based exam, read through the entire final exam before you start answering any questions at all. This way, you will know what you’re facing.
  • If the final is an online exam, find out if you can revisit questions, or if after you click past a question you cannot go back to it again.
  • If you’re using a Scantron and you skip a question to finish later, make sure you’re answering your questions next to the correct answers. (When I took my GRE to get into grad school, I skipped a question on the first page of the booklet, but never skipped a number on the Scantron. When I realized it, I only had 10 minutes to go back and put the answers with the correct questions. Talk about stress!)
  • Keep a close eye on the time you have allotted.
  • Some students benefit from answering the most difficult questions first, while others do better completing all the easier ones. Do what works for you.

After the Final

  • Do not share with other students what was on the final exam. In most universities, this is a violation of the honor code.

Now it’s your turn: What final exam tips do you have to share? Please let us know through your comments below.


Photo Credit: http://flickr.com/photos/shaghaghi/73645535/

Resumes, Interviews and LinkedIn, Oh My! April 13, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in success.
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Clouds with sun peeking out by you.Whether you’re looking for a full-time or part-time job during college, odds are good you’ll need a resume. Here are several blog posts on resume writing, interviewing and the job search in general:

Are there other blog posts that have helped YOU in your job search? I’d appreciate it if you could share them as a comment here.



Watch Out for Digital Dirt March 21, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in social media, success.
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Sweep by QualityFrog.When you’re preparing for a job (or internship) search, it’s time to be sure that you don’t have any “digital dirt” that a potential employer may uncover.

Imagine you’re in a job interview right now. How would you answer this question? “After our interview today, I am going to look you up online. How do you think my impression of you will change after I do this?”

Think about what’s visible in your Facebook profile, MySpace page, your blog, Flickr photos, LinkedIn profile and anywhere else that you’ve posted info about yourself. Check to see if others have tagged you in photos. Even if you’ve made your info “private,” it’s still possible that the information is accessible. (Even if a web page is taken down, you may still get to it through the Way Back Machine if you know when it was accessible.)

A discussion on this topic at PR OpenMic brought several things to consider:

” We google/facebook/myspace everyone we hire, and it’s pretty much standard practice out in the trenches.” — Michael Dolan

“I have, in the past, Googled and Facebooked my students before each new semester begins. The stuff I’ve found. So, I copy the photos and, when classes start, put the photos up on the large screen in class as I call roll. My point to them is, “If I can find it, your potential future internships and employers can find it, too.” Freaks them out, but certainly makes the point. Again, only rarely, but still … the stuff I’ve found… yikes!” — Robert French

“A good point a new PR professional brought up when speaking to one of my classes is blocking your friends list from public view. Who you associate with can be digital dirt sometimes.” — Beth Evans

Let me close with a profound thought by a PR practitioner in Washington, DC :

“Just ask yourself: Would they trust their organization’s reputation to someone who can’t keep his or her own intact?” — Felipe Benitez

Just some food for thought.

[Cross-posted from my Public Relations Matters blog.]

So Just What IS Procrastination? February 22, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in success.
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In keeping with this week’s theme of Time Management, here’s a short (and trippy) video on procrastination.

2 Tips for Registering for Classes February 12, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in advising, success.
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by Haley J. Higgs

If I could give you one tip for signing up for classes that would make your life so much easier it would be to REGISTER ON TIME! All students get to register for classes (via WINGS) on different dates. The one thing in common is that no matter what day you register the registration opens up at 3 a.m. My advice, wake up, already be signed in to WINGS and be ready to register when the clock hits 3. Classes fill up fast so if you wait until morning you run a huge risk of not getting the classes you want. Remember you aren’t the only person signing up. There are about 18,000 other people trying to get the classes they want, too.

A second tip to signing up for classes is to know what you’re signing up for before 3 a.m. In your WINGS account you can go ahead and search all the classes available. Look at days and times and pick out a few incase your first choice is taken. Write down the class, professor’s name, day and time and the location. Have the list with you when you register, and you won’t have to waste time looking for classes.

How to Find Blogs Using Google February 10, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in social media, success.
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For your blogging assignment for the week of February 15, you’ll find two or more blogs that are interesting to you and write a bit about what you found there. Your review is due no later than February 19.

As a reminder, here’s the description of what you’ll need to include in your post:

  • Blog review (review two or more blogs that are of interest to you).
  • Include hyperlinks to the blogs
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: February 19

Watch this short video I created for you to learn just how easy it is to find a blog by using Google.

How to prepare for the next semester February 9, 2010

Posted by Drapeto in success.
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I put together a short video navigating around Georgia Southern’s website showing where to go and what to do to effectively prepare for advisement, registration, and the next semester. Hope it helps.

Early Alert Grades Available February 5, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in Assignment, success.
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FYE 1220 NET Class Members:

I’ve just posted your Early Alert grades in WINGS (for only the Freshmen in the class). Here’s a short key to what the grades mean:

S = Satisfactory ::  You’re keeping up with everything. You’ve created your blog and sent me the address. You commented on my blog during Week One and Three as required. You attended at least two of the live sessions we did in WIMBA Live Classroom (and/or accessed the archives for the class). Great! Keep up the good work.

UG = Unsatisfactory Grade :: No Blog (and if I do not get your blog address before Tuesday at midnight, it will be impossible for you to pass this class)

UP = Unsatisfactory Attendance :: You have not shown up (or accessed the archives) for two or more of our class sessions

UP = Unsatisfactory Participation :: You did not comment on any of the blog posts that you should have during Week Three. (You would have found out about needing to do this through attending the Wimba session and via e-mail from me).

You might also see a combination of letters, such as UGP. That means to combine what UG means with UP.

Is it possible to recover from an Unsatisfactory? YES, it is. There is still a majority of the semester to go.

Is it possible for me to change your Early Alert Grade? No. Your Early Alert Grade will not impact your GPA.

We WILL meet during Week Five for about 30 minutes, starting at 5:00pm, in our Wimba Live Classroom. We’ll discuss your Academic Planning Assignment in more detail during that time. Please have a draft of this assignment completed and available in front of you during our class discussion. (To get to the Academic Planning Assignment, go to GeorgiaVIEW for FYE 1220, then choose Modules. You’ll find it — along with the quiz that is due by the end of next week — in the “Your Academic Future” module.)

See you on Tuesday!

Advisement Made Easy! February 5, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in advising, success.
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by Haley J. Higgs

When it is time for you to sign up for advisement you will receive an e-mail. If you have declared a major then the e-mail will come from that college’s advising center. If you haven’t, the e-mail will come from First Year Experience. Once you get it, follow the instructions. The e-mail will tell you where to go to sign up to meet with an advisor. Sign up fast or you may not get the time slot you want. Remember there are 18,000 students doing the same thing you are!

When you go meet your advisor remember to do these four things:

  1. Know the classes you are currently taking or have taken in your college career
  2. Have an idea of the classes you need/want to take (course catalogues are on the GSU website)
  3. Have a backup plan if the classes you want are unavailable
  4. Take your Academic Planning Assignment document (that that you are creating for this class, due next week) with you

If you have any more questions, check out the Georgia Southern Academic Advising Centers website.