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Biology Study Success

     Taking a college course is an investment. Deciding to start college is like starting a garden that requires daily attention. You have to water plants, get rid of weeds, manage pests and harvest fruits. When you decide on college you have agreed to apply for a job. Do not go to college if you are not ready to start another job -It’s that simple! If you already work for another employer when you start college now you have 2 employers. You are now your second employer because you now are working for yourself; you are investing in yourself. College means you have a daily work schedule. Each individual college course requires a daily clock-in and clock-out in addition to class meeting time. That job starts at the beginning of your semester.
     The steps below outline good habits in managing yourself as an employee for this investment. Your pay for this job is directly proportional to your performance. College is a commission-based job. If you follow these habits and work hard,  you receive the maximum payment for your work (term letter grade A). If you are lazy, procrastinate, or focus on meaningless distractions, then you will receive very little to nothing for your work and your investment was a waste of time and money.

1. Get Organized. Plan and schedule your study time. Don’t make excuses and don’t walk away.

2. Take notes. Taking notes is essential! Whenever material is being presented in person or online prepare to take notes. Make sure you have a pencil and notebook and write an outline of the topics presented. Stay actively engaged during the presentation.

3. Don't multitask. Trying to work on a poster presentation for one class while you are studying for another with the television and radio playing is not a model for academic success.

4. Divide it up. Studying is difficult and never easy at the beginning. Stop the study marathon habit of cramming information one or two days before an exam. Dividing your study workload into daily manageable chunks will prove more effective. The manageable chunks must start when the material is first presented.

5. Study. There’s a right and a wrong way to study. Review your material daily in small chunks and in different manners (for example, write flashcards, make your own practice tests with the questions provided in your manual or text. Invite a study group over, draw test results out and make tables in your note book). Use color pencils.

6. Repetition, follow a schedule. Do you work better right after school or after you've eaten dinner? Are you more productive in 90-minute blocks or half-hour spurts? Find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. (Example: Every evening 8:30-9:00PM I will make flash cards. Every morning 6:30-7:00AM I will study my flash cards).

7. Manage your study space. Find a place that will maximize your productivity. Stay away from televisions, put your cell phone in another room and walk away! Use a quiet place where you are comfortable and productive.

8. Find a study group. Sitting down with a group of people who are learning the same material can be helpful. Quiz each other and re-teach the material to each other. Teaching someone else is the best way to learn.

9. Ask questions. Asking for help directly from the instructor from the beginning. Do not trust all the material you may find on the internet. When using online references check the source of the information.

10. Sleep. Don't underestimate the importance of sleep! Getting a good night's rest will sharpen your focus and improve your working memory. Schedule your sleep as you schedule your work.



 -John M. Clauson M.S.
Microbiology Laboratory Coordinator/ Instructor

Helpful Apps

spotify app pic- study music if you like a little background noise but no distractions.


 calm app pic- sleep stories to relaxing sounds for cultivating a great night sleep.


monday app pic- fully customizable app for tracking class requirements, grades, cross-departmental projects or extracurricular activities.


app pic of weather app - keep a check on weather for planning study events, walks to class, breaks, or exercise.


app pic for iwku - Monitor lab traffic for computer availability, check grades, find faculty and staff contact info, check dining info, socials schedules, and more




*note these are not endorsed in anyway by WKU or the Biology Dept. We are simply giving suggestions.

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 Last Modified 9/9/22