Loyola University Chicago

Academic Advising

Getting Back on Track this Semester!

So you've received one or more academic alerts? First and Second Year Advising is here to help! Click on a link below for Spring semester resources!

Find out about the last day to drop by clicking here

Active Learning

Test Yourself!
Look at the study methods listed below. Test yourself by seeing which of these learning methods you currently use:

1.   You write summaries in your own words of text or notes
2.   You write questions to summarize notes or text
3.   You make up notecards to summarize notes or text
4.   You develop charts to organize material
5.   You construct possible quiz and test questions
6.   You recite out loud
7.   You teach the material to someone else
8.   You write in the margins of your texts
9.   You read quietly
10. You listen to tapes of a lecture
11. You reread lecture/notes or a textbook chapter
12. You recopy lecture notes
13. You read someone else's lecture notes

Can you believe it?
The first eight methods listed above are known as ACTIVE LEARNING methods. They engage you in an active way with the material you need to know and help you retain it for later use. If you currently use these eight methods, keep up the good work!

Methods nine through thirteen are PASSIVE LEARNING methods. If you use these alone, you will be less likely to learn and retain the material you are working on.

Good News!
Passive learning methods can easily be converted into active learning methods!


Reading notes or textbook quietly Prepare summary questions
Rereading notes before exam Quiz yourself from prepared questions
Rereading text before exam Annotate in margins to summarize main ideas
Memorizing definitions Recite out loud a sentence using term in context
Recopying notes Annotate from text & write questions to summarize notes
Reading someone else's notes Prepare outline from text and talk to instructor

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Coping and Stress Management


Exercise You don't have to be a professional athlete to use exercise successfully in handling stress. Any physical activity helps, from strenuous sports to simply walking around the block. Exercise releases tension and increases stamina.
Talk to Others Stress can be controlled by discussing your feelings and fears with others. Counselors, teachers, and fellow students can react to your comments and offer suggestions and advice.
Visualize Success Picture yourself calmly walking into class and sitting down. Imagine yourself listening carefully to verbal instructions. Watch yourself take the test, cool and confident. See yourself thinking and accurately recalling the necessary information. Watch yourself complete the test and turn it in. Picture yourself leaving the room, satisfied with your performance.
Relax Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Picture yourself in some place where you felt relaxed in the past. Breathe deeply, hold for one count, and exhale. Flex and relax your toes, feet, ankles, legs, and so on. Let your thoughts drift. Allow them to come and go freely. Remain calm and quiet. If possible, stay this way for at least twenty minutes. Open your eyes and savor the feeling of relaxation.
Use Self-Talk Trying to rid yourself of test anxiety is one of those times when talking to yourself makes sense. It involves stopping negative thoughts by repeating positive positive statements to yourself. When you are preparing for the exam, say something like, "I can learn this information. Worrying won't help me, so I'm going to stop worrying now and get back to studying." After the exam, use positive self-talk again: "Good job! I tried every question and it wasn't as bad as I had feared. When I control my imagination, I control my fear."


Pause and Breathe Deeply Ease tension by taking a brief break. Turn your test over. Close your eyes and inhale slowly. As you inhale, say "calm" in your mind. Then, as you slowly exhale, say "down." Repeat this until you feel calmer.
Answer a Question You Know This gives you confidence in your knowledge, and confidence reduces stress.
Use Self-Talk Face each question by saying, "I can meet this challenge one question at a time. I can complete this test. I can answer this question." Avoid feeling panicked by telling yourself to stay focused. Ask yourself, "What does this question ask of me?"

Stress Busters (Simple exercises to enhance circulation, reduce muscle tension, increase oxygen flow, and improve focus and concentration.)


Deep Breaths Take 2-4 deep breaths through your nose. Hold for several seconds and blow out through your mouth with a gentle hiss.
Head Rolls Drop you head forward and let it hang. Slowly roll to the right and then to the left, making several circles in both directions.
Reach for the Sky Stretch your arms up to the sky. Raise up on your tiptoes. Reach with the right arm and them the left.
Touch Toes Bend over and gently swing down to touch your toes. (Try alternating this exercise with the Reach for the Sky exercise several times in a row.)
Shoulder Rolls Relax your shoulders, let them hang loose. Slowly rotate first the right then the left (both forward and backward circles).
Shake Relax, drop your arms to the side, and shake all over. Imagine that you are shaking all of the stress out of your body.


Deep Breaths Take 2-4 deep breaths through your nose. Hold for several seconds and blow out through your mouth with a gentle hiss.
Head Rolls Drop you head forward and let it hang. Slowly roll to the right and then to the left, making several circles in both directions.
Shoulder Rolls Relax your shoulders, let them hang loose. Slowly rotate first the right then the left (both forward and backward circles).
Massage Face Start in center of forehead with both hands. Work out to temples, then around eyes to bridge of nose. Repeat several times.
Rowing Sit with feet flat on floor. First reach down and touch your toes, then straighten up, moving your arms as if you were rowing a boat. Hold your arms at shoulder length and arch your back. Inhales as you pull up, and exhale as you bend forward. Repeat several times.
Stretch Sit up straight with your stomach pulled in. Clasp your hands together and place on your head. Breathe in as you reach up and breathe out as you put your hands back on your head. Repeat several times.
Touch Toes Sit at the edge of your chair. Stretch your legs out straight in front of you. Gently bend down to touch your toes - hold - then sit up. Repeat several times.
Shrugging Sit back in your chair. let your arms hang loosely to the side. Straighten your back. Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold and release. Relax completely. Repeat several times - then sit quietly, feeling limp and relaxed for a time before returning to your work.

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Exam Prep Without Cramming

Plan a Study Schedule This should help you systematically prepare. Set realistic grade objectives for each exam and prioritize your workload. A week's preparation would be ideal; two to three days would be cramming, especially if you haven't studied on a daily basis.
Decide which Topics to Cover If your exam is cumulative, then focus on the unfamiliar material first before reviewing the familiar. If you do not know how much the exam will cover, ask your professor; the more information you gain, the more confident you will feel. Be sure you use active learning methods.
Correlate Lecture Notes with Textbook Readings Process lecture notes making one summary sheet for each major unit covered, summarizing the information in your own words. Fill in necessary supporting details from your textbook. These summary sheets, one for each major unit, will be the basis for your final review.
Predict Questions Based upon your summary sheet, predict possible exam questions. Compare and contrast relationships, diagram processes, and write out essays. Apply problems given new conditions. Work problems other than those covered in your homework.
Relax, Think Positive, & Get Some Sleep Pulling all-nighters do more harm than good. Get to the exam room with plenty of time to spare. Don't study your notes until the last minute, and avoid groups of students quizzing each other right before the exam. Their nervous behavior can undermine your confidence.

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Time Management

There are 168 hours in a week, but you never seem to have enough time, right? Check out this helpful Time Management Tool (PDF) created by the Loyola University Learning Specialists, to see where your time is going and how much time it will really take to succeed this semester in your classes!

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First and Second Year Advising hosts multiple workshops each week to meet your academic success needs. Check out the Academic Success Strategies workshop page to learn about the workshops offered and register for one this week.

Learn ways to turn this semester around to get the best results possible! Topics will include: time management, procrastination, available resources, active study strategies, and accurate appraisal of current status. Let First and Second Year Advising help you "Get Back on Track this Semester!"

You can contact First and Second Year Advising about these workshops at 773-508-7714 or by emailing them at fsyadvising@luc.edu.


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