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April 23, 2021, 08:28:58 pm

Author Topic: NEED URGENT HELP  (Read 863 times)  Share 

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« on: July 21, 2020, 12:02:28 am »
I've been really sick for the past few days and was really lacking in motivation.
I have 2 weeks to my trials
And I haven't studied at all any advice would be appreciated
Thank you


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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 08:10:38 am »
I've been really sick for the past few days and was really lacking in motivation.
I have 2 weeks to my trials
And I haven't studied at all any advice would be appreciated
Thank you

Hi MinnieMinnie111,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're in this situation - it must be extremely stressful for you to think about. However, I think I can help with this problem. I'll list below what I do to "cram" (which I generally avoid doing now) before an exam.

1. Write Your Study Notes

Yes, I know it may sound daunting and a little bit time consuming but writing down content ultimately helped me learn the content for Biology. To write your notes, you should:

- Go over the syllabus/study design and use the dot-points as a guide to structuring your notes e.g. use the syllabus dot point as a title and then write all of the necessary information underneath that dot point. Also, remember to take note of the command words such as "explain" etc. as these are key to forming your response.
- Then, underneath the notes of each dot-point, I would recommend turning the statement into a question and then writing a response to it so you have an idea of what you need to write about. Use any syllabus glossary you can find to help you structure your response based around the command word.
- Refer to any handouts and notes you have when you were at school and use them for either a) practice problems or b) extra notes/information you could annotate your original notes with.
- Use your textbook to your advantage! Textbooks are usually extremely useful for a lot of students as they are jammed packed with information, diagrams and practice problems. When using your textbook, be cautious to not "passively" learn the content. Don't highlight big chunks of text and hope that it will magically appear in your brain (trust me, I learnt that the hard way). Instead, when reading the textbook, don't take notes or highlight at first as it will break up the "flow" of information. Then, when you feel like you have a solid grasp of the concept, take notes of any terminology (usually in bold or italics) and any key information you may need. Write any important diagrams you need to know on post-it notes and review these diagrams regularly. Then, when you have summarised a chapter into a few sentences, attempt the practise questions at the end of each chapter and repeat the process.
- Similar to the point above, practice problems are a lifesaver! Do as many as possible and in different conditions. When learning the content for the first time, try open-book and untimed conditions to let you take as much time as you need to answer the questions. Then, when your biology trial is coming up, take the opposite approach by using closed-book and timed conditions where you try the problems almost in the same conditions as the exam itself.
- If your keen, use the syllabus dot-points as an information "trigger" to recall as much information as you can. Then, when you have written as much information as possible, note down what you didn't remember and do this process as many times as possible before your trial.
- Write summary notes for the syllabus dot-points you don't have. In total, this process should take 15-30 minutes in total and then, from all of your notes, review the topics that are difficult for you to understand and the topics that you need to work on in mini "pop" quizzes. Again, do this as much as possible before your trial.

2. Use Other Resources

Since you're an HSC student, you will be able to find lots of resources easily whether it may be other textbooks, online practice questions or study guides. I'll list some places you can find some resources to help you with your biology trial and exam preparation below:

- Art of Smart. Especially the Biology section that has information for exam preparation, study plans and the modules that you would need to learn for your trial.
- EdUnlimited. Especially the HSC Biology study guide and the various practice questions/practice exams available to HSC students. Please note that this platform does require a subscription.
- ATAR Notes. Especially the forums, free notes and articles. Here are some that I recommend:
- YouTube. The channels that I recommend for biology are Crash Course, Domain of Science, Bozeman Science, Free Animated Education, TED, Amoeba Sisters, Atomi (HSC Biology), ArtofSmartTV and of course HSC ATAR Notes! But please be careful when using YouTube as it is the biggest source of procrastination.
- Practice problems and summary notes/videos galore! BiologyJunction, Bioninja and KhanAcademy.

3. Other Study Methods and More Tips/Advice

- Vocabulary flashcards
- Mindmaps
- Brain Dumps - decide on a concept that you need to work on. Then, on an A4 sheet of paper, write everything that you can remember from that topic. Then take note of everything you missed/need to remember.
- Get enough rest, eat nutritious food, and limit junk food so that you're alert and ready to learn when you arrive at school.
 - Attend all classes unless you have a very important reason for missing the class or unless you are ill. If you do have to miss a class, find out what was taught by your teacher.
 - Complete all the required class assignments and homework.
- If you have errors in your marked assignments, find out what the correct answers are or what you did wrong. Make a note of the correct information.
 - Make notes in class even if you’re not asked to. Write notes about what the teacher says and about what he or she writes on the blackboard, whiteboard, or overhead projector.
- Don’t be afraid to approach your teacher for help (either during class or after class) if you don’t understand notes, facts, or procedures. The teacher may well be less intimidating when dealing with students individually than when dealing with an entire class. He or she will probably be very pleased that you are making an effort to understand the material. Other people can also be of great help if they’ve studied biology and if they understand the section that you're studying. These people include your parents, siblings, and friends with good work habits.
- Make your own notes about the information that your teacher presents in class.
- Use point form if the information is being delivered quickly, writing down key words, terms, or facts. Use abbreviations and symbols, provided you know what these mean. Leave spaces for later clarifications.
- Make sure you read over the notes to ensure that you understand them, preferably on the day that you created them.
- Tidy the notes up so that they are easy to read. Fill in any gaps in the information and clarify anything that’s confusing. Reference sources, such as textbooks and reliable Internet sites, can help you do this. Asking your teacher for clarification can also be helpful.
- Consider keeping all notes in a separate notebook or binder. Once your notes are accurate, read through them frequently to help you remember information.
- If you type your notes on an electronic device, remember to back them up frequently and in multiple places.
- Use your textbook regularly. Read the section that relates to your current classroom topic for reinforcement and clarification, even if the reading hasn’t been assigned.
- Make brief summary notes on important sections of text. Consider highlighting the most important points in the textbook if this is allowed.
- Illustrations are very important in biology. Study drawings, diagrams, charts, tables, graphs, photos, and captions very carefully.
- Try to relate graphics to the text as you read. The graphics may help you to understand the text better and may also make memorizing facts easier. If a graphic is very important, copy it into your summary notes.
- Read what’s printed in the margins! Sometimes when I ask a question in an assignment, a student tells me that the information that they need isn’t on the relevant pages in their textbook. The information is there, but it’s printed in the margin, which they haven’t read.
- Take advantage of the textbook’s organization. For example, if your textbook has extras such as chapter introductions, chapter summaries, vocabulary lists, and appendices, make sure that you read them. If there are questions at the end of the chapters, try to answer them.
- If your textbook has an associated website, make sure that you visit the site. The publisher may provide additional information and practice assignments. If the textbook is accompanied by a code that is needed to use the website, don't lose the code.
- Use mnemonics. Create a funny story to remember the content.
- Make a study plan. Absolutely necessary if you would like to organise your studies.
- Active studying is often more effective than passive studying. Reading the information in silence and trying to remember it can be an effective study technique, but you also need to do something with the information as you study. I’ve always remembered a favourite saying of one of my high school teachers: “If you’re not studying with a pencil, you’re not really studying”.
- For active learning, you could write down questions about the material in your textbook or notebook and then try to answer the questions without looking at the books. You could also create cue cards, flashcards, mnemonics, outlines, summaries, concept maps, mind maps, diagrams, and charts. Reading aloud, even when you’re on your own, may also be an effective study technique for you.
    If possible, form study groups with other people in your class to quiz each other and help each other understand topics. Just be careful that the study group doesn’t turn into a socializing group. To prevent this from happening you could decide on the length of the study period with your group and then take part in a fun social activity together once the study period is over.
- A very effective way to learn a topic is to try to teach it. Teach a short topic in your biology course to the other people in your study group. Answer their questions afterwards, just like a teacher would. Make notes of any questions that you couldn’t answer and find out what the answers are. Also, make note of any factual errors in your presentation that were pointed out to you.
- If your school has a homework room or offers after-school academic help, take advantage of this help if you need to.
- You have one great advantage compared to me when I studied high school biology: the widespread existence of the Internet. Use the learning resources that it offers. Access the Internet at school or in a public library if you don’t have a computer and an Internet connection at home.
- Remember that there are a lot of ways to waste time when you're online. You mustn’t get distracted during your study time. Save computer games and social activities for after your scheduled study period.
- If your teacher gives you useful web addresses for your biology course, make sure that you save the addresses and visit the sites.
- Use reliable sites when you are searching for academic information on your own. For example, look for web addresses that end in .edu or .gov or visit well-known news sites, magazine sites, online museums, learning centres, or book publisher sites that have good reputations. Articles on other educational websites and by qualified individuals can also be helpful. Use multiple sites for research, even if the first site that you visit seems reliable.
- Online dissection sites can be useful, either to replace a classroom dissection or to review a dissection that was done in class. Do an Internet search for the animal dissection of your choice.
- Sometimes a curriculum guide or syllabus for a particular course is published online, often listing specific facts that students are supposed to know. This is not only useful for teachers but is also a great learning resource for students. I give my Grade Twelve (final year) students a list of these prescribed learning outcomes. It acts as a checklist for what they need to know. Ask your teacher whether there is a similar site for your biology course.
- Don't forget to bookmark useful websites after you discover them.

4. How to Get Motivated

Disclaimer: I found these posts on Tumblr so these are not my advice. I'm not sure which users wrote these posts so full credits to them for their amazing advice!

If you have been struggling with motivation lately, you have to take a comprehensive look at your campfire. There could be a problem with your matches, your wood or the campfire environment. Or even worse: you might have been throwing water on your campfire the entire time!
Use this checklist to identify what is killing your campfire and understand how to fix it.
1. You lack a strong reason WHY.
The Symptoms:
You might not be admitting it to yourself, but you are actually not really interested in doing this thing. Whether it is a goal you set for yourself like running a marathon or completing a project at work, you kind of CBA (can’t be asked). Deep down, you either just don’t see the point or the reward is just not attractive enough for you.
The Cure:
There is two options in dealing with this brutal motivation killer:
* Don’t do it: Stop lying to yourself and just quit. It will do yourself — and potentially other people — a huge favour. You don’t give a f*ck about it anyway.
* Find a strong WHY under the surface: If you can’t quit — because it is part of your job or you don’t want to break a promise or ________________ (fill in the blank with your custom excuse), you need to find a way to think differently about it. If you think long enough, you can find some kind of value in almost anything. It might not be directly associated with it, but it could serve a deeper purpose. Here is some examples: I don’t see the point in doing this, but it will make my partner happy (and I care deeply about my partner!). Eating healthy will increase my focus and productivity at work (and I care about my work more than I care about burgers). This project is boring but doing well on it will show my boss that I can get my hands dirty (and that will build my reputation at work and I care about that!).

2. Your goal is overwhelming you.
The Symptoms:
When you think or talk about your thing, your mind is commenting with a big “arghhhh”. You are dreading this thing so much. It feels like a big monster that you don’t even know where to attack first. And you can’t see yourself ever bringing it down — it is just too big! As a result, you procrastinate on getting started because you are dreading it too much.
The Cure:
Some might say “just start SOMEWHERE”. But this is probably the worst advice I ever heard when it comes to dealing with overwhelm.
Here is what is actually effective: Break it down! Look the monster in the eye and break it down in parts. Identify its legs, its head, its arms and belly. Then, put a structure around it — line the parts up as chronological steps or categorise them according to topics. Within your chunks, draft a rough overview as well. And then, make a rough project timeline and identify the first chunk to get started with and within the first chunk, the very first action. By looking the monster in the eye and analysing it, you no longer see it as this abstract scary fury thing. Instead, you see it as a — still — challenging opponent, but one you can conquer — if you are strategic about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.
The Symptoms:
You kind of want to do this thing, but deep down you really don’t believe you can do it. And it is wreaking havoc on your motivation because the voice in your head keeps telling you “Why are you even trying? You won’t get there anyway…”.
The Cure:
For a quick fix: Look at your past achievements and remind yourself that you managed to do achieve very challenging goals before and at that time you weren’t so sure about yourself either. Thus, you CAN tackle this one now as well!
To fix this issue for good: Identify your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones. Limiting beliefs are subconscious thought patterns that guide your actions and decisions. Most of these self-limiting beliefs were created in your childhood or teenage years and are still largely determining how you think of yourself. But since those beliefs have been programmed into your subconscious mind, they guide your decisions and actions without you even noticing. In order to achieve big, bold goals, you need to upgrade your mindset with a new set of empowering beliefs that will get you the necessary confidence to take on your goals.

4. You are simply exhausted.
The Symptoms:
There is so much going on in your life. So many things to do. So many things to take care of. You are stressed out at best and burnt out at worst. Hence, you completely lost your willingness to do this thing — even if you really want to do it. When everything else is taking up your physical and mental energy, there is simply none left to spark the fire and push hard on your goal.
The Cure:
Free up physical and mental energy and reprioritise! Rest, de-stress and sleep enough to recharge your batteries. Say “no” to things that are less important than your goal. Clear your mind with meditation and journaling. Maybe you even need to do a full life detox to free up the necessary space in your life.

5. You suffer from the fear disease
The Symptoms:
Your fear is subconsciously holding you back from gathering the motivation to get started. Deep down, you are afraid to fail or embarrass yourself, you are scared of the unknown or you are even afraid of success. And thus, you are suffering from one or more of these fear disease symptoms: procrastination, anxiety, resistance and excessive worrying.
The Cure:
Get clear about what you are afraid of, how it is holding you back and how this fear shows up in your life (aka the symptoms). Understanding this is the basis for coming up with a specific strategy to deal with your fear.

6. Your unhealthy lifestyle is taking a toll
The Symptoms:
You feel sluggish and constantly tired. You suffer from chronic physical pain (most likely digestive issues, back pain or headaches). You experience brain fog and have trouble focusing.
The Cure:
Fix your unhealthy lifestyle and your motivation problem (and much much more) will take care of itself. Here are some good guidelines to get you started:
* Sleep 8hrs every night
* Sweat every day: Even if it is just for 15min.
* Start your day with a healthy breakfast: This will make it easier to opt for healthy choices later in the day as well.
* Eat mindfully: If you eat, JUST eat. Don’t watch TV or try to reply to emails. Focus on the taste of the food in your mouth and enjoy every little bite. Take a break halfway through and ask yourself whether you are still hungry. And if not, stop eating. This habit might even make you loose some weight — effortlessly.
* Eat well: Opt for fresh, healthy, unprocessed and nourishing food. Cut out gluten, dairy and processed foods if you are having digestive issues.
* Limit your intake of stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine

7. You set your goals too small or too big
The Symptoms:
You are doing one of both of these things: 1. You set your goals so small that they fail to inspire you to get out of our comfort zone or 2. you set them so high that you don’t even know how to tackle them and lack the confidence to do so (see 2 and 3).
The Cure:
Both ends of the spectrum are equally bad for your motivation and morale. Yes, dream big — dream so big it scares you. And yes, 10x your goals to force yourself to come up with out-of-the-box approaches. But please, set your actual weekly goals in a do-able, yet challenging way. Your motivation will thank you!

8. You are impatient
The Symptoms:
You are kind of demotivated because you thought you’d be there by now. You wouldn’t have thought that achieving your goal would take so long. And it is seriously demotivating you. You might even be playing with the idea of quitting because you are so impatient.
The Cure:
Understand that good things take time. This sounds cliché, but seriously: you need to change how you think about this! Focus on the progress and enjoy the journey, because it is as much as a reward as achieving your goal.Furthermore, celebrate little milestones along the way and reward yourself for your efforts. This will keep your morale up and your impatience at bay.

1) Understand why you procrastinate
Procrastination is the #1 enemy of success. Without action, you won’t get anywhere.
But if you can figure out the reasons behind procrastination, you can then figure out how to overcome it.
Common reasons include:
* You don’t know where to start
* You find the subject boring or pointless
* You convince yourself you have lots of time
* You don’t feel capable of completing the work
All of these are just made up things in our head that stop us achieving our goals. No matter how boring, how much time, or how complex studying is, just make a start.
The hardest part of the journey is taking the first step - take your first step today.
2) Reward yourself for ‘good behavior’
Who doesn’t love to be rewarded? It’s why we do things in life – whether it’s the feeling of satisfaction after a great study session, a long run, or buying new shoes.
The same goes for studying. Try to incentivize yourself so that you can continually get some gratification for your effort.
My favorites included buying myself a coffee after each block of study, watching a Netflix show at night after finishing my day, and going out for lunch with friends after submitting big assignments.
If you are of the shoes or handbag variety, those can also work too ;)
3) Health is #1
My granddad always told me, “your health is most important”.
Without feeling healthy and in a good state of mind it’s difficult to succeed at college.
To remain healthy and in a good state of mind, focus on these:
* Sleep 7-9 hours a day to remain at peak cognitive performance.
* Exercise 30minutes 3x a week to keep your body functioning efficiently.
* Eat healthy so that you have a constant stream of energy.
* Take regular breaks to clear your head and refresh your body.
* Have fun! Even if it’s just a couple of hours a week.
I was personally surprised by how much my motivation levels increased when I improved my sleeping habits!
4) Know WHY you are studying
Have you ever woken up and thought to yourself, ‘why did I ever decide to study <enter subject>?
On the flip side, imagine waking up and you don’t even think because you know exactly why you are spending each day in the library studying like a champion.
That knowledge will get you through the difficult days and remind you that your effort is taking you to a better place.
So if you only take one piece of advice out of the newsletter today, spend some time today to get really clear on the top reasons you are studying:
* I studied engineering because I wanted to get a job that was in demand and would teach me skills that were hard to be automated in the future.
* I studied business because I loved the subject and I wanted to understand finance, marketing, and management so I could start my own business.
Why do you study?
5) Find interest in the boring
Sometimes we have to study a subject we find boring. One where we struggle to stay awake in class or question when the hell we will ever use it in real life.
Those are the times where we need to tell ourselves, “okay, it sucks, BUT I have no choice so what are one or two important lessons I can learn from this experience”.
It could be one new concept you discover about the subject. It could be a friendship you develop with your professor. Or it could be the character you build because you performed well in a subject you didn’t enjoy.
Whatever it is, always look for the life lessons that you can take with you for your future.
6) Make studying social
Studying can be lonely at times. Sitting in the library or at home, alone, taking notes or doing practice questions.
It’s easy to lose motivation when we are by ourselves. A great way to overcome this is to have a study buddy or group to help you.
There are two effective ways to do this:
1. Set up a social media group where you can interact – ask questions, check in on each other’s progress, and help share information.
2. Schedule a time once a week where you meet up to teach each other and compare notes.
College is not only a time for learning, it’s also a time to make friends.
Make studying social and help each other stay motivated.
7) Focus on the process and the results will follow
Have you heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”?
It holds a lot of truth.
Everything big or meaningful takes time to build. That well-sculpted body, top grades, or expert coding skills.
Each of these takes consistent work over days, weeks, months, and often years.
So next time you feel disheartened or overwhelmed with studying, remind yourself to focus on that one task in front of you.
Small consistent actions and tasks will lead to big results.

Hopefully, that helps!

Please let me know if you have any questions, queries or concerns as I would be more than happy to help clarify anything in this post or if you're interested, my private messages and the ATAR Notes forums are always open so you can ask me or any HSC/Biology student some questions that you may have.

Have a great week and kind regards,

Darcy Dillon.

QUT 2021 - Bachelor of Education (Primary).

I’m offering tutoring in 2021! PM me for more details if interested :)