Improve chances for college success with helpful ideas

by Saul Eli Rosa

Staff Writer

With the semester under way and assignments and exams are piling up, students at South Plains College should be aware that are they can tackle their workload with careful strategy.

Utilizing suggestions adopted from counselors, instructors and peers, students are implementing these proven tips of success to finish their semester strong.

Planning/Time Management

Enrique Escamilla, a student advisor at SPC, has learned not having a plan, does not work.

“I thought I could remember what was due, what to read, but it backfired,” said Escamilla. “I was doing everything all at once. It caused extreme anxiety.”

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Student Madeline Salinas stays organized with the assistance of a planner.

“Get a planner, one that has the weeks and days so you can plan down to the hour,” recommends Salinas. “Having this, I was able to keep track of classes and when I worked, and which classes had things due at 5 p.m. and which ones were due at midnight.”

Finding a routine that is balanced and right for you can be difficult. Leah Chenault, math instructor on the Levelland campus at SPC, suggests creating a schedule for yourself.

“Many students find themselves very busy with family, work, and school obligations,” Chenault said. “I encourage you to make a schedule for the week before a big exam. This schedule should include time for studying, work, and family. Try to set aside time each day to study. Then try to stick to that schedule as best you can.”

Study Habits/Avoiding Distractions

The way you study is indicative of how you will do come test time. Setting aside time to study each day and being prepared is the key to being successful and eliminating test anxiety.

“If studying for a subject that requires a significant amount of memorization, I found recopying notes helped me retain information better,” Chenault explains. “You may also consider making flash cards for any terms that require memorization.”

“If studying for a math exam, I recommend practicing problems,” she adds. “This would include problems from previous homework and the notes. Spend extra time on the types of questions on which you know you are struggling. You need to train your brain to think through the different types of questions, and the best way to do that is to work problems.”

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Incorporating these helpful study tips are wonderful if you can also eliminate distractions that deter most students from accomplishing these effective study habits.

“Turning your phone off and placing it in another room can help relieve the temptation of looking at it when you hear a notification,” insists Salinas. “Also, some students think having music in the background helps their productivity but turn it off too. It is easy to start singing along and it creates a distraction.”

Once you understand how you want to approach your workload, along with following up with action, simplifies the path of being victorious on test day.

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Asking for help

Seeking assistance for a class can feel like a humbling experience, but it is the course of action that can benefit you the most. South Plains College has incredible instructors who are ready to help and want to see their students succeed.

The college offers free tutoring for most of its classes, both in-person and virtually. While often busy during exam times of the semester, it would be wise to set up an appointment in advance. You can find more information at: .

If tutoring is not right for you, that is ok, according to Escamilla.

“I do not do well with tutors,” he explained. “It is two different ways of thinking, and it causes more confusion for me. I would rather watch videos, see pictures, or charts that explain the information.”

Chenault and Salinas both agree that finding another student(s) in the class offering a different perspective on the topic is beneficial. A study group of your peers can help you understand the material more.

Whether you utilize one of the suggestions above, or all of them, these tips can only improve your chances of being successful in and out of the classroom.

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