Forum Post Due October 12 by 11:59 pm

With the first quiz done and the midterm looming on the horizon (Tuesday the 14th) it is time to think about studying habits and strategies.

In this post of no less than 250 words, share your strategy for studying for the quiz- what worked and what didn’t, and share what your studying plan is for the mid-term. This is a chance to learn from each other and light a fire under you to get ready for next week. All the material from the first lecture through lectures on October 5 and 7 are fair game for the exam. Again it will be closed book and note.

Post your strategy by 11:59 pm on the 12th and weigh in with at least two comments by the 13th at 11:59 pm.

46 thoughts on “Forum Post Due October 12 by 11:59 pm”

  1. My plan for studying for the mid term exam is to go through the lecture slides. I pay attention and take notes on key topics but I am sure some material got more attention than others during what I heard and what I was writing. After I have reviewed the lecture material I will read through our prompts to see what points the professor has emphasized over the semester so far. I will take the time to look up any terms I may be fuzzy on or need to refresh to fully understand the material.

    1. That sounds like a solid plan. I think going back and looking over previous discussions is a good idea. I hadn’t thought to do that. I think it would be a good way of seeing others perspectives on various topics and learning from our classmates.

  2. My plan for the midterm is similar to how I studied for the quiz. I go through lectures and watch them again in my spare time and ensure I understand what was mentioned. I make sure to pause and look at graphs and make sur eI understand them fully. My favorite was the recent one about cod and how the cod stocks look great and recovering until you move the beginning year for the graph back! Then the future of cod looks bleak. This is a great example of a shifting baseline. Not many younger fishers now even were alive during this point (I know I wasnt!).
    I also highlight in my Four Fish book digitally, which lets me easily and quickly reference points I thought were important in my reading. This is especially true for names, dates, and anything I thought interesting enough that I might want to reread later. Things I like to reread included the parts about domesticated salmon and the story about how the sea bass juveniles were transported across the sea. I often found myself also looking up the results of the things mentioned in the book, because the book was published in 2010, and I assume that the research was done for years beforehand as well. Lots of things have happened in 10 years! For example, I saw that the experiments on sterile salmon were pulled because they were even more susceptible to disease and died en masse! I also found that the Johnson cod farm went bankrupt in 2008. I have an interest in the aquaculture business, and I love looking up even more than what the book says. There’s so much more under the surface.

    1. Going back and watching the recordings sounds like a great way to prepare for the midterm. I also highlight and make notes on my digital book, I feel like it’s a superhelpful way to be able to quickly find things that interested you or you felt were important. Good luck on the midterm and thanks for sharing your study techniques.

    2. Kathryn, I really like your idea of highlighting in your textbook, I know that always helps me understand big concepts more and be able to go back and find key information so much easier. Maybe I’ll start doing that in my hard copy of the textbook…

    3. I aggree with you Kathryn there is always so much underlying information that we may have miss the first time going over a lesson, its good to go over the lectures again to make sure accurately understand everything that was addressed. I hope you do well. Good LUCK !

  3. My approach to studying for exams and quizzes begins with simply showing up to class with a mind set on learning. I have always been up for at least a few hours before class and had breakfast along with a good dose of caffeine. During class I try to take good notes by capturing the lecture’s main points in my own words. This seems to help me solidify these ideas in my memory, regardless of whether I ever look back over my notes. I bring up my routine before and during class because I feel that this is where I do most of my preparation for quizzes and exams. I seldom spend more than an hour reviewing notes and power point slides. My actual studying usually takes place a day or two before an exam. I’ll begin by taking some time to think about what kind of questions will be on the exam, and I then look through slides and my notes at the same time. I may notice a concept, natural selection for example, and then look away from my notes and try to explain the concept as if I were teaching it. If I can do that, I know that it is committed to my memory. After the first pass through the slides and notes I may go back over my written notes a few more times looking for any concepts that I am not confident in my ability to explain. Once I feel confident, I conclude my studying and do my best to have as little anxiety as possible about the exam. I try to approach tests with the mindset that I will do well and remove any self-doubt. Again, I find the most important part of my studying to be how well I pay attention to lectures. I found in previous courses that if my professor does not test on material covered in lectures but rather from textbook readings I do not perform as well. My first semester of college in 2013 I took an intro to biology course at East Tennessee State University. My professor did not test on anything from her lectures, but rather asked questions that required you to understand what you read in the textbook as well as be able to apply it. I ended up making it through the course alright, but I found that I had a hard time really learning the material for the tests by reading and teaching myself.

    1. Bryce, I really appreciated what you said about removing self-doubt from your mind before an exam. I try to do the exact same thing, and I think more people should. It genuinely helps me before I do anything major–sports game, exam, interview, anything. Self-confidence is everything.

    2. Hey Bryce,

      I relate to your comment on it being a challenge to learn from the book and teaching your self the material. I am in a class that is very similar to this right now and it is a huge pain. I still make sure to attend all of the lectures in hopes of obtaining a basic understanding but so far this has not helped much when it comes to understanding any of the material. Just gotta work through it! We really do have to appreciate these great professors that can share their knowledge through lecturing all while keeping the class engaged in the subject matter.

    3. I like the idea of waking up and preparing well before the exam starts. I don’t know if any of you could tell, but I wake up about 10 minutes before class starts. On Thursday, I’ll take your advice and wake up much earlier. Thanks for the tip.

    4. Hi Bryce, you have a lot of really good learning habits in here! I appreciate you sharing them with us. I think that trying to explain a concept as if you were teaching it to someone else is really smart — I realized how helpful this method actually is during class today when I was able to help explain some of the topics to other students in my break-out room. I will definitely try my hand at this with some other topics before Thursday. I also need to try waking up much earlier before the test, which will probably relieve some anxiety as well.

  4. In high school I formed pretty good study habits–I worked two jobs, played sports, and took a range of AP classes. I didn’t have a lot of time to study so now my studying time is dedicated to only studying and no distractions. My biggest thing that I did for the quiz was pay attention in class–being fully there and mentally present is the most important thing you can do for almost any class, I would say. I also take notes every single class. These are handwritten (arguably better than online notes) but I do often miss points because it’s hard to write things down when you’re trying to listen to everything fully. I typically dedicate a few minutes after class to finishing up any final thoughts on my notes. For the exam, I plan on reviewing the lecture slides and talking with some of my classmates.

    I have fairly good notes so I’m going to review those consistently, and set aside time daily to study for the exam, as I do with every class. Next week I have 3 midterms, two in my hardest classes on the same day. I’ll be stressed, I barely get any sleep now, so I’ll take extra care to eat a good breakfast on Thursday morning before the exam, and make sure I’m in a comfortable environment. It really helps me to take things one day at a time, and try not to stress about exams too early before they happen–tomorrow is never guaranteed. I also really go by the phrase “you become what you think.” If you’re confident you’ll do well, you’ll do well. If you go into the exam terrified and telling yourself you’ll fail, you won’t do well. It’s not rocket science, our thoughts are with us constantly and it’s the same thing as someone else telling you you’re going to do good or bad.

    1. I agree that handwritten notes are better than online notes. For me, I think about the information twice when I take handwritten notes, once when the teacher is saying it, and another when I am trying to spell what the teacher just said. (it’s a real struggle).

      I guess something that distinguishes me from straight-A students is that I value my health mental and physical over any grade I can get in a class. I go to sleep at a reasonable time (11) rather than stay up and torture myself with the one stupid math problem that I can’t get.

      I really admire your dedication to your studies and I wish that I could be more like you. If you ever need someone to go get you food (or make you something) I would always be happy to help.

      1. Linnaea, thank you!! I wish I could be more like you though…please teach me how to take care of yourself and know when to let go of school stress.

    2. Hey Maya,

      I am on the same page as you when it comes to hand written notes being better than those taken online. I actually covered this in my post as well. Good luck studying for all of your classes!

    3. I always try and actively take notes, but I always fail! I feel like I do better taking notes afterwards when I’m rewatching the lessons. That way I have the power of hindsight, and I can be like “Oh, he’s mentioned that a couple of times so that’s important, I should write it down!” as well as not having to worry about taking in all of the information because I can just pause it.
      I definitely need to set aside time specifically for studying though. I’m not bad at it per se, but I’m not super consistent. Thanks for reminding me! I also try to stagger my exams, but I’m also taking all of my classes online so I can take most of them ahead of time, luckily. I set aside a couple of hours, do some pregame studying, and then knock em out. I’d probably die if I had to do back-to-back exams!
      Good luck on your midterms as well and good luck on this one!

    4. Breakfast is a good idea. I never eat before this class because I wake up right before it, so I’ll be sure to make sure I eat something before class on Thursday. Thanks for the tip.

    5. Hi Maya! I must say I really envy your time-management skills if you were able to juggle all of those things during high school. I do hope that you make time to eat and get some good sleep before this and your other exams. My parents always remind me of studies showing how sleep and regular breaks improve academic performance, so I have to force myself to go outside for at least an hour between classes and homework. I don’t know if you have animals, but one way I get myself to take a step away from work is to take my dog out and walk her on a particular path every day. Even if you don’t have a dog, it might be helpful to schedule a short walk into your day and don’t break it!! That is really the most important part, is to not make excuses to not take that walk. The fresh air and even the cold can really help you more than you think, and make your break more worthwhile than being on your phone or doing something else inside.

    6. Hi, Maya!
      That sounds really hard, so I have a lot of respect to your dedication and hard-work. I do think you should be sleeping properly, however, or you might find yourself forgetting important stuff at the worst moments and find it harder to focus. I know I have.
      I do recognize that it’s not as simple as it sounds, but you seem to be great at time management. I really wish I could come up with some cool advice, but lately I can barely stay alive myself.

      You got this!

    7. It’s hard to manage so many classes with different due dates and written notes while in class is great. I listen to recodings as if it were a podcast during work and listen to it again whenever I can. I hope all your midterms go smoothly

    8. I love that quote, it is so true ! I also think your study habits are super helpful, hopefully your notes help ! I always look at mine before every quiz. Good luck on your midterms !

  5. I know this is probably not what anyone wants to hear but I did not “study” for the first quiz. I had a very good biology teacher in 9th grade that explained evolution in a way that I immediately understood.

    She said that evolution only happens as fast as the reproduction rate for the species is. She also said that there would be “mass death” within the species (but that depends on the situation). So with that, she gave us an example of moths migrating from a place that had lighter colored trees to a place with darker trees. The moths were lighter in color and were being picked off by predators. The moths that were only SLIGHTLY darker would survive to mate (and pass on the sightly darker gene) and the process would go on…

    During the classes, I also was understanding the material (more than I thought I would given that I had not had to actually focus in a year and a half). I plan to go over my notes and maybe watch the class recording that we had on the biodiversity and resilience of Pacific salmon because it is going to take a while for me to wrap my head around all the data and concepts.

  6. Hello Everyone,
    To prepare for the quiz that we took last week, I just reread all of the lecture notes that I took while listening in on class. This usually works great for me because I hand write all of the notes and rereading the notes just helps me recall the information. I was told in the past, and I find it to be true, that if you write down your notes by hand, instead of typing them or not taking any at all, your brain will find it easier to remember the information in the future. I honestly have not tried typing notes or anything in the past as this has just been a method that has always worked well for me. For this upcoming mid term, I plan to not only reread my hand written lecture notes, but I also plan to read through the slide slow presentations again to refresh my brain on what was covered on each day of class incase I did not write some information down. Also this will allow me to look at photos, diagrams, or graphs that will help me better understand the information so I can apply it during the examination. I started looking into my notes a little this weekend as I will be at work Monday and Tuesday and might not have time to review on these days. For big exams, I like to start reviewing my notes and studying at least two days in advance. I do have of the information on the first day, then the second half on the next day (ideally in the morning). The night before I like to do a refresher of all of the notes and then go to sleep so I can digest the information.

  7. Hi, y’all!
    I don’t think I’ll have a lot of useful stuff to say on this one; I grew a bit lazy about my homework/studying habits since I moved to the U.S. and had to repeat High School; I didn’t really feel like trying too hard, and didn’t put a lot of effort. That’s far from ideal, but I was dealing with all the moving process at first, then it just became a growing habit that is hard to break. Moreover, I’ve had a hard time focusing in general due to some stuff going far even before coming to Alaska; in fact, one of the reasons I chose somewhere so different and far away is that I felt it could maybe help me get back on track. I think the best way for me to learn has been attending to the meetings and trying to get as much of it as I can. Sleeping is really important too, or I can barely remember any information.
    For me, taking handwritten notes is better, but since I’m somewhat slow-writer, I just type them out. An advantage of that is that I can copy graphs and images. Images specially help me understand topics, but they can’t stand by themselves most of the time, or I’ll just look at them and be like “Okay, what’s this?”, so I try to keep footnotes.
    This past exam I spent some time looking over all my notes and trying to highlight the most essential stuff out of it all. I think that helped me for the most part, but I found myself having trouble remembering graphs. I also do this thing where I imagine I’m in an extremely unlikely scenario where I happen to explain a concept. I guess that’s a positive side of maladaptive daydreaming.

    1. I’m glad that you’re getting better and good luck with school! It’s great that you’re making strides to improve your habits and I’m sure you’ll do great.
      I also prefer typed notes after handwritten. Less, though, because of being a slow writer but because I’m a messy writer! It’s not guaranteed I can even read my own handwriting after the fact. Might as well type them out then, right? The fact that I can grab graphs and stuff for the notes helps for sure. I especially liked the cod graph where he moved the date on the graph back further. Cod outlook sure looked different then!
      Another hting I like about typed notes is the ability to search them. If I dont remember a concept I can just ctrl-f as opposed to trying to flip through pages of handwritten notes to find it. Typed notes are just more convenient!
      Good luck on your exam!

  8. I believe what worked for me is going back from the previous lectures and re-watching them over from the beginning again, and make a mental note of the major key points and writing them down just in case I forget. I believe what I might do differently is get a good nights sleep and eat a better breakfast and take one more look at the notes from previous lectures and actually take my time reading over the notes and relax because I know I be better at remembering what is on the notes. Last time for the quiz, I didn’t do my prep routine for anytime I have to take a quiz or exam and I did okay on the quiz, but not my best. So thats what I’m envisioning to do. 🙂 Good luck everyone !

    1. Honestly I didn’t even think of prioritizing sleep and eating something good beforehand. I forget about how important it is to manage those two things as much as the studying.

    2. Getting a good nights sleep and having a good breakfast is always a good thig to do; makes sure your well rested and not running on fumes. I think that rewatching some of the lecture’s and noting major points are a good idea!

  9. My strategy for studying for the quiz was looking over past notes, as I’m usually pretty good at writing down the more important details, or anything I think could be needed in the future. If the slides have graphs or plots involved, I’ll take pictures of them so I can look over them later as well. I know I learn by listening and reading, so I try and do both for notes. I’ll read out loud to myself and it helps me retain the information for a lot longer than by just listening or only reading.
    For the midterm, I’ll be reading all the notes to myself and doing some more research on any topics I think I might find confusing or don’t understand fully yet. I might practice sketching out a few graphs and looking for the carrying capacity or ideal amount of effort in a fishery, just to get a solid grip on how to read these. I don’t think I know how to read those accurately quite yet. Referring back to the quiz we had the other week will help me get an idea of what will be expected in the real exam too. Understanding that questions with more space allowed might be needing answers with more expanded explanations. Going and watching the old zoom recordings would be another option, it might help me grasp some of the topics better than I do right now. Overall, I think the most important thing for me will be to read the notes a few times over out loud.

  10. To be honest, I did not study for the quiz. I forgot that it was happening and I forgot entirely. Had I remembered, I would have gone over my notes until I really knew everything by heart. As for the midterm, I plan to do exactly that. I do remember that this is happening, so I won’t be caught off guard like I was with the quiz (and yes, that is entirely my fault). I will also read over everybody’s comments and take any study ideas I like. I will also try to be extra-engaged in tomorrow’s class as a means of mentally preparing myself. As for something I would recommend to anyone, just breathe. Failing a midterm is unfortunate and far from ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world, nor is anyone worth any less for it. So just breathe, everyone is going to be alright.

    1. I think that reading over everyone’s comments on their studying is a good idea; you can find out what other study tips may work out! And thank you for the reminder that failing the mid term is not the end of the world. Good luck!

  11. I plan on revisiting the graphing slides and going over the notes I have taken. There’s a part of me that thinks it understands these topics, but its never safe to assume. The first quiz was a wake up call for revising the topics I am not to familiar with. Studying the notes I have taken will help me understand what I am not familiar with because I take more detailed notes on the subjects I am least familiar with. With a little bit of prayer and a lot of studying hopefully everything will turn out alright.

  12. I consider myself a pretty diligent note-taker, which is very helpful not just for studying for tests but also for cementing concepts and ideas in my head. I find that just the act of writing something down makes it easier to remember later on, regardless of whether I look back at those notes or not. Usually, if I don’t write it down then it goes in one ear and out the other. Looking back and reviewing notes is also helpful because whenever Peter says “this is important, you need to understand this” or something similar then I put a big star next to it, which gives me a hint as to what topics will most likely be on big tests like this one. Similarly, when there are lots of question marks next to a topic, I know to mention it in review sessions like today.

    One bad habit that I have that I would very much like to break away from before the exam is waking up only an hour or so before class. This is a bad state to be in for testing because 1) I’m tired and sometimes lose focus, 2) I don’t always have time to eat and do everything that I need to before class, and 3) I tend to feel very anxious when I wake up so close to the class time because the first hour or so of my day is spent rushing and watching the clock, counting down the minutes until I need to be sat in front of my laptop. Last night I accidentally fell asleep much earlier than I usually do, and subsequentially woke up much earlier than usual and I was surprised at how much better I felt and how much more energy I had and was able to put into learning. This week is extremely busy for me with multiple midterms and projects, but I hope that I can manage an earlier sleep schedule despite that and without neglecting anything else.

    1. Hi, Felicia!
      That sounds like a really neat ability to have, to remember stuff just by writing it. I’m somewhat the opposite of it, and I do need to go back to my own notes and read them a couple of times before I can actually remember them properly. I also like your strategy of putting stars next to key concepts. It’s a really simple detail, but it does sound like it could help a lot.

      I hope you can trick your brain into sleeping early again so you won’t have to feel too anxious before the exam!

    2. Hey, Felicia
      I also struggle with establishing a healthy sleep schedule / getting up before right before class. It sounds like you have a good method about going about studying! I wish you the best of luck!

  13. my study habits vary and really aren’t consistent; most of my studying topics comes form what the professors say is important. ( Like in lecture if they say that a topic is important, I star it in my notes so I know where to start as I will know that that topic(s) are more important and more likely to be on the test) Reviewing my stared topics in my notes is usually where I start.
    For this exam I plan on rewatching a couple of the lectures ( especially the ones regarding natural selection, plasticity, evolution etc. ) I also plan of going over this past quiz and reviewing the questions I got wrong, and going over the topic questions we went over in class today.

  14. To be frank, for the quiz itself, I was quite ill prepared. I was quite busy that week, and didn’t have much time to prepare- I believe its existence slipped my mind, silly enough. Because of this lapse in judgement, I didn’t perform as well as I could’ve, and I acknowledge that fault of mine. Reading back on the feedback on the graded work provided through Blackboard has helped me greatly as well. It made me understand what topics I was lacking in and thus, should further study.

    However, I’ve been striving to rectify that error in my preparation for the upcoming exam. I’ve been revisiting our past lectures, revising and strengthening my notes, and testing myself on my knowledge of the topics by having family ask me questions related to what we’ve learned. I’m still not fully there, however, I’m confident I’ll have the practice down pat by the time our exam comes around! My goal is to be able to summarize/detail the terminology, discussions, and general topics we’ve learnt in class from off the top of my head. I’ve been working on improving my sleep schedule, so I can be more diligent in my studies, as well as have more time in the day to do so. So far, I’ve found the results to be successful, though, I have occasionally found myself crashing at my desk, whoops. That aside however, I feel fairly ready with the material I have and days left to prepare for the exam.

  15. As my strategy for the testing period, I reviewed all the material we studied, including the recorded material, the homework, the book we read, and discussions we had over them. The stress sometimes causes me to ask myself double questions and not trust myself, so it’s a battle for me, but I feel like I do okay during tests. I do have a history of questioning my own judgment, which is not good for me. I do see that I need to practice wording my answers better I understand the material but I’m not explaining my points clearly. My hope is that I will perform to my best ability and that we can all do the best we can.

  16. My starting strategy for studying for the midterm in this class is just to look over the notes I have written down and watch the recorded lectures that are on Blackboard. For the quiz we previously took in this class, my approach to it was all right, I just looked over the notes I had and thought about what they meant. I feel like I should have spent more time studying instead of just a quick look through, reading thoroughly through may have been more beneficial and helped. Usually during class, I write down anything that really pops out at me and any thoughts I had at the time. Sometimes during class, I write notes but other times I slack so hopefully by going through the recorded lectures before the actual midterm will help rejuvenate my memory. A lot of the information we go over is pretty easy to understand and remember. I feel like Peter does a good job of keeping things interesting and easy to comprehend, which makes this class easy and not super stressful. I have a hard time of actually sitting down and studying but I am trying to push myself to focus on preparing for tests and quizzes. During tests, I tend to forget about what I learned and stress so I plan on just relaxing and focusing on what we have went over and learned. A lot of that stress probably does come from me being unprepared from not studying the days before the test.

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