There is no better time than when midterms roll around to start rethinking your study habits. For students, they were able to get help in this matter by attending “Test for Success,” part of the Academic Programs hosted by the Fairfield Office for Academic Support and Retention on Oct. 26.

This program, which offered First Year Experience Inspire credit, gave students who were worried or found that their approaches to studying weren’t working, helpful methods in order to improve and perform better on tests.

Kristen Kobylenski, assistant director for the Office of Academic Support and Retention, and Caroline Vasquez, of the same office, led the discussion for the seven freshmen in attendance, an unusually low number as most of these programs generally have 20-25 students swipe in.

“Today went very well. It was our first time doing [a] 12:30 [session] to see if we could get a different type of population or different type of student to come to our session, and I think that it was successful in that we were able to help the seven people we had in this session; if we reach just one person, I feel like we made a difference,” said Kobylenski.

Kobylenski and Vasquez first covered the typical excuses that people give when they study, ranging from social excuses, the pressures from other classes and, most detrimental in Kobylenski’s opinion, the Internet and cell phone.

Once excuses were aired and picked apart, Kobylenski and Vasquez talked to the students about taking preventive measures when one realizes they are struggling with a concept. These included reading the textbook during the time the material is being discussed in class instead of the night before, meeting with your professor to discuss troublesome topics and avoiding cram sessions.

Additionally, they commented on how the area and posture one has when they study affects the retention of information. For example, they suggested that when studying, one should be in an area that is similar to the environment to the one that he/she is going to be taking the exam and to avoid lying in bed.  

The main focus of Kobylenski and Vasquez’s presentation was a five-day study plan. It revolves around have three 20-30 minute intervals, with a five to 10 minute break between each session, and scheduling a specific type of review for that day.  

Freshman Alessandra Chieffo commented that she “really liked learning about the five day plan.” “[It was] a more specific way to help prepare for the test so I can feel more confident when I go in.”

Kobylenski and Vasquez reminded students that there are plenty of other resources on campus that can be utilized by students of any year. The Writing Center, Math Center and the accounting and economics departments offer tutoring; additionally, the Office of Academic Support and Retention is always open and willing to assist students.  

While there were a small number of people in attendance for this session, those that went left feeling more confident and prepared for exams. Freshman Antonio Myers said, “I think it was very productive. There’s going to be a lot of things I’m going to change about my study habits right now and enforce these new study habits.”

If you are interested in learning more about the five-day study plan, contact Kobylenski or Vasquez in the Office of Academic Support and Retention. The next session, hosted jointly by the Office of Academic Support and Retention and the Fairfield Career Planning Center, is “No Major, No Problem” and will be on Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. in BCC 200. The event offers an FYE Thrive credit and further information, including registration, can be found on OrgSync.

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