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Archive for December 9th, 2008

Blue Skies

 

I got a lot of good photos from Keukenhof.

I got a lot of good photos from Keukenhof.

I finally did it, I finished all of my personal statements today. Four out of five of my graduate school applications have been submitted (I need my fall grades for the last), I just need to make sure that all of my letters of recommendation are sent and compile three packets to send off and I am done with my applications completely. 

Once finals are done I am going to do the application for Teach For America since it is supposed to not take as long as graduate school applications. 

I will just need to slowly recover from all of the lovely fees associated with all of the applications.

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Study Plan

Well, this was supposed to be posted yesterday but with the new WordPress interface I guess I hit the wrong button. I didn’t notice it not going up since my backup software was able to grab it just fine.

A view from my lecture room last year.

A view from my lecture room last year.

Today started my finals week, I started the long journey of studying. Lucky for me I have taken enough physics finals to know what I need to learn and how to go about doing it.

Essentially every physics class with few exceptions allow for a single sheet of paper worth of notes. So I use the act of writing the notesheet to be my study plan. I break it down into several steps:

Go over my notebook for the class and write down major topics, equations, themes and general knowledge that was learned in lecture. Then I go over any notes provided by the professor, the textbook, past exams and homework solutions to create a list of every important topic of the quarter. I have a habit of writing the word “final” in the margins if a teacher emphasis a particular equation or example in class, or if they flat out say this problem will be on the final. I add those to my list.

I then take my list and structure it into cohesive topics and related fields. At this point I write out everything I listed, based on either my notes or the textbook depending on which notation I have been using for the year.

Sometimes when I finish it all fits on one piece of paper, if not I write it smaller or start to cut things out. In the end I get a single sheet of notes for the class that I can take in for the final. If  a class does not allow note sheets then I now have a note sheet of things I need to know really well.

Depending on the class (and how I did on the homework) I sometimes do extra homework or past exam problems using nothing by my notes and a calculator (if allowed on the final). If I find myself needing something I then add it to the right section of the note sheet and continue on.

This method works for me since I learn best by writing things down as I hear them or in the case of studying think about them.

I don’t know how well this would work for other topics that have a large amount of information that needs to be memorized, math it would probably still work and perhaps engineering. One of the reasons that I like physics is that for the most part a small set of equations is all that is needed to answer most questions.

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