Tag Archives: exams

Student Drawings on Exams Part II

Here are more doodles discovered while grading.  Enjoy!   (For Part I click here.)



From Tolstoy's My Confession, a depiction of an Eastern Tale.

From Tolstoy’s My Confession, a depiction of an Eastern Tale.

Kant's Theory

Kant’s Theory

Just because...

Android “fixing” Apple!

Thinking face?

Thinking face?

photo 2

Just because.

photo 4

“I’m 50 Shades of done with this midterm.”

photo 1

Not a doodle, but still funny.  A power point slide for a presentation.

Not a doodle, but still funny. A power point slide for a presentation.

Free Download on Amazon!

Students, Educators, and lovers of the “Advice & How To” genre, my book Tips From the Professor A Guide for College Success is free on Amazon from Tuesday April 2nd-Thursday April 4th!  (Just give the title a click.)

photo-16 9.24.30 PMI wrote this book because I want students to get the most out of their University experience.  I offer easy “how to” steps to boost students’ grades.  If you do fancy a read, please kindly leave a review on Amazon.  I’m starting my second book for university students, so any feedback on this first book would be most helpful.

Some topics Tips From The Professor addresses:

  • How to organize your time.
  • How to be involved in campus life.
  • How to study for exams (alone and with groups).
  • How to give presentations.
  • How to approach professors with questions (some do’s and don’ts from a professor’s point of view).
  • What to bring with you when meeting a professor about a letter of recommendation.

*Book Review by Dr. Wayne Hubert

Tips From the Professor: A Guide for College Success by Dr. Gwendolyn Dolske  is not just another student handbook for successfully navigating undergraduate life.  It is not ponderous, theoretical, and impractical as so many student guides are, but rather it is concrete, experiential, and most of all, fresh in its approach.

Naturally, Dr. Dolske covers familiar and expected topics like time management, strategies for studying, writing papers, classroom presentations, and she illustrates them with specific examples from her own experiences as an undergraduate as well as those of her own current students.  Instead of theory, Dr. Dolske grounds her presentation in real life, her own and her students’.

Dr. Dolske also covers issues that are not usually found in student guides.  For example, she explains to her readers how to talk to their instructors, how to ask for letters of recommendation, how to manage money, how to understand grading, and–without doubt my favorite–how to be fully present during class time.   It is worth purchasing the book if only to read this section.

I also appreciate how  Dr. Dolske speaks to her audience as a mentor, eager to help, encourage, and pave the way for those new to the undergraduate experience.  She has learned much as a student and as a Professor, and she wants her readers to have what benefits she has earned and received.

Though this wonderful handbook will enjoy wide appeal, Dr. Dolske has a particular audience in mind.  She is writing to students who not only want to enjoy college and get good grades, but she is also writing to those students who understand the need for personal responsibility and discipline, those who in the end desire a good education.  With Dr. Dolske’s lively and useful guide, those students can have it all.

Wayne Hubert, Ph.D

Emeritus Dean Of Arts and Humanities

Chaffey College

Rancho Cucamonga, California

5 Do’s and Don’ts Before Your Midterm Exam

It is midterm season!


1. Re-write your notes.  Use the syllabus, study guide, and text book to neatly organize the topics.  This may seem tedious, but re-writing your work helps to solidify the information for you.

2. Take 15 minute breaks every hour: get up, walk about, check your twitter account, or do some yoga.  If you study in long stretches then you will only remember the beginning and the end of your study session materials.  Your hard working brain requires a respite to let the material sink in.

3. Pack your bag the night before with pens, pencils, and scantron or essay booklet if needed.

4. Quiz yourself before you go to bed and again when you wake up.

5. Plan to arrive early to the exam (at least 20 minutes). That way you can review your notes, ask a fellow student a question if you are stuck on something, and be completely ready at your desk when the professor walks into the room.


1. Stay up late the night before (and booze is an absolute no-no). You’ll need your rest for thinking.

2. Get into a kerfuffle with your BFF, significant other, co-worker, or family member the day before.

3. Eat junk food.  This makes you groggy and clouds thinking.

4. Forget the details in written answers.  Never approach written work as putting something in a “nutshell.” Do intend to expand and clarify the material to demonstrate knowledge.  It is better to write too much on an exam than not enough.

5. Email the professor late at night with a question like “What’s gonna be on the exam?”

Good luck!

5 Things You Shouldn’t Say (or email) to your Professor

1. “Oh, is today the midterm?” If this question escapes your lips then that is a bad sign.  Don’t make it worse by advertising it to the professor.  Just do your best.

2. “I went to your office and you weren’t there.” Professor is aware of her location.  Try “Sorry I missed you.”

3. “I don’t write good.  It’s not my thing.”  You don’t write well.  And, if Twilight can get published then you can crank out an essay.

4.  “I gotta be honest.  I got wasted last night.” No, you do not need to be honest.  Drink some coffee.

5. “I didn’t know what you wanted me to answer on the exam.”  Professor is not a dictator, but thanks for the implication.  Try “I was unsure how to approach the question, and I’d like to do better on the next exam.”

Click here for more college tips.

7 Ways to Cram for the Exam…if you must

Full disclosure: I am not an advocate for waiting until the night before an exam to study, but I know it happens.  How are you going to get ready in just a few hours?  Here’s how to cram for the exam.

What you will need:

1) The course syllabus

2) Textbook

3) Class notes

4) Blank paper and/or index cards

5) Review sheet if one was provided by the professor

How to cram:

1) This one will be hard, but you must put your phone away for the next few hours.  It is so easy to divert your attention by checking email, Twitter (my new favorite semi-obsession), and Facebook.  In order to cram you will need to harness all of your fabulous student-mental-powers on the material.  Keep the phone in a separate room or put it in a drawer so that you will not be tempted to look at it.

2) Using the syllabus (and the review sheet) write each topic that is to be covered at the top of your blank pages or index cards, giving each topic its own blank page.  For example, in my Philosophy Course, the students need to know the theories of about 5 Philosophers.  If you were studying for my exam, you’d want to take out five sheets of paper and write each philosopher at the top the page.  1 Philosopher per page.  This helps to organize the ideas.

3) Under the topic (or philosopher) jot down where the information can be found in the textbook.  Example: “Socrates” at the top, pages 3-31. Use your review sheet and syllabus to find the relevant pages. Also, transfer your notes by re-writing them under the relevant topics.  Everything about Socrates belongs on one page, everything about Aristotle belongs on another page and so on. Re-writing helps solidify the information in your mind.

4) After you have filled in the pages with key points, definitions, arguments, dates, and your notes, then take out a fresh batch of papers and once again write the topic (or philosopher) at the top of each page.  Without looking at the previous pages, quiz yourself by writing down as much information as you can without looking at the first group of papers.

5) Re-read or skim the sections of the book you feel the most confident in first.  Master what you know.  This bolsters your momentum for when you move on to the topics you are least familiar with. When you re-read sections of the book, add details to your pages of topics.

6) When you are studying, be sure to step away from your work every 45 minutes to stretch, jump up and down, or take a brief walk.  Yoga wouldn’t be a bad idea either.  This pause helps you to remember the information.  If you study 3 hours straight, for example, then you will only recall the beginning and end of your work while the middle part of the session gets lost.  In this break, do not turn on the television because it numbs your thinking.  Look at a magazine or do something active to get oxygen to your brain.  When you return after the 10-15 minute break, start up by giving yourself a quick quiz.  I know it is counter-intuitive to break since you are desperate to cram, but trust me, it’ll make the material stick.

7) As you are reviewing, re-reading, and quizzing yourself you might have a couple of questions about the material.  Write the question down and get to your exam 30 minutes early.  Chances are the best students will be sitting outside the classroom early going over their notes.  Grab this opportunity to exchange ideas and clarify the material with your fellow classmates.  Having a brief chat about the material before the exam will keep it fresh in your mind.  I don’t suggest sending the professor a late night email with the question because you will be hinting to the professor that you are not prepared.  As a general rule, if you must email the professor for clarification on the material, make sure it is before 2:00 pm the day before the exam.

Good luck!  Click here for more study tips.

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