It’s a very exciting day, as we are happy to announce that we are joining up with Brainly, the world’s largest social learning community. Together, with Brainly, we are going to create the world’s most awesome student-to-student platform to promote learning and knowledge sharing.
Some of you may be asking, “What does that mean for me?” Well, here is what is going to change in the short term: Nothing! OpenStudy will remain the place you know and love. Come and ask questions and help your friends in the community! But in the future, as part of the Brainly family, you will get access to better features and a community of over 60 million students.
For now, I encourage you to create an account on Brainly and explore the site. We can’t wait to embark on this new adventure with you!
Have more questions? I’m going to be having a CEO chat today, June 14th at 1pm PT / 4pm ET. Join me there!
This was a terrible idea. Never do it again. Assuming you still have a couple weeks left before the final, here is how you can try to salvage a passing grade or possibly something a little better.
1. Print out the lecture slides.
Courtesy of Dr. Lawrence Drew & the Conant Foundation
Most likely, your professor posted the PowerPoint slides or a lecture outline for you to print out before coming to lecture. Go online and print them out for every lecture you did not attend. Read through each lecture with a highlighter in hand, and highlight any key facts or details likely to be turned into exam questions. You’ll get a good overview of the course material after your first read, but you’ll need to read them over a couple more times for the details to sink in. Take notes on anything you think you may need to memorize verbatim. Pay close attention to lists, as they make for easy exam questions.
2. Copy a friend’s notes.
Courtesy of Flickr: Chicgeek’s Photostream
Professors intentionally leave details out of the lecture slides; this is intended to entice students to go to class and get exposure to all of the course material. Since you haven’t gone to class, find a friend who has, and ask to copy his or her notes. Find a good friend, or someone who owes you a favor, because they’ve just done an entire semester’s worth of work for you. While you’re copying the notes, try to organize them along with the professor’s slides. You can also transcribe the notes alongside the professor’s slides. This will help with organization, as it will keep the main points from lecture outline and the details from your friend’s notes in the same place.
3. Read the textbook and other course materials.
Courtesy of Flickr: Jazzmasterson’s Photostream
Ideally, you’ve done some of the reading. Depending on how much you have to catch up on, you may not have time to read everything word for word. You can utilize a couple of different strategies to get the most out of the material with the limited time remaining. If you have time to read the material closely, do so and take notes. If you’re running out of time, try reading the headlines and bold section descriptions, and then skim the material in between. Another good strategy is to read one out of every five or ten pages. You’ll end up with a disconnected understanding of the material, but at least you’ll have a ten to twenty percent chance of catching details that could be on the exam. Yet another option is to focus on a portion of the readings; read these closely and take notes. You’ll miss some material this way, but a thorough understanding of a portion of it should get you some guaranteed points on the exam. The professor’s lecture slides and your friend’s notes will supplement the material you did not read.
4. Commit yourself to your ideal study environment.
Courtesy of Flickr: Franz St.’s Photostream
By now, you should’ve already spent a significant amount of time studying and compiling information. Now that you have all the pieces required to try to salvage a decent grade, it is time to do your best to ingrain all the information into your head. In order to do so, you are going to need to spend countless hours reading and re-reading the lecture slides, your friend’s notes, and the course readings. Utilize your preferred study techniques, and create your ideal study environment. (See more information from the previous post: Making the Most of How You Learn.) Force yourself to study longer and harder than you typically would, and remind yourself of all the hours you should’ve spent studying throughout the semester.
Utilizing the strategies above should enable you to at least pass the class. If you’re lucky, you could even end up with a decent grade. Hopefully, the experience of cramming a semester’s worth of work into a few weeks has taught you to go to class and learn the information at the pace it is presented.
Having a good relationship with your professor is invaluable. Knowing your professor will not only help you succeed in the classroom, professors can be great resources outside of the classroom and can potentially write you a great recommendation. Let’s face it: a recommendation from an accredited professor is a great addition to any job application.
For many students, one large difference between high school and college is their relationship with their professors. In high school, there are no 300 person lecture halls, and every teacher knows you by name. In college it can seem difficult to establish these relationships with your professors, but really it can be accomplished by following 4 simple rules.
American students are lagging in math and science and trailing countries like Canada, Czech Republic and China, the National Center for Education Statistics concluded in a 2009 report.
The study compared the ability of 15-year-old students with other students from countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in solving real-life mathematical problems. It found that students in the US are below average in math and placed in the bottom quarter of countries that participated and trail nations such as Estonia, China and Finland. More than half of the participating countries outscored U.S. kids.
And it’s not just the young ones—American high school students aren’t grasping basic math concepts as well as their counterparts in leading industrialized nations, according to the Program for International Student Assessment.
There are many theories on why U.S. students lag behind their peers abroad in math, but most critics agree that the education system, their teachers, and their parents can have a profound impact on how well our students do in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The U.S.’s education system has long been criticized for relying on standardized testing, which can teach children how to take a test rather than what is on the test. Coupled with the fact that the U.S. is a more diverse country than most of the nations that participated in the study, and has a large portion of minorities who traditionally score lower on standardized tests, the U.S. was sure not to come out on top.
It started out with a few stacked coffee cups next to his computer…but the stack grew. First into a line along the window frame, then into a very small triangle. With creativity, drive, passion, persistence, and a steady hand, Siddharth Gupta, OpenStudy’s Lead UX Designer, has created a piece of art right in our office. More importantly, he’s created this piece for all of Atlanta to see. If you are on Spring street in the near future, you’ll easily be able to recognize the location of our office within the ATDC just by glancing at the building. Some have already seen the Coffee Cup Christmas Tree or heard of it through friends.
The future of the Coffee Cup Christmas Tree is ominous at best. Each daily addition lessens the stability, and it won’t be long until it can’t stand anymore. Mr. Gupta has recently been quoted as saying, “When it falls, it falls, and then I will begin a new one. All of the cups in this one will go and the process will start over.” Ah, the circle of life.
With our office edifice in limbo everyday, we decided to share with our readers who may not have the luxury of stopping by or passing through Spring Street, OpenStudy’s Coffee Cup Christmas Tree. Enjoy!
The Coffee Cup Christmas Tree in its early days
For most of you, college will be your first time living away from home. You are now responsible for yourself and in a new and unfamiliar environment. Your parents are no longer around to ensure that you are studying. Nobody is going to clean your room for you or do your laundry. Entering as a freshman, you probably know only a few people, if any at all. You’re starting out in an academic environment very different than what you’re used to. Every student will develop his or her own unique approach to the adventure that is freshman year, but the keys to success are to find your niche academically and enjoy yourself socially. Here are just a few things you can do to accomplish both of those goals.
1. Start fulfilling general course requirements immediately.
Courtesy: Flickr Mild Mannered Photographer’s Photostream
Can you imagine college before the Internet? A day when everything was tracked by paper documents; you could not sign up for classes online, and people actually used the card catalogs in the library. Tasks as simple as asking a professor a question were so much more difficult– a quick email could not be sent– office hours and perhaps a phone call to his home phone were the only method for contact. What is the library was the only way to find information? What would life be like without Google?
We live in the Information Age, and technology and unlimited access to information changes our educational experience in every way imaginable. For our generation, it is impossible to imagine conquering daily tasks in college without tools such as the Internet. However, technology is still rapidly changing, exponentially actually, and the resources in the classroom will continue to change drastically as well.
There are three distinct cognitive learning styles: 1) Visual: learning by seeing; 2) Auditory: learning by hearing; and 3) Kinetic: learning by doing. Nearly everyone gravitates towards one of these styles and few are experts at all three. The first step is to discover your preferred learning style. Accomplishing this should be fairly straightforward. Think about a time when you learned a new skill and it became truly ingrained in your mind.
Can you picture the instructor’s hand motions or facial expressions? -Visual
Were you focused mostly on the instructor’s voice? -Auditory
Were you shown an example and then able to successfully demonstrate it yourself? -Kinetic
If you still aren’t sure, here are a few resources to help discover your best learning style. Take a quiz or two, and then keep reading to figure out how to capitalize on your preferred learning style.
Maximizing Visual Learning
Job Title: Customer Development Intern
This position is full time for the Summer. It is a 3 month internship starting in mid-May and ending in mid-August.
Yep, yet another version! We are an educational startup headquartered in Atlanta’s Technology Square. We aim to help students get better grades and study more efficiently by making the world one big study group.
What You Need:
- A love for fast paced startups and technology. Knowledge about the internet is definitely a good thing.
- Writing experience is a major plus—you should have a good command of the English language.
- A decent laptop.
- Research skills.
- An ATLish address (you need to be able to get to 5th street in the morning with no problems).
- Dedication—it’s fun, but it’s definitely work.
- Full-time availability.
- 500 Facebook Friends who have been suggested by you to be Fans of OpenStudy.com on Facebook (www.facebook.com/openstudy) – Yes, we’re not kidding; actually, we are, 50 is the requirement—but the more friends, the higher your resume jumps in the stack. (Don’t be afraid to brag in your email about how many friends you’ve suggested).
What you will learn:
- Find and entice students – in a very nice way – to come use OpenStudy.com.
- Help build our list of awesome people using the product.
- Add to our startup culture with your personality, ideas, and creativity.
Yes, you’ll be getting paid for this; none of that work for free stuff.
Send your resume—and tell us why you’re the best person on earth, or at least in Atlanta, to firstname.lastname@example.org with ATL INTERN in the subject line.
(One well-picked major) x (Four years of math and science courses) = soaring starting salaries.
Math skills set recent grads apart from other majors, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college graduates’ starting salaries. Overall, the average salary offered to recent graduates is down 2 percent from last year, netting student-loan-owing young adults with about $48,351 a year. There are far fewer students graduating with math-based majors compared to their liberal-arts counterparts, which is why the starting salaries for the top five highest-earning college degrees are so high, according to CNN.
How high is high? Here are the top 5:
1. Degree in Petroleum Engineering
Average starting salary: $83,121
Petroleum engineers design and supervise the process of getting oil and natural gas out of the ground and into storage tanks. Most of these engineers work for oil companies, but some are employed by banks that lend money to oil companies while others work for government agencies that regulate oil production. Petroleum engineers across the board command the highest starting salaries among bachelor’s degree holders, according to CNBC. The demand for these skilled workers is expected to increase exponentially as energy issues vie for attention on the political stage, according to CNBC.
Though some schools offer a bachelor’s degree specifically in petroleum engineering, geology, geophysics, mining, or civil or mechanical engineering, plus course work in petroleum engineering, can serve just as well. It’s the best deal for students who don’t want to go into graduate course work—the average annual salary comes in at about $114,000.