2012 in Review

Scratches on the Notepad has seen tremendous growth this past year. This blog has been read almost 22,000 times in 2012, or over 60 times per day!

Month by Month Readership 2012

These are the top 5 most read articles this past year (number of views in brackets) – you might want to check them out:

  1. Constructing the Perfect Cheat Sheet: Part 1 (5272)
  2. Your First Day (Of University) (5209)
  3. What if you miss an exam? (1443)
  4. Constructing the Perfect Cheat Sheet: Part 2 (988)
  5. Reader Questions: What do I do if I failed an exam? (870)

So readers are concerned with cheating, missing, and failing exams… while being anxious about their first day of school.

Of course, trends are seasonal. In September, Your First Day and The good, the Bad, and the Ugly are popular. While in December and April, people are more concerned with cheating, missing, or failing exams. Of course, if you are concerned about these things, I suggest also checking out Making the Most of Review Sessions and Exam Viewings. For next time. And while you’re at it, you might want to know your enemy how people mark exams.

Readers by Country 2012

Most readers are from the United States, Canada, or the UK, but in total, readers from 133 countries read something on SotN. Oh, the day where my blog’s been to more places than I ever will…

Of course, we wouldn’t have nearly as many readers if not for people sharing my articles on twitter and Facebook (so please keep doing so!). Also people came here from math.ubc.ca and calnewport.com (both of which are wonderful resources, although the former is probably only useful if you’re in math at UBC).

So THANK YOU dear readers from the bottom of my heart. SotN would not be the same without you. I hope you have an amazing 2013 and please visit often!


Over 9000!!!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist celebrating over 9000 views on SotN with this meme 😀

Thank YOU so much for reading SotN, and for giving me helpful comments and suggestions! I really appreciate them, so please keep them coming.

If you haven’t done so yet, please subscribe via e-mail or RSS to get latest posts in your e-mail or RSS reader (see the sidebar —>). And if you have a friend who is in grade 12, first year university, or just need some studying tips and advice, please do share posts with them via the little buttons at the bottom or better yet, get them to stop by.

On another note, I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been trying to write an article on scaling and it’s just not working. I’m not sure yet if I’ll finish that or write something else first, but at any rate, please bear with me. First years, (belated) congratulations on finishing your exams and have a great summer!

Welcome to 2012 (and the new site design)!

Happy New Years! Yet another year has flown by, and since contrary to popular belief, the world is unlikely to end this year, we here at SotN decided to make some site upgrades overwinter break.

So, what’s new?

New Pages:

  • Articles” – All articles on this blog organized neatly by topics. Kid in the candy store (ok, maybe that’s stretching it)?
  • Start Here!” – New to SotN? Don’t know which articles to read? Overwhelmed by the master article list? Start with this page!
  • Special Thanks” – SotN wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of many people and organizations, thank you for all your support!

Design Changes:

  • Featured Content Gallery – Yes, that fancy scrolly slideshow thinggy up there. It displays the newest and/or most popular content on this blog.
  • New logo – It perfectly showcases what SotN is about (and is darn cute too).
  • New Theme – The layout and colour scheme should make browsing easier.


Thank you for reading and supporting SotN!

See Me Live!

Yes, I am a real person and not solely an online entity!

I will be presenting a workshop at the Conference for Student Learning and Academic Success (CLASS) at the University of British Columbia on Thursday, October 27th from 12:30 to 2:00 pm. The workshop is called “A Research Approach to Learning and the Path to Academic Success“. Yes, it’s wordy, and yes, you should come!

CLASS is a week-long conference for first year students to help them adjust academically to university (hm… why does that sound oddly familiar… :P). My workshop is just one of dozens of workshops and activities for students, so there is something for everyone. What exactly will I be talking about? Stealing shamelessly from the CLASS website (though I did write the workshop description, so I suppose I have a right to use it):

A Research Approach to Learning and the Path to Academic Success 

Do you think you could do better academically? Tired of not getting the mark you want despite working you’re a** off? Envious of how well others do seemingly without trying? Want to have astounding academic success? Well, look no further!

In this workshop, you’ll learn to approach learning the way researchers approach their projects. Use this effective system for finding the study strategies that work for you and how you can use these techniques to excel academically.  Will you magically become an A+ student? No. While the results may seem magical, there is no magic involved – you will simply become a better student and learner.  If have a burning desire to do better and is not afraid to work your butt off initially, this workshop is perfect for you. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

From: http://class.ubc.ca/conference/workshops/thursday-workshops/

I don’t know what room I will be in yet, but register for CLASS and check out all of the other workshops available.

I’ve been told by the conference organizers that this workshop is wildly popular and already more than half full, so if you want in, go sign up now! See you at CLASS!

EDIT (October 17th, 2011): Apparently I’m REALLY popular and the workshop is full. For those of you that signed up, see you there!

Update (Nov 1, 2011): For PowerPoint slides and handouts from the workshop, click here.  









We’re Moving!


We’re moving to here! Well actually, we’ve already moved. Everything on this site is already on the new site.

Aside from a shorter domain, we’ve got a spiffy new theme and better organization. But instead of telling you about how awesome the new site is, why don’t you head over and take a look?

This site will remain live for a few weeks, after that, we’ll be automatically redirecting everyone to the new site. So please update your bookmarks/subscription. 

See you at the new SotN!

Happy First Birthday SotN!

birthday cake

Happy Birthday SotN! (Image "birthday cake" courtesy of flickr user cleverboy68, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.)

Happy First Birthday SotN! It’s hard to believe that this blog started a year ago – time sure flew right by. To commemorate this special occasion, here are some SotN stats for your entertainment:

SotN by the numbers:

2109 – Number of page views.

766 – Number of page views in SotN’s busiest month (June 2011).

179 – Number of page views on the blog’s busiest day (June 4, 2011).

50.2 – Average number of views per post.

42 – Number of published posts (including this one).

3 – FYI: Joy to the World, Calculus Help Is Here! (The third most popular post on the blog)

2 – What if you miss an exam? (The second most popular post on the blog)

1 – Summer School Tips (The most popular post on the blog

1 – Terms Every Student Should Know Before Starting University (The first ever post on this blog)


So what’s next? 

SotN is growing quickly and some new and exciting things will happen in this next year. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks about surviving and excelling at university. What are these new features? That’s a secret for now, but check back often to find out! Furthermore, we’ll be undergoing some design changes and the site will be easier to navigate.



for supporting SotN this past year. You are what keeps us going (and productive!). 

For the new readers of SotN – Welcome! We hope you find this site useful as you navigate the murky waters of first year university (ok, so it isn’t thaaat murky…)

Have a great academic year. May you obtain the grades that you strive for and learn more than what you set out to learn.

❤ ❤ ❤