Academic Success Resources

Navigating the Mechanical Engineering curriculum can be challenging Each of you have a variety of things going on in your life that can make it difficult to make time to study, take notes, or manage your time – these resources are here to help!

Semester at a Glance

The whole semester on one sheet of paper. We recommend that you utilize this resource as a planner for big things happening throughout the semester. Fill this out with all your exams, assignments, and big projects and put it in a place where you will see it all the time. We print these every semester and have them available in the Academic Advising Center in the Kennecott Building (MEK 1550).

Weekly Time Tracker

Try tracking how you spend your time each week. Write down everything you do each hour to see where your time is going. Once you have completed a week of tracking your time – set goals the second week to improve the amount of time you are studying. This may look like adjusting the time you’re studying, reducing the time you are watching tv, adding breaks to long time blocks of studying, or structuring your weekends. 

Weekly Task Sheet

This resource is good use if you aren’t sure if you’ll have time for everything and help you prioritize the most important tasks. Use this to track all your assignments and then estimate how long each will take. Once you have all your tasks and estimate how long they will take then you can utilize the Weekly Time Tracker to schedule in the time you need for your studies. 

ABC To-Do List

If you are struggling with prioritization this is a great resource to try out. Start each morning with a plan of what you need to get done, things that would be nice if you got done and what can wait for another day. This will help you keep track of what needs to be done while completing the most important tasks first.

5 Day Study Plan

How many days before an exam are you starting to study? Maybe a day or 2? We recommend trying out the 5 day study plan to extend the amount of time that you are studying before an exam. This will allow you the time to make sure you understand the material, can ask questions, and receive tutoring to ensure you are going to be successful on your exam. Separate out the exam content into 4 parts, preparation and review, and then assign each of those to a day. 

Self Assessment

This self assessment is a great way to see what else you can be doing to prepare for an exam.  Be honest with yourself as you answer these questions and then start to think of ways you can add new strategies to your study routine. 

Analyzing Returned Tests

One of the best ways to prepare for an upcoming exam is to look at what happened during your last exam. Take a previous exam and look at all the problems you missed or received partial credit. Use this worksheet to take inventory of why you missed those questions. Now think about how you will improve on your next exam.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a tool you can use to prepare for what questions will be asked on your exam. Bloom’s has multiple levels of understanding. As you go up the pyramid – the levels of understanding become more complex. First you’ll want to identify what level of understanding you think your class is asking you to be at. Then check out what types of questions are typically asked at that level of understanding. This can help make sure that you are studying the material in a way that will help you be successful. Then you can also try out the different individual and group study strategies.

Cornell Note Taking

Cornell Note Taking Method is a great way to start actively taking notes. Whether you take notes on your computer, on paper, or on a tablet you can utilize the note taking steps that Cornell Note Taking Methods recommends. After taking notes on what the instructor is saying, utilize the recall column to actively think through the notes you are taking. After class, read through your notes and write a summary of what you learned to help you remember. You may not use all of this method but try it out and see what works for you!

Reading – THIEVES Strategy

THIEVES is a great strategy to help you read your textbook. It is crucial for you to start reading your textbook and reviewing it quickly to ensure you are prepared for class. For each chapter or section of your textbook, utilize THIEVES to give you an idea of what will be talked about in class or a quick reminder about what was talked about in the previous class. Try using this method for one class for one week. Did you notice a difference?