Forum Post Due October 18th by 11:59 pm

With the first quiz done and the midterm looming on the horizon (Thursday the 20th) 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 the midterm. All the material from the first lecture through lectures on October 11 and 13 are fair game for the exam. Again, it will be open book and note.

Post your strategy by 11:59 pm on the 18th and weigh in with at least two comments by the 19th at 11:59 pm.

46 thoughts on “Forum Post Due October 18th by 11:59 pm”

  1. My studying strategy was to go through my notes and talk aloud to myself or a friend about what I learned. If I noticed any obvious information gaps or lack of understanding, I went back and watched those lecture recordings and took new notes. This worked well enough for me. My studying plan for the mid-term is likely the same but more all-encompassing of the course material. The main takeaway, I always find that teaching someone else what I learn helps me remember the material; I recommend trying this method. For any other material such as readings, I go over those again and take new notes to compile with my old ones, and I study those. I typically study for about 2 hours at a time and then take a break so my brain doesn’t become quickly exhausted and overwhelmed. I try to stop studying at a reasonable time the day before so I have plenty of rest for the exam or quiz. What doesn’t work for me is studying when I am stressed out. No matter what, if I am overly stressed, I will take a break as soon as I can for as long as I need. It is important to prioritize your mental and physical well-being. (This is not quite 250 words but this is a well-summed brief of my studying habits)

    1. I like that you took the time and energy to study hard and succeed further with this class. I’ve had less and less time between college and my personal life to put in the dedication and effort I’d like to. I’ve sacrificed everything fun and relaxing in order to do more with school, but I still don’t have enough time. I’m barely eating or sleeping to just get another hour or half-hour with the books and the notes and the homework and papers and lectures… It’s miserable, but I am trying. Good for you for having the motivation, I’m envious.

    2. Hey Elle,

      I like your technique of teaching someone and I plan to do the same in preparing for the midterm. I agree that it helps you identify the parts to go back to so you have a better understanding of them.

    3. I can’t believe you can study for two hours at a time – I usually set up materials and go for it for about 45 minutes, and then I do something with my hands that uses a different part of my brain.

    4. I love your strategy on teaching others and sharing what you have learned as a method of solidifying the class and study materials in your brain. I don’t think I have ever really used a method like this, besides maybe just speaking out loud to myself occasionally. I will definitely be trying to incorporate this more often into my studying habits. I am amazed that you can study for 2 hours before taking a break. My attention span when studying is substantially shorter, and I find myself needing to get up and move and take frequent breaks.

  2. I study the same way I do most things: badly. For this quiz in particular there wasn’t really any guidance on what to study, other than just “anything from the class lectures so far,” which was kind of too much information to go over all of it in the amount of time I had between other assignments. Consequently, I had no idea what specifically to study so I did pretty awful on the quiz. My study methods are not particularly good, just looking at notes or lectures doesn’t help me whatsoever so I like when a study guide is provided like it was for the midterm I took two weeks ago, which I did unusually well on. For me at least it is hard to be productive on anything unless there is a clear objective, that’s why I like study guides. I don’t really have a plan for studying for the midterm yet, and since I have three different projects and a lab report I’m supposed to be working on this week I probably won’t have much time. One thing that sometimes works that I’ve done in the past is while I’m doing something else that doesn’t require much active brainpower, like walking on the trails, going through the information that has been covered in class in my head, just seeing how much of it I can remember. Then, I look through the notes or lectures and make sure I remembered it correctly. Another “strategy” I use (which is not good, this is not advise) is, after going through all I can remember, reminding myself that it doesn’t really matter that much; one test generally can’t destroy my grade in a class, and I know enough of the material to do well enough to not completely fail. Once again, this is not advise.

      1. Yeah, that first sentence was the very first thing that came to mind when I saw this assignment. I thought it was a good way to set the stage for the rest of my comment.

    1. Rio,
      I appreciate the honesty. It be like that sometimes. I agree that this class is rough to study for because there is so much material and little guidance for what will be on the quiz. I also use the “doesn’t matter” method. You give the effort you can and then, accept what comes. School is time-consuming and rough on the soul, big time. Thank you for sharing, I certainly relate and think a lot of our classmates will too.


      1. Your 5th sentence reminded me of something I thought of after I posted my comment so I couldn’t include it: “I will do my best and that is good enough.” This is something I remind myself for just about everything, so I was a bit disappointed I didn’t remember to include it in my original comment.

    2. Hey Rio,

      I like how bluntly honest you are in this post. I feel that even when people’s techniques don’t work, they don’t want to admit it, so kudos to you for knowing that your ways may not be the best and admitting it to us. When I get really stressed or anxious about exams I also remind myself that it’s just one test and there will almost always be opportunities to improve my grade. And if I do really poorly, I am not afraid to ask the professor if there is anything I can do to improve my grade. Worst case the teacher says no, best case they say yes and give me an assignment, and if I don’t ask there definitely isn’t going to be an improvement, it’s always worth asking.

    3. When you mentioned walking on the trails and going through material to see how much you can remember, it made me think of how I have been listening to a large majority of “Four Fish” on audio book. It’s been a good way to go out for a walk or do chores around my house while listening to the book and learning material. I wish I had thought to maybe voice record some of the big takeaway concepts from my notes from our class lectures and listen to those when I’m doing things that don’t require much brain power (dishes/walks/etc). Maybe next time!

  3. I did not study for the quiz. I was unsure what would be asked and felt I knew the material well enough to give strong answers. That, and since it was open book and notes, I felt there was no reason to spend unnecessary time reviewing the material I’d already recently viewed. I did not understand the critiques of my work and thus feel unsteady in my plan for preparing for midterms. I’m glad that midterms will be open books and notes again, but I still have no idea how to better ready myself. I understand that this post is required to be a minimum of 250 words, but no words can express the clear baseline motive and conclusion surrounding the previous exam. I didn’t study, but I gave it my all with the resources I had on hand. Perhaps I understand and execute the material and the exams differently than my professor or my peers, but it was the way I took in the education I’ve been given. I just hope I can warp my learning and execute it more to what others may be looking for so they may better understand what I’m trying to deliver.

    1. Kerra,
      I’m glad you have a good understanding of the material! I’m sorry you’re dealing with such confusion. I was a bit confused about my feedback as well because my answers were right, but not all of them were what the professor was looking for. I hope we both come to some sort of understanding and I wish you luck on the exam. 🙂

  4. My main strategy for studying for our last quiz was looking over the lectures we had. I focused on aspects that I felt were the “main ideas”: points, concepts and terms that were emphasized or repeated. With a course like this, where the focus is on interpreting and explaining ideas and concepts in fisheries, I found that it helped to internalize the things we’ve been learning, and then writing them out in my own words to see how I understood them. I found it helpful to actually write out (or alternatively, if you’re with friend and family, verbally explain) these ideas to test how well I can communicate what I’ve learned over the course.

    In a more general sense of studying, I put a lot of importance on having a location that you can focus on studying in. I’m lucky that my apartment has a section that is relatively separated from the rest, and it allows me to maintain a divide between my studying and the other parts of my life that might distract me. I also make sure that I make a clear divide in the time I spend studying, and the time I spend not doing so. I might study for an exam for an hour and give myself like twenty minutes to refresh and take a break from it.

    Not everyone might have such a situation at home, so I also would say finding an external location that you can turn into a “study room” would be beneficial, like the library. I also use the undergrad lounge in the O’Neill building pretty frequently, it tends to be quiet and empty and allows me to better focus on what I’m trying to study.

    1. Tony,

      I wholeheartedly agree with you. A study space is so important. It took me a while to figure this out but I really need my study and assignment space to be quiet and have no distractions. I carry around a bag full of those neon orange ear plugs so I can always block out noise (especially for exams); this has been a huge help. My favorite study spots are the library if I’m on lower campus and specific rooms in Murie and O’Neil. My room will sometimes work if my brothers aren’t loud.

  5. I did not study too hard for the quiz, I simply sifted through some of the notes I took from our various lectures and tried to look at the big takeaways and concepts. This didn’t work out amazingly for me, since I did just ok on the quiz. I have always struggled with school in general, absorbing the lectures and readings, managing my time properly, and juggling work/life/school balance. I get anxiety when not knowing exactly what to study or having to apply critical thinking to concepts – not my strong suit. I also have some amount of a perfectionist mindset, so I sometimes have an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to school, which isn’t great. I can spend too much time trying to make one thing perfect, that I don’t get the general gist or look at the big picture ideas. Studying is no different. I’m going to need to study more thoroughly for the midterm, and I don’t exactly have an amazing plan to execute this besides reviewing my notes. My plan is to go over my notes in more depth, revisiting what we have discussed in class thus far. I will need to re-watch some of the lectures to try and make things “stick” in my brain. I think repetition will help with this.
    In the past I have used things like flash cards to help me remember definitions or general concepts, but I don’t necessarily think they help me that much. I suppose they can’t hurt though, so I will probably use some to study some things. I think I’ll try the method that Elle described – speaking aloud about the lectures/concepts/takeaways to remember the learned material.

    1. Maureen,

      I found that I also have a very perfectionist mindset when it comes to school and projects/assignments. What’s helped me in the past is allowing specific time to each project so I don’t go overboard and let it take over. This strategy probably won’t work for everyone. I also enjoy flashcards; repeatedly looking at concepts really helps drill it into my head.

    2. Maureen,
      I also get anxiety when I don’t know what material to study, I feel like I always end up studying the wrong material. Things also don’t stick well with me either, I find it harder to retain information especially with online classes. I am going to review more before the mid-term as well.

  6. I felt so confident for this quiz. I really thought that I grasped and understood the material well enough to give sufficient answers and treat these questions like a discussion. But I was mistaken. This is probably a horrible study strategy but in my head I thought that sense I understood the material well enough and could hold solid conversations with people over the material that this would translate to me doing well. I relate to Rio and Kerras’ frustration. Looking back over the quiz I think I struggled most with interpreting the questions and saying everything I needed to say to answer the question. Especially for the last question, I thought I had sufficiently answered it but when looking back I missed some components that contributed to the concept. I really like Elle’s study strategy and I think I might try that for the next exam (if I have the time on top of Biology and Chemistry homework). I also liked how Rio suggested going on walks and thinking through the studying process. The studying I did consisted of rereading my notes over the lectures and the guest speaker presentations. I also flipped through the powerpoint of the lectures in case I missed anything in my notes. And I made sure I was caught up on my Greenberg reading. I find it difficult to prioritize the classes I enjoy (my FISH classes) when I have chemistry and biology looming over. I definitely put way more time into those classes because they’re harder and it’s unfortunate that my bio and chem take up so much of my time. I am anxious for the next exam because again I was so confident and had a little reality check. I don’t really know what to do differently to succeed and that’s what scares me most.

    1. Gwendolyn,
      Having more than one class to study for is definitely overwhelming and is stressful to deal with. One thing I do when I have a lot of classes at once is to get everything done for the week in my other classes (if you can), then the night and morning before the exam only study that topic so that its fresh in your brain before the exam.

    2. Gwen,

      I definitely can sympathize with trying to juggle this with other intensive classes, especially ones that aren’t exactly personally interesting. I know I have a lot of difficulty getting into Chem as a subject, so it’s hard for me to devote time to really studying it.

  7. I am not proud of how I prepared for our first quiz. I have a bad habit of associating open notes with not studying or very little studying, I did study but barely. I briefly skimmed my notes last minute. When the time for us to take the quiz began, I spent a solid few minutes debating back and forth if I was going to use the time to study and review or to take the quiz. I ended up taking the quiz but I definitely should have used the time to review the notes more. I will also use the feedback we received from the first quiz so that I can improve my understanding of the parts I did not get correct. I also hope to learn some new techniques in studying better for the exam from my classmate’s posts, thank you in advance. I did not do too poorly but I’m not proud of how I did and I do wish I spent more time preparing with my notes.
    I certainly will go about studying for the mid-term exam differently. I have already spent time reviewing my notes in more depth than just skimming and I have not rushed myself. I plan to go back and rewatch some of the lectures and add to my notes. I also plan to have one of my friends sit down and listen to me talk about and explain the things we have learned in this class and how they are connected. I will take notes for myself on which parts I need to go back to in order to understand them better.

    1. Queenie,
      I hit a similar pitfall in thinking that open notes meant that studying did not need to be a priority, which led to a rough start at the beginning of the quiz where I wasn’t super sure on some of the questions. I have also made a point to review more diligently this time around, and hope that this midterm goes well for both of us.

  8. I study so many ways one way I do is to look over all the course content we have been over then I teach the content to my stuffed animals cause who else will stay still that long to listen? I also like to talk to my mom about what i learned but that’s hard to do cause time zones. I need to rethink my study habits big time! I think going into the midterm i’m gonna take better notes maybe type them out then print them if needed. I’m also gonna get better rest cause rest is important also gonna make sure I eat breakfast. I need to change my mindset too. I went into the quiz being like ” well I know the content” I was clearly very wrong about that! So going into the midterm with a better mindset would be nice but it’s hard to change a mindset you have had for a while. I will say to myself hey you got this but be careful make sure to read every question carefully and look at your notes carefully. I feel like I should for sure study more and use the resources I have available. I hope the mid term goes good for everyone!!

    1. Caitlyn,
      I liked your point about making sure to eat breakfast and having a good mindset going into the mid term. I know I can’t focus that well if I am hungry so I think that eating before hand is definitely important.

  9. For most quizzes I don’t study a lot in advance unless I really don’t understand the material. For this quiz I first started by going over the lecture slide about 15min before I took the quiz because I knew it was going to be on what we had covered in class. I have taken quite a few fisheries classes over the past years so I was mostly relying on my previous knowledge to answer the questions. When I first opened the quiz and looked at the first question I had no idea how to answer it so I circled back to it. I did pretty well on the quiz and did use a lot of my past knowledge to answer most questions. There were some questions that I didn’t know so they took me a little longer. For the mid-term I am going to review the material more than I did for the quiz. Knowing that it is not timed helps me because I get very stressed with timed tests or quizzes. I am going to review the slide and take notes on what I need to study more of. As we talked about in class, teaching someone else is a very helpful study tool and I have done that in the past but when writing a scientific paper. It helped me better understand what I was writing because I had to make sure the person I was teaching it to also understood, so I might try that with this material.

    1. Me too! The environment makes a big difference to me – the last quiz I mostly used my street smarts, but there were a few facts I needed a jog to remember.

  10. For my midterm review I’m going to take what we talked about in class with the key notes of what to familiarize and have some strong notes on those topics. I also plan on going through all of the slides and taking brief notes on everything we have gone over so during the exam I have strong notes to answer the questions to the best of my ability. As long as I have strong notes they should help me throughout the exam. The main points we talked about in class are going to be Western Fisheries, Peter Wesley’s favorite study subject, Evolution and how it’s not “NEEDED” but how its natural selection, and finally Historical dates for large events. If I can take each study area and have a strong understanding of each piece it should give me the insight I need to answer the questions.
    The other thing I’m going to focus on for the exam is to not stress over all the information and to just go with the flow and take the test one question at a time. This exam is going to be some basic knowledge as well as everything we have gone over in class. The notes will be a strong asset to rely on when it is needed. If you stress over the exam and work yourself up over it you’re gonna freak out and forget everything you learned when it’s time to take the test. A full night’s rest is also important for this test so that your brain can be fully rested to work at maximum efficiency.
    I feel as long as I can get some good rest, don’t stress, take things one step at a time, and have good notes to support my information then this exam should be a breeze.

    1. TJ,

      Definitely agree with taking a breath and not trying to freak yourself out too much over the test. I think a big part for this, since it’s open note/book, is also just understanding where you can find the information you may need to answer the questions.

  11. For the first quiz I studied relatively well I believe. I went through all the power points and took notes on what I felt were the most important concepts, or any concepts that I felt confused or slightly unsure about. I also reviewed these notes that I had wrote before I took the quiz, and used them while taking the quiz. I think the biggest downfall of my studying for the first quiz was not having access to the presentation by Dr. Will Deacy. Not being able to look back on this section, which was specifically on the quiz, made it so I missed going over these concepts.
    I think that my studying method for the first quiz was how I usually study for anything and generally works well for myself. So I will continue to use this method for the mid term. For the mid term I think the only thing that I would maybe change is not necessarily taking the test during the class time. I think I will end up taking it during class time, but I will maybe not take it during that time.

    1. Hey Taryn, I agree it was difficult to answer the part about Dr. Will Deacy’s presentation because we were not able to review his presentation. I like your idea about taking the test outside of class time, I might do that also because I would be able to feel like I have more time to take it as well as I get anxious during tests so being able to be in a more comforting area physically could help a lot.

    2. Howdy Taryn,
      When I realized that the power point by Dr. Deacy was not available, I looked back through my notebook and was relieved to see that I had taken notes. I wish I had looked through the power points sooner, and seen that that one was unavailable. I think this last quiz was a reminder in diligence/ covering all of the bases when studying.

  12. I feel like my studying strategy for the quiz was pretty basic and worked well enough for me. All I had done was look through the slides again and had written down notes for specific concepts that I felt were of significance and therefor would be more likely to show up on the quiz. Even though I had already taken notes, I have found that it helps me memorize concepts if I write notes about them more than once. I had also set up some flash cards on Quizlet to go over terms and concepts that weren’t too wordy and had messed around with some of the other activities that Quizlet’s software offers (although I do think that these weren’t really that useful, and that I gained the most out of the basic flashcards). I would say that this worked out pretty well for the quiz, and I feel that the bulk of my studying habits will translate to the midterm. I think that writing out concepts for a third time will more greatly strengthen my understanding of the subject material and will also give me a chance to further familiarize myself with the slides we have gone over in the past week or so. I will also continue to use my flashcards on Quizlet, as I feel those are just a good way to jog my memory on material from further back in the semester.

    1. Hey Lucy, I like your idea of writing down the notes multiple times. I normally just write it down only once so I will definitely be trying that out before the midterm!

  13. My studying technique was to review all my notes I had taken so far this semester. I then went through the slideshows to make sure I had thorough notes for each topic we went over. I used that to fill in any spots I was unsure of or missed and then if an area was still confusing, I watched the class recording for the day or looked at other websites to figure it out. I waited to start studying until a few days before the test and did not give myself enough to review. I als o was not entirely sure of how the questions were set up on the test so that will be helpful on the midterm of what phrases and such to look for. I also did not get enough sleep the night before because I was studying for another midterm, I had that day so I will be getting more before the next test. To study for the midterm, I am going to continue the notes reviews but I want to become more fully aware of each topic and use more outside resources for studying so that I fully understand each topic and don’t just memorize the basic concepts. I also am going to try and make up some practice questions and work on making sure I can thoroughly explain each concept. I also started studying for the midterm already so I will have plenty of time to review everything well.

  14. Sometimes, I make myself a “term and concept” page with definitions in my notebook, and add to/or review it throughout the semester. However, I didn’t do that at the beginning of this school year, so for our last quiz I made a quick one and used it as a study guide. I generally feel pretty confident with my fisheries material: I’ve taken a handful of classes, and a lot of the topics we’ve been covering in this class were covered in those, too, so I generally know my way around the neighborhood. However, if I test is closed-book, I always study up. I also take coherent notes, but I tend not to review them before quizzes because of time constraints and how it’s a lot of material to cover if I’m unsure how much of it will be used for the quiz. I’ve had persistent brain fog since I got Covid last semester, so I usually study in short, engaging bursts. too. What doesn’t work for me is cramming: cramming is the bane of my existence, and I prefer to solidify my knowledge by connecting it to concepts outside of class (for example, a principle of management being used in another fishery) that I can relate back to class discussion. I also highlight and color-code all my notes (and make sure they have good, summarized titles) so I can skim through them easily later to find stuff out. I also like reading editorial articles that use frilly language.

    1. Amanda,
      I like the idea of a “term and concept” page that you mentioned, as it seems like a great resource in remembering material from earlier parts of the course as well as a good jumping off point into topics that one would need to look into further. I will definitely consider using something like that in the future.

    2. Howdy Amanda,
      I like your idea about consolidating your terms and definitions. I also feel like I’ve fallen out of the habit of color coding my notes but that would also likely be helpful.

  15. I felt pretty good about my studying techniques for the past quiz. I definitely plan on studying things in more detail and more depth for the exam, though.

    For the quiz, I started by downloading all of the slides and just going through them. I didn’t take any notes during the first round of reviewing, but made sure to really take time to think about all of the “big picture” concepts from the lectures. I took a break for a while and then added in my notes from class the next time around. So, this time I went over the slides and my notes that I took along with them. This always helps remind me of the finer details from lectures and helps me put things together in a more solid way. For the last and final round of reviewing, I took notes on a piece of paper. The notes I took were mostly details that didn’t seem to stick in my brain. I also wrote down a lot of the big picture concepts. Writing things down always helps me remember things. Paired with reviewing the slides, I felt pretty comfortable when I opened the quiz and reviewed the questions.

    These couple pages of notes I had were what I reviewed the morning before the quiz. I always find it really helpful to review in the mornings before the exam or quiz that I am taking. I guess it is a bit of a “cramming” method, but it has tended to work for me so I continue to do it.

  16. I guess I didn’t study that much for the previous quiz, as I find the first test/ quiz in a class sometimes hard to predict what it may entail, especially because each discipline has different ways of testing knowledge/ understanding, and different professors also have different styles. Given the low risk nature of this quiz, I figured it would be nice to take it as it came and not stress out about it too much because it’s helpful to be in the test taking flow mindset for these types of things.

    To study for the quiz, I looked back over all of the previous powerpoints we went over in class. I try to take pretty detailed notes in class, so in preparation for the quiz I went back over the notes I had taken and summarized them. I emphasized looking at graphs and charts, as well as key terms. It was especially useful to review the powerpoints/notes, as it helped me to refresh my memory on which ones might be helpful to refer back to when answering the discussion questions. For this upcoming exam, I’ve been going back over all of the powerpoints and my notes, in particular the powerpoints that were presented post-quiz and the guest presentations. I also finished reading Greenberg’s “Four Fish,” and reread some of the discussion questions to help give a bit more critical thinking context to this fairly easy to read book.

    If the quiz/ future midterm were not open-note, I would probably try to do more summarizing and rewriting of the main points of the powerpoints and guest lectures. Repetition in writing helps me to actually actively listen to the speakers and better retain the information that is being presented on. I also recommend making notecards (or quizlets) for terms/ dates/ graphs is super-helpful.

    I will add some pro tips that have varying degrees of scientific evidence to back them up; I definitely drink coffee and/or eat some chocolate before a test because in my personal experience they help my brain tune in. I also sometimes chew gum to really get those brain juices flowing. I also really try to get a good night’s sleep before the test.

  17. I didn’t know what was going to be thrown at me for the quiz so I was a little nervous.My strategy for studying for the quiz was looking back at the lecture slides, reading them, reviewing my notes and then rewriting my notes. I had a hard time because there was so much content and I didn’t quite finish some of the lecture slides. I also looked at some of the Fish Tank Thursday discussions and comments. I did that to look at what possibly might be on the quiz. Being caught up with the book didn’t quite help me for the quiz. I highlighted some terms or processes I didn’t understand in my notes that I didn’t quite understand and looked at that specific term in the lecture slides. The day before the quiz I did a quick run through of the lecture slides and some of the discussion posts. I really wanted access to Dr. Will Deacy’s slide because he went through so much.

    To study for the midterm I am going to try to take detailed notes and revising my previous notes. I will not stress over the studying like I did for the quiz. I will try to better understand the content because I feel like some questions will be knowledge-based and most of it will be stuff we went through in class. I am a little nervous for the midterm so I hope it will be a really good turn out. I am not going to over think studying like I did for the quiz.

  18. In all honesty I just reread some things and became scrambled brained. It was hard to take the quiz and hard for me to study and retain attention. I normally can not contain focus for too long and need to write out short and quick things. So studying is a really hard factor for me to do as I can not sit down and just try and remember the things I need to remember. So the best thing for me to do is just pray, hope for the best and try my hands at luck.

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