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Meeting 3

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Freshman Advising Meeting November 29

Freshman Advising Meeting November 29

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  • 1. First-Year Advising Meeting 3: Facing the First Finals
  • 2. Semester Wrap-Up
    • Evaluate where you stand in each course using the syllabus to determine how each of your completed assignments counts toward your final grade
    • Consult with instructors/professors
    • Plan out and schedule your time
    • Keep your focus through the end of finals rather than the last day of classes
  • 3. Finals
    • Read the entire entry in the Dictionary of Academic Regulations on “Examinations, Final.” Even if you think you have figured it all out or heard everything about finals, read the entire entry.
      • http://www.umw.edu/publications/dictionary_ar_fburg/az/e/examinations_final.php
  • 4.
    • Before classes end, your instructor will likely talk about the exam. Make sure that it is clear how each part will count toward the whole. If it is not brought up, ask.
  • 5.
    • Use prior exams as a guide to the types of questions that will likely be on the final and what the instructor thinks is important.
  • 6.
    • Some commitments will probably need to be put aside for awhile - ask for time off from work and let family and friends know you will have finals coming up so you need to prioritize your time.
  • 7. Find out if the topics on the exam will be cumulative or just material covered since the last test. When studying, make a list of the broad topics that will be covered and then fill it in with more details as you study.
  • 8.
    • Study for no more than 2 hour blocks at a time (taking 15 minute breaks) with the same subject, and change to a dissimilar subject when you switch.
  • 9.
    • If you form study groups, choose people with whom you will keep the commitment to actually study rather than letting it turn into a gossip session or a party.
  • 10.
    • Avoid cramming. The strongest case against all-nighters is that depriving yourself of sleep and good nutrition, especially on a chronic basis, will work against you when trying to recall and apply the information you have just tried to cram into your head.
  • 11. Having What You Need
    • Bring several writing instruments (i.e. a few sharpened pencils and two pens)
    • Have extra paper
    • Have an appropriate answer sheet or blue book (if required by instructor) – have more than one blue book in case you write a lot
    • Wear a watch
  • 12. Preparing for the Exam
    • Find out if the instructor subtracts for wrong answers or just counts up correct answers. Some instructors do not want you to guess, but others hope that by the process of elimination you can narrow down your choices and reason out the answer.
    • Be sure you have checked and rechecked to verify the date and time of the exam
    • Eat a light snack before the exam
    • Get a full, good night’s sleep
  • 13. Taking the Test
    • Arrive a few minutes early to settle yourself and relax.
    • For some people, reading over notes at the last minute makes them more nervous.
    • Map out your work timeline (with exact start and end times rather than one hour here, ½ hour there), i.e.:
      • 2:15 - 3:15 – long essay
      • 3:15 - 3:45 – short essay
      • 3:45 - 4:45 – identify, multiple choice, etc.
    • Pace yourself. Don’t rush and go on auto-pilot, which may lead to skipping questions or misreading instructions.
  • 14. Essays
    • Take a few moments to mull over the question.
    • Plot out a rough (and quick) outline so you can organize your thoughts.
    • Use a pencil or an erasable pen so that you can make changes and corrections to grammar and punctuation without looking messy or disorganized.
    • Elaborate. This assumes you’re elaborating on something relevant to the question; irrelevancies won’t help your case.
    • Leave time to read through and edit.
  • 15. Quotable Quote on Essays
    • “ Multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, etc. are an opportunity for the instructor to see what you don’t know; essays are a chance for you to show him/her what you do know.”
      • -Dr. Liane Houghtalin
      • Associate Professor of Classics, UMW
  • 16. Grades
    • Registrar will e-mail your UMW account when grades are posted in Banner (grades will not be in the e-mail itself)
    • After receiving this e-mail, log into Banner to see your final grades
    • Print your final grades and keep a copy for your records
  • 17. Use Banner to Plan
    • Check out your “Degree Evaluation” in Banner. It places your completed course work and the courses in which you are registered for spring 2010 into the General Education and ATC Requirements so you can see where you stand.
    • Check out the “What If” scenario in the Degree Evaluation (same Banner screen on the bottom right) to see a potential major and view how your course work could meet the requirements for that particular major.
  • 18. Repeating Courses
    • If you receive a C- or lower in a course, you may repeat the course if it is offered.
    • You cannot repeat a course if you take a course for which it is prerequisite and receive a final grade in the subsequent course.
    • If you anticipate receiving a grade of C- or lower, you are able to register NOW to repeat the class before a final grade is posted. However, if your final grade exceeds your expectations with a C or higher, the repeated course WILL NOT automatically be deleted from your record.
  • 19. Repeating Courses: Sequence Course Issues
    • Students currently enrolled in a prerequisite course must pass the course to be eligible for the subsequent course.
    • You may enroll in a subsequent course now, but you WILL NOT automatically be dropped from the subsequent course if you do not pass the prerequisite course.
    • If you receive a C-, D+ or D in a prerequisite course, you WILL NOT be permitted to repeat the course if you receive a grade in the subsequent course.
    • If you receive a low grade in a course that is part of an anticipated major, you should repeat it ASAP so that you have a solid foundation in the major material and so that your major GPA does not suffer.
  • 20. Repeating Courses: Conclusions
    • You should monitor your grades and adjust your schedule as soon as possible.
    • Make an appointment to see a dean in the Office of Academic Services (x1010) ASAP if you have any questions about repeating.
    • Be sure to take advantage of tutoring and study skills workshops the second time around (x1010).
  • 21. Scheduling Issues
      • Monitor the open course list and pounce on an opening.
      • Contact the instructor or the department to see if there is a waiting list to get into the class.
      • Contact the instructor to ask to “force add” into the class. If the instructor agrees, he/she will go into Banner and “force add” you. You must then follow up by going into Banner and registering for the course using the CRN for the course.
      • Plan to take the course in summer session or in a later semester.
      • Did you get into all the courses you planned? If not, what can you do?
  • 22. Spring 2010 Schedule Changes
    • Print and keep any schedule changes for your records.
  • 23. Disability Services
    • Students with disabilities should be certain that they request accommodations for the spring semester. Students must request accommodations each semester and should do so as early as possible. You should contact ODS (x1266) immediately if you are currently receiving accommodations and haven’t yet contacted them about the spring semester.
  • 24. Deadlines
    • Did anyone miss a deadline like changing to/from pass/fail or dropping or withdrawing from an individual course?
    • You should use this semester’s experiences to prepare for the deadlines coming in the spring semester.
    • Exact dates and deadlines will no longer be provided in these presentations. You need to keep track of the UMW Academic Calendar: http://www.umw.edu/calendar/cas_mwc/default.php .
  • 25. Tips for Over Winter Break
    • Read! Read for fun – it keeps your mind working
    • Personal Reflection – be honest with yourself and jot down some things you would like to do differently next semester. Review these at the beginning of next semester.