January’s Study Tip: How to Beat the Winter Quarter Blues

Winter is the cruelest of quarters. One day you’re making merry and ringing in the new year, the next you’re expected to have read all of your coursework and to bounce back to student life with the youth and agility of, well, a student…

If you feel the winter quarter sads, try these quick tips to stay motivated for your classes:

1. Jazz up your dorm room

Cheap and cheerful are the operative words here. Because of winter’s short days and long nights, your little space can easily turn gloomy, which in turn will affect your mood and how well you study there. Try injecting some extra light with the help of an inexpensive box of Christmas tree lights. It’ll feel like the good winter cheer never left.
You can find other dorm room decorating ideas on this eNotes Pinterest board.

2. Invest in a light therapy box

Similar to above, if you live somewhere cold getting enough of the sun’s rays can make or break your winter blues. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in the sunshine state this time of year, you may want to invest in a light therapy box for your desk. Mayo Clinic has some helpful information on how they’re used to treat SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). You may also want to replenish the Vitamin D you’ll be missing with nutrition or supplements.

3. Break up a boring routine

Yes, routines can be great, but if you feel you’re falling into a winter quarter slump because of the day-to-day drudgery of classes, punctuated only by more studying and mealtimes, get out there and find something fun to break up your routine. You could join a club, apply for an internship, audition for the school play, or plan an outing with friends. Anything that gives you something exciting to look forward to is a good thing.

And that, my friends, is how you win winter. Enjoy the season!


Quick Tips to Make It Through Your Fall Term Finals

1. Find an “Accountabilibuddy”

If you’ve been reading eNotes study tips for a while now you’ll already know the importance of making flash cards and creating a study schedule in time for finals week, so here’s a new tip for you. Make a pact with a friend to be accountabilibuddies; you will agree to check in with and keep each other on the studying track leading up to your exams. If one of you strays, the other is “accountabilibuddyable,” and reserves the right to publicly shame you, or at least make you donate $1 to the procrastination jar.

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Students: Become an eNotes TA, Redeem Your eNotes Points for Gift Cards!

We’re excited to announce that eNotes students are now able to redeem their eNotes points for real life rewards!

Become an eNotes TA to turn your eNotes points into gift cards to your favorite shops.

We have just posted a number of gift cards to various shops, including Starbucks, Amazon, Target, and more, on our all new TA Rewards page here.

rewards

To redeem your points for one of these rewards, you must first earn a TA badge by answering questions in eNotes Homework Help and making it onto the TA Leaderboard.

In addition to being able to redeem their points for real life prizes, TAs are also entered into a monthly giveaway to win a $500 student grant. You can find a complete FAQ on the TA program at this pageRead the rest of this entry »


eNotes is on Pinterest!

Check out our first three Pinterest boards as we collect tips and tricks to help you study and teach smarter.

Dorm Room Ideas

College Dorm Decoration/Organization Ideas, futon/lounge under one lofted bed, work/organization (TV too) under another lofted bed

School Binder Organization Tips

Even after graduating college I still use binders and notebooks. It helps me organize all my thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, goals and steps to achieve them, etc. This is a cute decoration idea for my binders - go and do

Teacher Tips and Tricks

I am so excited to try using a teacher binder this semester to help me stay organized! Great tips for making it fit what you need. #teacherbinder

Find and follow us at www.pinterest.com/enotescom.


3 Places to Find the Help You Need on eNotes, Free

It’s almost time to head back to class. Are you ready? Make sure you’re set for school with help from eNotes!

In this post, we’re covering the 3 best areas of eNotes to find the help you need with your upcoming classes. Even better: most of the help you find on eNotes is completely free to access. Check out our eNotes refresher course below and be prepared for Fall!

Don’t have an eNotes account yet? Sign up here today to create your free account and start searching for expert answers.

1. eNotes Annotated eTexts

Did you know that eNotes hosts over 900 texts online in our eTexts section? From poems to plays, short stories to biographies, we’ve got hundreds of works that teachers commonly select for assigned reading and which you can read on your computer or mobile device for free. You don’t even have to buy your next assigned novel if you don’t want to!
What’s better than an entire library at your fingertips for no cost at all? An entire library of annotated eTexts. Over the past year, eNotes’ educators have been working hard to provide you with expert annotations on some of the most challenging works of Literature. From Dickens to Shakespeare and everything in between, they’ve written comments on important words and passages to help you better understand what you’re reading. To read these annotations, hover your cursor over any highlighted words found in any eNotes Annotated eText. A comment will pop up explaining the significance of those highlighted words. Annotations could cover glossary definitions, analysis or background information–just one way that eNotes helps you to study smarter.

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Resumes: The Struggle is Real

How is it that as students no one ever really teaches us to write resumes?

resume

There are so few opportunities to hone this skill as a young adult or adolescent.

I know the only reason I’ve been able to practice this skill is because my dad has always been very pro-active about equipping me with the career-oriented skills needed to be successful. Now that I’m a college student living two states away, getting his advice has become a little more tricky, so naturally I turned to the only place I knew I could get reliable and up to date information quickly, the web. With so many websites and apps available to advise people on career oriented techniques and information, it took no time at all to identify what today’s evolving economy calls for in terms of resumes.

The days of resumes with stiff, formal language and generic formatting are long gone. Future employers want to know you, not just your education and experience. Today’s resumes are all about showcasing your talents and skills and demonstrating why you’ll be advantageous to the company in question.

Here are five tips on how best to market yourself through your resume…

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Changes Are Afoot for the SAT

Yesterday it was announced that the SAT would be revising its test for the second time in just over a decade. To help you prepare for the next version of this popular standardized test, find here an outline of the changes plus other important announcements from The College Board that will impact future college admissions.

SAT-logo

What will the new SAT look like?

The new SAT, to be released in 2016, will feature four significant changes:

  • The SAT essay, introduced in 2005, will become an optional segment of the exam
  • SAT scoring, also changed in 2005, will return from the 2400- to the 1600-point system
  • Points will no longer be deducted for incorrect answers (currently students lose 1/4 of a point for each wrong answer)
  • And lastly, “SAT vocabulary” will become a thing of the past, as complete-the-sentence sections of the exam are replaced by ones that test students’ critical reading of a passage.

Why make these changes?

One thought that struck me when I read over these changes was that the SAT is increasingly becoming more like the ACT. The criteria are familiar: no deduction of points for incorrect answers, no required essay, and a significant critical reading section are all key points of the ACT that many students over the past decade have recognized as advantages to taking it over the SAT. So much so that gone are the days that the SAT is the go-to test; when I was a high school junior, nobody ever mentioned the ACT, but when I became a test-prep tutor five years later it was the exam 90% of my students elected to take. Why? When they were evaluated at the start of our course, the overwhelming majority performed better on the ACT than the SAT. It gave them a step-up in achieving a higher ranking, and as students’ favor of the test increased, colleges’ willingness to accept it on equal terms with the SAT followed suit.

For whatever reason, be it an attempt to curry more favor (and cash) or a genuine recognition of a need to assess students more fairly, the SAT is moving towards a format more similar to the ACT.

sat-or-act-test

What do these changes mean for students?

When I tutored students for the SAT, a significant focus of our preparation was on strategy. To perform well, one has to form a plan of attack, making a practical decision from the outset on how many questions would need to be answered to achieve the desired score. That’s because every wrong answer a student might give could decrease his or her overall score, thanks to the quarter-point deduction for an incorrect choice. Except for the cases where students strove for a perfect score, it was more advantageous to leave x number of questions blank.

Now, however, the idea of “SAT strategy” will be tossed by the wayside. Is this good or bad? Perhaps we should simply say it assesses a different skill. The SAT Reasoning Test, to go by its full name, was designed to test a student’s ability to reason and evaluate. In reality, though, this has meant that Read the rest of this entry »


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