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A One Month Plan to Improve Your Study Skills and Raise Your Grades

greatgrades A One Month Plan to Improve Your Study Skills and Raise Your GradesMany of us simply work off the assumption that we can cram and quickly get through everything we need the night before the test. In elementary and high school, we never develop any real study strategies and we simply straggle through our classes doing the best we can without any real plan for how to improve.

Now, part of this goes back to not getting something essential that we need when we are younger, but now that you're in college or graduate school, it is essential that you improve your study strategies. Here are a few ways that you can easily improve over the course of a month

Week 1:

Take a Series of Learning Tests

The key to improving your study strategies is to learn how you learn. Then, you can base your studying on facts and study in ways that you know will help you. You can find tests on your learning style online for free – most of these actually give fairly good results. Or, you can visit your career center, and they should be able to give you several official learning assessments and score them for you. They'll probably even sit down with you and explain what everything means and give you a few ideas of ways to study.

Week 2:

Meet with the Career Counselors

If you decided to take the learning tests on your own, that's wonderful, but now you still need to meet with the career counselors. At your school, there may be a different department helping students improve their study skills, but this is the most common. Meet with them and ask for information on a variety of strategies based on your needs. Additionally, you can do some Google searches and find all sorts of information on different study strategies with most of them coming from university web sites.

Week 3:

Implement at Least One Study Strategy

During week 3, you want to implement at least one study strategy. Generally, you only want to implement one at a time as you start so that you can see which really work for you and which don't. That being said, you may have classes that will inherently require you to implement different types of study strategies, and if that's the case, go ahead and begin implementing more than one.

Week 4:

Assess Your Progress

You can make as many changes in your life as you want, but until you assess your progress, you're really no closer to successfully improving your study strategies. Look at the strategy or strategies you implemented and determine how well they're working for you. I'm not saying you should give up on a strategy just because the first week wasn't smooth, but if it's clearly not going to work for you, it's time to try something else.

In the Future

Keep following the steps for weeks 3 and 4 until you have successfully pinpointed which study strategies work best for you. Now, you have improved your study skills and made a significant change that will make your life better. Just remember to keep it up so that your grades will improve and you will succeed in college.

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posted by qualitypatrick in Studying/Test Taking and have No Comments

Common Graduate School Admissions Essay Questions

essay writing Common Graduate School Admissions Essay QuestionsAdmission to a graduate school almost always requires some sort of written statement as a part of the application. The importance of the statement varies from school to school and from field to field, but overall there is an assessment occurring of the applicant's academic worthiness via his or her communication skills.

Although the essay could be one general question, such as "what is your approach to life," most universities world-wide now break the question into six or more sections, each answer requiring somewhere between 400-600 words, the equivalent of roughly two typed pages.


Some graduate school essay questions either totally or partially focus on specific information. The information here tends to be goal-oriented, no small part of the rubric used to evaluate the candidate. These questions tend to be worded in a way that ask "what" questions, usually concerning your academic interests, research experiences and academic objectives.

Despite the focus on specific information, all of these questions need to be answered with your focus on goals. The trick is to not merely list your goals by answering the "what," but to provide explanations as well. The idea is to try to show how the goal developed within you or how your experiences have shaped your goal. This approach to these types of essay questions works because it provides you room to elucidate your point of view as a way of answering.

If the question focuses you on specifics within your background, such as asking you to discuss your research experiences or academic background, it's okay to answer the question with some part of your high school experiences, but it's better to focus on college or on time away from academia.

Best of all, try to answer the question in a way that says how you see the particular university helping you to achieve your specific goals.

Another way of phrasing the specific question is to ask you to describe your experience of something particular, like working with a team (or contrarily working independently).

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posted by qualitypatrick in Getting Accepted,Graduate and have No Comments

5 Reasons Why Graduate School is Right For You – Now, Not Later

graduation cap 5 Reasons Why Graduate School is Right For You   Now, Not LaterMany undergraduates decide that at some point that they would like to pursue their goal of earning their advanced degree. Some decide to take some time off between their undergraduate and graduate education. Others go straight from earning their undergraduate degree to graduate school. Which way you decide to go depends on you personally, but here are 5 reasons why you should consider going to graduate school right now…

1. You are already in a "school" mode. As an undergraduate you have spent the last 4 or so years of your life studying and engrossed in a college environment. While graduate school is a deeper commitment than undergraduate school, what you learned from your undergraduate education is still fresh in your mind when you enter graduate school. You still have a school mindset and it is easier to take what you have learned in undergrad and apply it toward your graduate degree if there isn't a lapse in time.

2. While you are still enrolled at your college or university, information about graduate schools and their programs is more readily available to you. You still have immediate access to your teachers and professors, career advisors, and libraries of information about graduate schools, etc. If you have already graduated and moved on, you can still access this information but it takes a little more work to find and research the information. It is not at your fingertips like it is during your undergraduate study.

3. It is easier to request reference letters from faculty and staff. You, as a student, are fresh in the minds of your professors when you are still enrolled as a student, rather than after you graduate. You can walk to their office, request the letter, and pick it up without much effort at all. If you have already graduated, you will have to contact the professor, hope that he or she remembers who you are, and then make arrangements to receive the letter of reference from them.

4. Another reason to go straight from undergraduate to graduate school is that some advanced programs recruit recent graduates versus those that have been out of school for a period of time. While this doesn't mean that you won't get accepted to graduate school, it just means that the process may be simpler and less stressful if you pursue graduate school immediately following undergrad.

5. It is less disruptive to the flow of your life to go straight from undergraduate to graduate school. Once you are finished with school, both undergraduate and graduate, then you can carry on with your career and your family and home life. You avoid the interruption of having to go back to graduate school after you have been in the "real world" for a few years if you follow-up your undergrad with grad school.

Graduate school can be a very rewarding experience, but it should not be entered into lightly. It is a huge commitment of your time and money. Choosing to go to graduate school is a decision that you should make based on your own personal needs, goals, and desires. There are many factors that you should consider very carefully before making your decision.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Graduate and have No Comments

Building Your Future

Choosing a college is choosing a future, or at least building towards it, so certain things should be kept in mind like future finances, job opportunities and location. By taking into account these things, applicants can work toward a rewarding future.

One of the worst things a young person can do is start life in incredible debt. Scholarship hunting is gravely important, and more so as tuition rises across the country. An honest look at the family finances will help determine exactly what is affordable now, and in the future. Talking with a professional financial planner may help, but setting a reasonable level of possible debt can be done without help. Attending a $40,000 year school on loans alone is not advisable; students should find as many scholarships as possible, and if the search doesn't net any, and the schools don't offer big scholarships, an education at an affordable state school is a very reasonable alternative. Most state schools cost less that $5,000 a year in tuition, and even doubling it to include living costs for four years would be less than a year at a private institution. Without a tremendous amount of debt around a student's neck, they have the freedom to explore a variety of options after graduation without having to immediately find a job and begin paying back the money.

Choosing a major in a growing field, or in a field where there is steady employment is also advisable. Sure, students should pursue their passions and dreams, but they should also be practical in their choices, especially if they will have a large debt after college. If a student plans on graduate school, studying at a more affordable school might be advisable, but not entirely necessary. Loan companies usually offer deferments for students enrolled in graduate school, and graduate schools often have programs to reduce the cost of tuition through teaching or research.

In building toward a successful future, an applicant should choose schools in places with good job prospects and opportunities for internships. As enjoyable as it maybe to attend college near the Great Lakes or close to another venue of outdoor adventure, studying in a major city affords the student a greater chance at landing worthwhile internships and eventually jobs. Highly motivated students from rural areas can find go internships too, but a student in an urban environment has a better chance of learning of an opportunity through their growing network in the city. Professors often associate with professional in the field they teach from nearby cities or in their city, and this connection can prove very valuable, and rare when compared to the opportunities a student at a rural college might have.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Choosing a Major,Finding Your Degree,Finding Your School,Making the Decision and have No Comments

A Teacher’s Advice to Returning Students

When I taught Writing I at a local college, I saw a lot of returning students. They were easy to spot, too. They were all extremely nervous about coming back to school, unsure of whether they could succeed. I would try to ease their fears, but it would often take weeks to convince them that they really could succeed in school. Although all these students were working toward undergraduate degree, I have seen the same type of fear when taking classes with returning graduate students. Before you get too worried, though, let me give you a few words of advice.

Talk to Your Teachers

First of all, talk to your professors about your concerns. Many were probably returning students at one time or another, and they can understand your fears. If you have children or are caring for an ill parent, also go ahead and tell your teacher. Assure them you will be at class all the time, but you wanted to let them know in case there is ever an emergency. They are likely to be much more forgiving if you let them know your situation up front.

Find a Mentor

During graduate school, a mentor can be a huge help. If they are part of the profession, they will be able to give you insight when you beginning preparing research projects, and they can give you encouragement when times get tough. If they have actually completed the same program, they can provide you valuable advice regarding the teachers and the classes.

A Simple Truth

Let me tell you a simple truth. The older the student, the more prepared they usually are for college. Times have changed and younger students have weaker writing skills and less discipline. Returning students are generally more successful, although they are more affected by outside influences like family emergencies and tough financial situations. Realize that you are likely better equipped to succeed in your classes than your younger classmates, even though they still have the school thing down.

If There are Problems…

If you do struggle in a graduate level class or if an emergency occurs, talk to your teachers. Don't allow yourself to fall further behind without letting your professors know about the situation. If you need extra help, they will gladly give it, and if you need some other type of consideration, they will do their best to assist you. Don't wait until it's too late to save your grade to speak with your professors.


Finally, relax. Don't worry yourself too much about returning to school. Just stay excited about the experience, work ahead, and count your blessings. You will likely succeed in graduate school and impress yourself with your knowledge and abilities. You have a lot to offer your classmates, and the graduate school experience – the sharing of ideas, the collaboration – is an experience you'll remember fondly for life.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Strategies for Success,Time Off/Returning to School and have No Comments

Tips On Your Resume

One of the greatest challenges to your scholastic career (outside of attending graduate school) is getting accepted to the school in the first place! Along with many others, one important requirement for acceptance is turning in a winning resume.

Most graduate schools require a person to have operated in the workforce for at least five years. The reason being is that most Master of Business Administration degrees provide students with information that can be immediately implemented. If the student chooses not to work, or it is a requirement of the degree program for them not to, administrators want the student to at least have some sort of practical experience that can be utilized. This is where an effective, professional resume comes in handy.

The foremost aspect of any resume is visual appearance and imformation layout. As a graduate student, there are many options to choose to create a good resume: from writers, to resume software. Either way, it is important that the resume is relevant to what you are attempting to accomplish.

For example, if your degree is in marketing, you will want to write about your accomplishments and experiences in that area. Be sure to focus on what was accomplished and learned, rather than dates and titles. Also, employment dates do not necessarily have to start where the previous one left off. Next, be sure to separate your name, address and contact information from the rest of the resume so that the person reading it can easily find the information.

Now comes the actual layout. A very simple yet effective means of organizing employment information is to first list your employment experiences, beginning with the most recent, followed by education, and finally, your accomplishments. You may want to contact your school to find out length requirements or suggestions. Typically, resumes are only one page in length, but school administrators may want more detailed information.

To go the extra mile, include a cover page with the resume. Since many people omit this step, you will be doing yourself a favor by taking the time to develop one. The cover letter itself is sort of a mini-mission statement. You are telling the reader what you are attempting to accomplish by submitting your resume. For graduate school applications, tell the reader who you are and why you are interested in higher education with the school. Talking about your past accomplishments, future goals, and then adding an explanation as to how the school can help you achieve those goals should make up most of the body. The letter itself does not need to be much more than three-quarters of a page, at the most.

Lastly, be sure to have someone proofread the resume, just to be sure that everything looks centered and there are no misspellings or grammatical errors. The last thing that you want to have happen is a school administrator pointing out a mistake on something so crucial.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Education and have No Comments
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