18 Ideas for Becoming a Master Student
Idea #1: Make sure you thoroughly understand the requirements of each class, how it will be taught, and what will be expected of you. Ask questions!
Idea #2: Become an active learner. Be prepared to work ideas into your thinking by actively reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Idea #3: Think of each subject as a form of thinking… e.g., in history class, think historically.
Idea #4: Become a questioner. If you don't ask questions, you probably won't discover what you do and do not know.
Idea #5: Look for interconnections. The content in every class is always a SYSTEM of interconnected ideas, never a random list to memorize. Study like a detective, always relating new learning to previous learning.
Idea #6: Think of your instructor as your coach. Think of yourself as a team member. For example, think of yourself as going out for the algebra team and your teacher as demonstrating how to prepare for the games (tests).
Idea #7: Think about the textbook as the thinking of the author. For example, role play the author frequently. Explain the main points of the text to another student as if you were the author.
Idea #8: Consider class time as the time in which you PRACTICE thinking (within the subject). Don't sit passively, waiting for knowledge to fall into your head. It won't.
Idea #9: Relate content whenever possible to issues in your life. If you can't connect it to life, you don't know it.
Idea #10: Figure out what study and learning skills you are not good at and practice those skills whenever possible.
Idea #11: Frequently ask yourself: "Can I explain this to someone not in class?" (If not, then you haven't learned it well enough.)
Idea #12: Seek to find the key concept of the course during the first couple of class meetings. Fundamental ideas are the basis for all others.
Idea #13: Routinely ask yourself questions such as "Can I elaborate on this further? Can I give an example?"
Idea #14: Test yourself before coming to class by summarizing, orally or in writing, the main points of the previous class meeting.
Idea #15: Learn to test your thinking: "Am I being clear? Accurate? Precise? Relevant? Logical? Am I looking for what is most significant?"
Idea #16: Make up test questions and write out your answers.
Idea #17: Frequently evaluate your listening. Are you actively listening for main points?
Idea #18: Frequently evaluate your reading. Are you asking questions as you read?