Exam Prep Toolkit

Wow! This term just flew right by. Final exams are again upon us. Here are some articles on SotN that would help with your exam preparation (or to avoid further disaster?).

For one, there are certain things that you should just not do around exam season. So… don’t do them!

If you’re still recovering from midterms, check out “what do I do if I failed an exam?“. Even if you did not do too poorly on the midterms, it may be worth it to do a “post-mortem” on your exams so that you’re better prepared for finals.

If you need a system for preparing for finals and have no idea where to start, check out the exam prep series. Yes, it is very, very detailed. No, good planning is not a one day process. However, planning to study is not the same thing as actually studying – do not procrastinate studying by planning to study!

If your prof allows you to bring a cheat sheet into the exam, use that opportunity wisely! Make the best cheat sheet you can to learn the material thoroughly.

If you suffer from exam anxiety or just get really nervous before an exam, you might want to consider pre-writing to boost your confidence and grades. As well, here are 5 ways to avoid panicking on a hard test.

If you, for whatever reason, missed an exam, there are some things that you could try (this is the most popular article on SotN around exam time).

Good luck on your exams! I apologize for not posting as much this term. I’ve written 13 lab reports/papers and was suffering from writing (typing?) fatigue. I promise to do better next term!

Material from Science One Presentation

Hello Sci-Oners,

Here are the slides from the guest lecture I did last Tuesday. It’s contents are very similar to that of A Research Approach to Learning (but is more Science One-specific).

Academic Success in Science One (PowerPoint Slides in PDF)

Research Approach to Learning Handout (Handout at the end)

Good luck with your finals (you might want to check the exam prep series on how to start)!

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions that you may have.


You are not stupid, you are awesome.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve written a poem outside of high school English. Nonetheless, I am in a poetic mood today and this poem summarizes my attitude about university (and should prove entertaining if nothing else). If you’re on this blog because of my recent Science One presentation, I will have the PowerPoint slides and handout from the it available soon. 

You are not stupid,
You are not dumb.
You are not less intelligent,
Than anyone else. Really, it’s true.

This is first year,
And everyone struggles,
Your really smart friends,
Are working their butts off too.

Chemistry, math, biology, and French,
Physics, economics, poli sci, and English,
App Sci, forestry, F & H, and philosophy,
Will be be challenging at the beginning.

Hang in there,
And don’t doubt yourself.
This is where you’re supposed to be,
You are capable!

To overcome the learning curve,
And to learn more efficiently,
Discover and use excellent study skills,
And brush up on your time management too.

Learning and getting good grades aren’t easy,
And there are potholes in your way.
You may feel dumb ocassionally as you progress,
But that’s ok – soon you’ll be well on your way.

It might take a while,
To get to where you want to be academically,
But fret not and you will get there.
As long as you keep believing and trying.

This is university,
Where learning occurs,
Both from within the classroom,
And outside in the “real world”.

University is what you make of it,
And no one will hold your hands.
It is up to you,
To discover your passions and dreams.

Take advantage of opportunities,
That will fly your way.
Stretch your wings,
And turn your dreams into reality.

You are not alone,
And there many people who can help you on your journey.
Whether you want to learn how to learn or grow personally,
Reach out! Be proactive! Find resources!

Your education is more than a piece of paper,
And while your studies are important,
Don’t neglect balance and personal well-being.
And be wary of the insidious “burning out” bug!

And while this poem,
May not always rhyme,
Its intentions are sincere,
And its logic mostly sound.

All the best for the future.
You will be successful, have no doubt.
You are not stupid or dumb.
You are awesome.

Have a great weekend and Remembrance Day