How to study for Astronomy?
Although these tips are addressed to my own students, most of these tips will also apply to students at other schools.
The Learning Center has a three week mini-course specially made for how to take a college-level exam. It is called, ACDV B70D ``Study Skills: Test Taking'' and it usually begins the week before the first astronomy exam. Look in the ``Academic Development'' course listings at the beginning of the semester's schedule of classes. What follows are some universal tips Boultbee and are some of skills you will develop in the class. I have condensed and modified her publication for the students at the community college where I teach. article.
Students who get intensely anxious about exams usually feel that way because they feel they have no control in the exam situation. As a result, they'll blame the instructors, poor questions, difficult material, etc. That negative attitude causes them to lose even more confidence and a downward spiral begins (or continues).
There are ways for the student to take back control. The problem may be lack of preparation (problems with time management, notetaking, studying, etc.-skills learned in other ACDV B70 mini-courses!) or difficulty with exam writing (an inability to read questions systematically, to budget time appropriately, etc.-skills learned in ACDV B70D!).
Although your brain has to do the work on exams, if the rest of the body isn't ready, student performance suffers. It is important to separate symptoms from problems. Is poor concentration causing poor exam preparation which is causing sleepless nights? Or are poor sleeping habits causing concentration difficulties which are causing poor exam preparation? Once the student has determined what the real problem is, they can get on with the business of generating solutions and evaluating them.