If you need to improve your study skills, if you get nervous on exams, or if you feel overwhelmed by the demands placed upon your time, you are encouraged to attend, free of charge, a Seeds of Success workshop at Monroe Community College. Students who have participated in SOS workshops in the past have demonstrated reduced test anxiety and improved study habits and academic achievement.
Seeds of Success workshops will be offered each semester. Please check with the Counseling, International and Veteran Services Office for dates and times. (585) 292-2030
In one two-hour session, students who are willing to participate will learn:
- How to relax during exams and focus on the questions that are asked.
Progressive muscle relaxation training is the test anxiety reduction method that will be used. This technique is learned with relative ease and can be practiced by students at their convenience in their homes. Students will be provided with an audio cassette progressive muscle relaxation tape for the semester and instructed in how to use it. They will learn a procedure of tensing and then relaxing the various major muscle groups of the body. They will be encouraged to practice the process daily until they have developed a relaxation response that will enable them to relax in seconds. It will be explained that relaxation and anxiety are incompatible states that cannot co-exist and that a well developed relaxation response can be called upon as many times as needed to combat tension during an examination.
- Study skills techniques.
The rationale undergirding study skills training is that there is a relationship between test anxiety, study skills, and exam performance. Students with poor study skills and inefficient methods of preparation frequently lack confidence and are fearful and tense before and during tests. The resulting examination performances of these students are often inaccurate reflections of their actual capabilities. Through the use of various handout materials, lecture, and group discussion, students will be taught the SQ3R method, how to study from textbooks, how to take notes, where to study, how to prepare for exams, how to concentrate, and how to make studying active as opposed to passive.
- How to manage and budget time.
The efficient use of time is a critical issue for students who work, have family obligations, and must commute to and from college. In fact, nontraditional students, as well as students who encounter academic difficulties, often indicate that they have problems with time management skills. As a result, time management will be given special emphasis in this workshop. Students will be provided with blank time schedules that include every hour of the day and evening for every day of the week. They will be instructed to fill in class meeting times, work hours, travel time, personal time, time for leisure activities, and study time. Students will be encouraged to study two hours for every hour they spend in class, to study in short, active, concentrated, 40-50 minute bursts interspersed with breaks, and to spread study sessions out over several different days. Sample study schedules will be projected onto a screen and discussed, and suggestions for improvements will be made.
- Test sophistication: knowing how to take examinations.
Many points are lost on exams due to a lack of test-taking skills rather than actual content deficits. This segment on test sophistication is aimed at improving students' test-taking skills and exploding destructive myths which can lower their performance on important exams. Students will be taught test-taking principles, which are important background strategies that should be utilized when taking any type of test, and tips on how to maximize their performance on specific types of common examination formats such as multiple choice (including rules for accurate guessing) and essay tests.
You do not need to bring anything with you to the workshop. You should dress casually, because the session will take place in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Students may park in Faculty Parking Lot A in front of Building 5 on the Brighton campus.