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There Aren’t Enough Hours in a Day!: Time Management

Trying to balance your new load of college work with your family, school and friends can seem like a juggling act. There are some things you can do to make sure that you do not drop the ball. Check out the following for tips and tricks to keep yourself on track.

How to Manage Your Time Effectively

Are you one of the millions who suffer from procrastination? Read the tips below. Oh, yeah, and do it now… not eventually.

  • Set realistic goals, but don’t set them in stone; be flexible.
  • Allow more time than you think a project will take.
  • Break down big and intimidating projects into smaller ones. List the different steps you have to take to complete the job and do them one by one.
  • Reward yourself after each accomplishment.
  • Perfect? Make a conscious effort to realize that your project, paper, whatever it is you're working on, cannot be perfect.
  • Worst-First approach. Identify the most difficult part of the task and do it first. If you begin your day with this job, the rest of the day will seem easy by comparison.
  • Do it when you think of it. Whenever you remember to do a task you’ve been procrastinating on, do at least some of it immediately. Do not wait until you feel like it. Just start.
  • Bits and pieces approach. Do anything in connection with the task you want to accomplish. Gradually do more and more until the task is done.
  • 15-minute approach (or the five-minute plan). Take a project you’ve been procrastinating on and work on it a minimum of 15 minutes. At the end of that time ask yourself whether you will continue for that day. You can set yourself another five minutes, and then another.
  • Switching. Take the momentum you get from working on one activity and switch over to another less appealing task.
  • Remove distractions from your work environment. Keep food, TV, cell phone, radio, magazines, etc., out of your way. Sometimes changing your environment can help to break bad habits.
  • Reminders. Display a small or large sign to remind you. Helpful slogans include: "Do it now," "Do the worst first," "Success is not giving up, failure is giving up too quickly.”

I Thought I Took That Already?: AP Credits and College Now

Make sure to check in with Brooklyn College about your AP credits and College Now. You must claim those credits within one year of enrolling at Brooklyn College. Go to the Office of the Registrar (West Quad Center) and ask if the college has received your AP exam scores or your transcript for College Now. If the college has not received your AP grades, you may have to call the College Board or go online to ask them to send Brooklyn College your results.

If you are having any difficulty or have questions, visit an adviser in the Center for Academic Advisement and Student Success (CAASS), 3207 Boylan Hall, during walk-in hours, or make an appointment through Brooklyn College WebCentral (under the "Advisement" tab, click "Academic Advisement" and then click "Schedule an Advisement Appointment").

Papers and Midterms and Finals, Oh My!: Study Skills and Note Taking

Note-taking Strategies

  • Give listening priority over writing. In order to know what you should and should not write down, you must first listen and understand. If you listen first, you will avoid writing down unnecessary details.
  • Do assigned readings before the lecture, not after. Reading ahead of time gives you a foundation for understanding what you hear during the lecture. If the professor lectures directly from the text, you will not have to take as many notes.
  • As you read the assigned material, you should take additional notes. Create your own system of note-taking. Color-coordinate using pens! Use indentations, outline format and abbreviate your notes (b/c, w/, w/o, impt, ex., #’s).
  • Listen for the structure of the lecture. Words of emphasis, repetitions or information spelled out, time and date. Questions posed by the professor can give a clue for a test question.
  • Fill in details and final thoughts right after the lecture. If you think you missed something in a lecture, or the entier lecture itself, borrow the notes of a friend in class. Edit for words and phrases that are illegible or don't make sense. Note anything you don't understand by underlining or highlighting it to remind you to ask the instructor. Always check your textbook to compare what you have in your notes to what is in the text.
  • Adapt your note-taking strategies to the professor and the course. To determine how diligently you should be taking notes, look at the course’s objectives, syllabus and assignments.

Test-taking Tips

  • Time management and scheduling is important during this time crunch. It is a good idea to use a calendar to write down the finals schedule and the times you will study.
  • Do not confuse reviewing with cramming. Cramming usually yields the results one expects — failure.
  • Get a good night's sleep and have a good breakfast.
  • Remember that it is OK and natural to feel some concern and anxiety over tests. This will help you focus on the task that lies ahead.
  • To help prepare for the test, make sure you have an attitude of confidence as you go into the test. Try to leave any anger at home and focus on the test. Visualization is a good strategy before the testing date. Imagining doing well on the test is a very effective way to boost self-esteem and confidence before the test.
  • Arrive at the classroom about five minutes prior to the testing time. Be sure not to arrive too early because this could cause test anxiety.
  • When beginning the test, be sure to look over the entire test and answer the easier questions first. Also weigh the questions. Do the ones that are worth more points first to help boost your grade. If doing an essay, try to make an outline.
  • Look for key words throughout the test.
  • Change the answers only if you are sure they are wrong.
  • Remember, if you are feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiety during exams, it may be helpful to visit Personal Counseling, 0203 James Hall. You may visit the office at any time.

What’s the Deal With Classes?: Add/Drop, Withdrawal, Pass/Fail

See the Undergraduate Bulletin, pages 41–43.

Adding a Course

The last day for adding a course without special permission is printed in the Schedule of Classes. After this deadline date, an application for the addition of a course must be obtained from the Enrollment Services Center. Each application must include permission of the course instructor and the department chairperson. The final deadline for adding a course with instructor and department approval is printed in the Schedule of Classes; absolutely no course additions will be allowed after this deadline.

Dropping a Course

During the first three weeks of the fall and spring semesters, a student may drop courses without special permission. These courses will not appear on the permanent record. The deadline date is printed in the Schedule of Classes.

Withdrawing From a Course With or Without Penalty

After the end of the three-week "program-change" period described above, a student may request a withdrawal from a course. The course, however, will remain on the student’s permanent record. The procedure to be followed and the grade to be assigned will vary according to the time periods listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin on page 43.

Pass-fail Option

Often students hesitate to take courses in new areas since they have no way to gauge their capabilities in such areas. The pass-fail option is designed to encourage students to explore areas of inherent interest and thus achieve greater breadth of view.

To be eligible to take courses for a pass or fail grade, students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors who have declared their major, have a GPA of 2.00 or higher, and are in degree status for the baccalaureate. A pass grade is not counted in a student’s GPA, but a fail grade is counted. A GPA of 2.00 or higher is not required for the pass-fail option in the physical education activities referred to below.

A total of 10 courses may be taken under the option. Students may take a maximum of six courses that are not physical education activities courses, with the exceptions noted below. All students, except majors in physical education, may also take four courses in physical education activities.

If you have any other questions or need clarification, see an academic adviser in CAASS, 3207 Boylan Hall.

How to Plan My Semester: Get Familiar With the Bulletin and Schedule of Classes

If you have any specific questions about registration or course offerings, please visit CAASS, 3207 Boylan Hall.

Tips on creating a schedule:

  • There is no such thing as the perfect schedule. While schedules do matter, especially if you have a job, remember that you are here to earn a degree. Make decisions about your schedule for next semester based on what will serve you best academically.
  • Days on campus. It is not a good idea to have all of your classes on two days. Just imagine how tiring and stressful it would be to have all of your assignments due on the same day, or four finals back to back. It can also be very tiring to have classes on six days, even if you are only on campus for a few hours each day. Having days off is important.
  • Be realistic. If you are terrible at waking up early in the morning, avoid classes that start at 8 or 9 a.m. It can also be difficult to focus in classes that are late in the evening, especially if you have had a long day.
  • Time between classes. Common hours are on Tuesdays between 12:15 and 2:15 p.m. Most student clubs meet during this time, and many events are scheduled for these hours. Time between classes can be useful for study group. In addition, support services on campus are more accessible during the daytime hours.

Note

Upper first-year students who have at least a B average (3.00 GPA) may take a maximum of 17 credits; eligible upper first-year students may petition a CAASS adviser to take 18 credits.

Will Anyone Listen to Me?: Advisement

Center for Academic Advisement and Student Success (CAASS)
3207 Boylan Hall
P: 718.951.5471

Personal Counseling
0203 James Hall
P: 718.951.5363

Magner Career Center
1303 James Hall
P: 718.951.5696

Departmental Advisers
Each department has an adviser to help you with major specific questions.

Student Assistance and Referral (SAR)
2113 Boylan Hall
P: 718.951.5352
E: studentSAR@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Who Should I See If...?: Brooklyn College Guidepost

Want to see a comprehensive list of where to go? Here it is: Brooklyn College Guidepost