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Tricks to Pass Exams

There are ways of doing this and the following can be successfully used by anyone studying for any examinations because exams usually have certain key common elements.

Check Out The Syllabus As an examinee, you have to abide by certain rules and constraints. The time length of the exam, how many question you have to answer, and so forth.

But the examiners also have to abide by certain rules – and they cannot change them (at least not without adequate notice) any more than you can! They have to publish a syllabus for every examination and they can only ask questions on what is contained within that syllabus. Once you know the syllabus, you know where the starting and finishing lines are and how far you have to run

Moreover, all parts of the syllabus are not equal: some parts of it are more equal than others. Some topics will hardly ever be questioned while others will come up every year. Highlight the syllabus using two colours: red, say, for those areas that come up very frequently; green for those which rarely come up. Do this only after a systematic inspection of past exam papers, as the next section will explain.

Then use a third colour to highlight those (hopefully very few) parts of the syllabus which you have really serious difficulty with. Providing these parts are not numerous, and depending on how often they come up, it may be possible to leave them on one side. But do use sense and judgement in doing this!

Whatever You Are Studying, First Study The Exam Papers Studying past examination papers is almost as crucial as studying the subject you have chosen!

Get hold of as many past papers as you can. The more you have the better you will be able to discern any patterns. Draw up a grid on A4 paper. Divide the top horizontally into years – as many as you have past papers for plus one for the year in which you are going to sit the exam Divide the lefthand vertical into as many subject areas as seems appropriate from your inspection of the syllabus and past exam papers. Do this very careful and only after you have become very familiar with the exam topics. Also, make allowance for any coupling of topics because sometimes examiners like to link one topic with another. If you have, say, a dozen past papers and a particular linking has only come up once, you are probably save to forget it. But if it has occurred, say, three or four times it needs to go down.

So now you have large set of cells, each of which relates to a particular year and to a specific topic. Place a cross in each cell for the year in which a given topic has come up. If there is a pattern, and very often there is, you will soon see it. The relative frequency with which the various topic come up will now be easy to see.

It is not that examiners are doing a parallel kind of exercise to determine the structure of the next examination they set. They might well be unaware of the kinds of patterns we are talking about. But examiners do have at least a mental scheduling of the relative importance of particular topics and an impression of what have been chosen recently.

Now use the spare column on the right-hand side, which relates to the year you are going to sit the exam, to mark those subject areas which seem most likely to come up this next time. These are the ones which you need to spend extra time on. The other areas need to be covered as well, but your projections need special care and attention.

Student Loans

All their hardships start and end with money. Being away from parents, they will have to deal with a whole lot of financial issues. Besides the tuition fees, the students will have to make provision for rent, traveling expenses, food, books and entertainment.

These add up to a sizeable figure. The parents, already burdened with their own expenses, cannot be burdened any more. With the finances leading them to the edge, students are hardly able to concentrate on studies. Some may even contemplate suicide; while others may take resort to drug abuse.

A student loan can be a convenient option of sponsoring your studies. Student loans help the students pay off their tuition fees, along with the other living expenses, which includes lodging, books, food and other charges. The amount of loan advanced will depend on the actual requirement and the financial condition of the family.

The search for the student loan must go on simultaneously with the search for an academic course. This ensures that the student knows the amount of loan that he has qualified for. He can thus plan the expenses in accordance with his budget. Besides, some institutions require students to advance tuition fees within a very short notice. Any delays can result in losing opportunity of studying in a preferred institution or university. Prior search for student loan ensures that you do not lose upon an opportunity.

The amount to be repaid includes an interest element combined with the principal. Paying in cash would have ensured that no such extra payments are required. However, by not utilizing ones cash reserves for the educational expenses, you are able to use it for other important expenditures.

However, it is not easy to get student loans. Most lenders find students precarious because they are not in full time employment. Besides, banks have pegged the age limit for getting loans at 22, an age higher than the age of average students, thus disqualifying them from getting loans. Absence of credit history may also act as an impediment in their search for loans. Another reason, wrongly attributed to the age of students, is that while they take loans for educational purposes, the money is actually being squandered.

Nevertheless, there are banks and lenders who accept students as mature customers. They are ready to advance financial help to the students to sort out their finances. All student loan applications are to be routed through Local Education Authority (LEA). However, this may differ if you are undergoing different circumstances, like having dependants, bieng disabled, or engaged in some kind of social work.

Lenders will be ready to offer a better APR if the student joins a part time job. This will give a source of income, and a guarantee to the lender that the repayment will be made on time. Even getting parents to be guarantors to the loan will help getting best deals.

The student is bound to inform the student loans company or the local education authority about any relevant changes that may occur on his/ her account. these include change of name, course, national insurance number, or if the student plans to go abroad, and if the employment status changes from employed to self employed. Failure to inform the authorities about such relevant changes will incur penalties.

The loan is broken into a number of installments for convenient repayment. the repayments will start from the April following the completion of the course, whether or not the student graduates. For students who are employed and their earning is above the minimum level, the employer will deduct the repayment every month from the salary. The self employed people will have to make repayments through self assessment tax returns. Those who are employed abroad will be required to pay directly to the loan provider. Failure to keep up the repayments can lead to penalties.

There are a number of means available to the student nowadays to help them in their pursuit for higher education. It is the accumulation of skills through higher education which gives one a distinct identity. Not taking advantage of them would mean bieng one of the crowd, because there will be some who would grasp the opportunity.

Business and Academia

Business needs are changing at a very high pace, so they expect the recruits to be up to date of the recent happennings. For this to happen the instructors at the college have to be on their toes, to understand the new activities. Once they get a complete understanding of the business needs they can very well mould and motivate the students to move in that direction.

A conventional thought could be one of, “why can’t we achieve this by means of contact sessions between the students and professionals?” It is very much possible but, for all practical reasons its negatives outweigh the positives. We can schedule contact sessions every week or so. But for all practical reasons, all we could have is a couple of contact sessions over a span of 6 months. And we also expect the visiting professional to list out the business needs, which will be very much misunderstood by the students. Because the professional, presents from a businessman’s perspective and transalting it, in terms of educating the students is completely a different task.

Let us take a typical example of a post graduate school: Iin the fast pace of technological advancements, whatever that is vogue today becomes outmoded tomorrow. So any education that teaches something that is outmoded is of lesser value. This pushes the schools to be agile, and flexible. This nimbleness will directly mould the students to adapt to the latest technology. So once the students are out of the schools, they are very much on their toes, with respect to latest technological shifts and conceptual business changes.

Let us take a classical example of Jack Welsh ex CEO of GE , he formulated a unconventional management philosophy that “When something is working, it has to be fixed”. That is, when something is working, it is bound to die and it has to be fixed soon, before it falls apart. This was very much contradictory to the traditional adage ” When something is working, do not touch it”. This is a very valuable lesson in terms of management students. Because they are the people who are going to rule the world tomorrow, that means this shift in business has to be imparted to the students. And more than that, they need to be informed whether that principle holds good for any field.

Grants for College Students

Grants are based upon financial need, as calculated by the federal aid program. The first step in applying for government grants is by completing the FAFSA.

Of course every student and parent would rather receive grants instead of loans, since they do not have to be repaid. So the student hopes to see a grant award when the results are returned from the application.

There are a few things to be aware of, however, when expecting a grant. The funds available for grants are limited, therefore the grant will not usually fully fund educational expenses. If the student is planning on attending a community college where tuition rates are lower, it is possible that grants will cover a greater percentage of the tuition and fees.

The second thing to be aware of is that when the need analysis is done by the government or school, the expected contribution of the parent is usually higher than in reality what is possible for most families. This expected contribution effects the amount available to the student for grants.

Another significant factor is that if the parent or guardian claims the student as a dependent on income tax returns, this effects the amount of aid available to the student. In general, a student who is ‘independent’ of the parents as far as the tax law goes, will receive more in financial aid awards.

About Self Injury on College Campuses

The biggest misconception is that self-injury is an attempt to commit suicide. The person in question may feel so bad that he has had suicidal thoughts, but generally the two are unrelated. In most cases, the act of self-injury is an attempt to cope with those intense feelings, not die.

Here are the warning signs of self-injury:

Compulsive need to injure oneself by cutting, burning, hitting,
scratching, or pulling hair

Re-injuring old wounds so they don’t heal

Scarring, usually on arms, wrists, legs, abdomen, head, or chest

Attempts to hide arms or other body parts where injury occurred

Hoarding of sharp objects like razors

Person experiences a high from doing it

Consuming thoughts of self-injury, or the behavior interrupts normal daily functioning

In most cases, there is no intention of killing oneself, only to cope with or release intense feelings of pain

Usually self-injures when alone

If you experience any of these symptoms, you know that the behavior can feel all-consuming. You also need to know that there are people who want to support you in finding healthier ways of coping.

If you have a friend or roommate who is a self-injurer, it can be frightening and disturbing to be around this behavior. As difficult as it may be, do not attempt to stop or control someone’s self-injury. You are not responsible for her behavior, and by interfering with her way of coping, you could do more harm than good. Trying to hide or take away self-injury tools, giving ultimatums, or “guilt tripping” your roommate into stopping only encourages more self-hatred and more self-injury. Instead, support your roommate by helping her express feelings and offering to listen without judgment.

Avoid the College “Low Expectations” Game

When registering, secure a copy of all the required courses that you will need for your field of study. In some colleges or universities, this is called a BINGO sheet. If you are unsure, look through the college course catalog and see what courses are required for your different interests. Register for those shared required courses.

Universities publish the schedule of the courses for the next semester. Do not discard these publications. With many courses being only offered during the spring or fall, this is the only tool that you have to learn when a specific course is offered or who teaches a course. Keeping these schedules becomes even more critical when you are planning your junior and senior years.

With the BINGO sheet in hand, begin to plan the courses that you will take during the next 3.5 years. This plan will change due to course changes, degree changes, etc. However, this 4-year plan provides you with the “BIG” picture and then allows you to begin to take small bites.

Plan your weekly schedule including study time, research time, etc. For each 3-hour course, expect to spend 2 to 4 hours per week. Some courses such as English Literature may require substantial reading. If you are a slower reader allow for more reading time. If you are only going to school for 15 hours per week, there is plenty of time to study before, in between and after your classes. Many baby boomer graduates worked full time jobs while taking 15 to 18 hours.

Every additional semester that you spend in college is costing you a minimum of $20,000 – $5,000 tuition and $15,000 in loss earnings. All of your actions should be directed to achieving your graduate goal date.

Apply Online College Programs

You will need to include any supporting documentation required by the school where you are applying. You will find this information included with the application. All schools require original transcripts from all schools previously attended. This will include both high school and college transcripts. A few schools look for college preparatory courses in high school. Send your requests early to allow enough time for transcripts to arrive at the college. Some schools will require SAT test scores and immunization records as well.

You will have to meet the admission requirements of the college you will be attending. The requirements vary by school and in some cases can be different based on your major. Be sure to check with the university to determine the requirements. Many schools have a minimum SAT score requirement for admission, although some waive this for some programs or for non traditional students. Non traditional students are defined as older students who have been out of high school for at least five years and have work experience. Students transferring from other institutions are in this category as well.

Many schools require students pass placement tests prior to registering for classes. These tests usually have English, math and writing components. This is to determine if potential students have the reading, writing and math skills necessary to succeed in college. If you don’t pass one of the placement tests, you may be required to take remedial courses prior to starting your degree; this is not unusual for people returning to school after many years. Graduate programs will usually require additional testing, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

When you apply to the school, you can also apply for financial aid. Talk to a representative about programs available to students in the form of financial aid and scholarships. Start the process by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Complete the application even if you don’t think you will qualify for federal aid. Most other student loan programs use the same application. To be able to accept federal financial aid, the school must be regionally accredited. Accreditation is a voluntary process and matters mainly for financial aid and transferring credit to other universities. Check with an admissions counselor if you’re not sure about accreditation.

Pick Right University

Conduct Adequate Research

Thoroughly researching the best universities is the primary step. Your inner circle, meaning your family and friends, should be the first ones to whom you turn to for advice regarding your future. Their advice can prove to be helpful because they have probably experienced the same thing when they had to choose a university. Collecting university prospectuses and visiting their websites will provide you with detailed information, all in one place.

Picking Out Courses

The course that you choose will set the path for your future. Deciding on a course will be influenced by your interests, or your qualities. Having said that, picking a course or a major is easier said than done. The future can be terrifying and sometimes, you can devote all your time trying to determine what you want to do for the rest of your life, but it isn’t something you can do overnight. Attending university open houses may give you the chance to explore what piques your interest. The course that appeals to you may not be something that you are good at, yet, if you enjoy doing it then a little bit of risk is worthwhile.

Accessibility

Being independent doesn’t necessarily mean that you cut off any chances of your parents or siblings popping up to check on you. The ideal location would be one that is at a distance from home that prevents any surprises from your family, and close enough that you can drop in to do your laundry. Time and cost spent on commute should also be factored in when finalizing a location. Campus visits and tours can prove to be helpful when scaling the accommodation that you will spend your life in for the next couple of years.

Life On Campus

What distinguishes the best universities from the rest is the student life on campus. Getting a degree is every student’s main priority while at university but, extra-curricular activities, societies and the people around them will determine whether they will spend upcoming years enjoying university experiences or just surviving. A student who is keen to be involved in activities other than academics should get in touch with Student Unions and take advise from current members of interesting societies. Furthermore, surfing the internet for more information will inform on the various events held or organized by the university.

Leading Change in Schools

In order to realize the vision, the MOE has introduced changes to the curriculum, the training of teachers, assessment modes and the development of resource packages. Furthermore, all schools will have students spending at least 30{09bae27567d37529f28fa921c61f31cbcbe096194ac00c8866439daa5ba316cb} of their curriculum time accessing electronic resources and working on computers. (MOE, 1998,p.17) The changes in the curriculum include the infusion of thinking skills and the reduction in the contents of the curriculum. Schools are strongly encouraged to set up their own thinking programs and teachers are to enroll in courses to learn how to infuse thinking skills in their teaching.

With the restructuring taking place to realize the vision, most teachers fear that the changes will burden them by increasing their already-heavy workload and tight time schedule due to increased training hours. The principal, being the main disseminator of the MOE’s mission of TSLN in the school, has the unenviable task to articulate this vision to overcome the resistance to the changes especially from the school’s teachers.

The main objective of the paper is to explore the perceptions of teachers as to the effectiveness of principals in leading a change programs (in this case, a Thinking Programs). Since teachers are directly responsible for the learning outcomes of the students, their perceptions of their principals’ effectiveness and concomitant actions are vital to the success of the vision of TSLN. As part of the paper, a case study of a primary school, which has embarked on a Thinking Programs, has been carried out.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

In the hope of improving the existing system, schools face many problems when introducing well-meaning changes. Restructuring would, inevitably, involve people within the organisation to absorb new ideas and ideals that usually result in many uncertainties (Heckman, 1990). A school’s principal, thus, has the uphill task to manage the level of resistance to change and align the staff to work towards a common vision, amidst the turbulence.

To reiterate, the author is focussing on teachers’ perceptions of their principal in leading change, more specifically, the process of creating a Thinking Programme for the school. The importance of teachers’ perception of their leaders in the success of a school has been documented in various researches. Researchers (such as Bhella, 1992) suggested that teachers’ morale is related to student achievement. And, in turn, the principal has the strongest influence on teachers’ satisfaction in the workplace. (Vanderstoepe et al, 1994) From that perspective, the teachers’ satisfaction and perceptions of the principal in leading the change process would directly have an impact on the success rate of the new programme of boosting students’ achievement.

In the process of writing, the author discussed with many teachers on what they expect their leaders to do when introducing a new programs to their schools. The author has summarized the teachers’ opinions for inclusion in this paper. Previous research and literature would be used to illuminate the factors that are critical to the success of a principal in leading a change programs. To further enhance clarity of exposition, I have presented systematically the ideas encapsulated in previous research by using the acronym of L.E.A.D.E.R as a model to elucidate the steps in leading a successful change programs in a school. The acronym of L.E.A.D.E.R stands for:

Leading by example

Empowering vision

Adaptive change

Developing people

Evaluating the system

Recharge

The above model does not try to be prescriptive or attempt to imply that it will cover all the salient factors of an effective change programme. Due to the prescribed length of the paper, the author hopes that the model will shed more light in the topic of research in a more methodical manner.

Leading by Example

In most organisations that have embarked on a change programme, one of the more common complaints by the employees is that the leader does not ‘walk the talk’. In a school, if a principal is not willing to learn and adapt to changes, there are no compelling reasons for the staff to do so. The Scout’s motto, ‘ Lead by Example’, is a major criteria of what a principal must do to succeed in leading change.

In order to create a thinking and learning organisation, principal will become researchers and designers rather than controllers and overseers. They should also be a model of learning to the rest of the organisation and encourage the staff to be life-long learners. (Senge, 1990) More importantly, a principal must not merely communicate in words, but by deeds to convince the staff that the change is happening at all levels. These build a sense of esprit de corp in the school that will help in lessening the pressures that change brings to organisations.

Tips eMail Your Professor

This is the single most important field, if you mess up in here there you can kiss your email good bye. Avoid putting the Professor’s name with the email (A Prof ), since not all emailing system can handle this format. It is always best to send your email to the Professor’s University or College account, since that is the email account that your Professor checks, or should check, the most. And again before sending the email double check to verify that email address was typed correctly.

Example:

[email protected]

The Subject Field

The subject field should be of the following format:

CollegeName-CourceCode-Title-Subject

CollegeName: Is the name of your post secondary institution (America Learning College, Boston University…etc). Yes I do realize that this may seem a bit redundant but it is important. Most Professors (Usually new Professors) teach at one or more Universities and Colleges at any given term, and the email from those institutions gets forwarded to one main address, usually their ISP email address. So to keep things organized its best to write the name of the College or University in the Subject Field.

CourseCode: Is the code name of the course (MTH140, CPS124, GEF345…etc). It’s best to keep the letters Capital and no spaces between the number and letter.

Title: Over here you type in the title of your subject. (Test 1, Midterm, Exam, Assignment 5…etc)

Subject: Over here you type in what concern or problem you might have (Due Date Issue, Missed Test Issue, HW Problem #45…etc). Remember to keep it brief, no more then 5 words.

Example:

Boston College-MTH140-Assignment 4-HW Problem #45

The Text Body Field

Try to keep things simple, clean and to the point. By that I mean no 2 page emails or fancy fonts and color, remember your first priority is to convey your message not to show off your email editing skills. Start off with writing the Professors name (Prof C.Mcgill, Prof U.Stan…etc). Move on to the subject of your email, as a reminder restate the Course Code and Title Field (During the Monday’s MTH140 class you stated for Assignment 4). The next line should state the problem or concern. Remember to provide details and avoid repetitions. Its best to end the email with a salutatory statement (Thank You, Yours Truly..etc) and use your name, student number and College or University name as signature.

Example:

Prof C. Mcgill,
During the Monday’s MTH140 class you stated for Assignment 4 question #41 to use the second derivative theorem. However, I am having trouble as to how to find the delta X? In particular, during the situation when time is 3 seconds and delta Y is 0. Do we set delta Y to Ymin and solve from there?

Thank You

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