Are you afraid of speaking in front of a group? The fear of speaking in public is shared by people of all ages and people from all walks of life.
This fear affects different people in different ways. Some people are afraid of speaking to large groups but comfortable speaking to a small audience, and some people get over the fear of public speaking after they gain a little experience.
There are ways to conquer your fears, especially if you prepare well ahead of your event. You might find a trick that works for you in this list of resources.
- Tips for acting in a skit or play.
- Giving an impromptu speech.
- Acing an interview.
- Public speaking tips from readers.
What is the first thing you do when you receive a test? Many students will spend a few minutes glancing over the entire exam to do a quick assessment of the length of the test and the types of questions they'll have to answer. This is a good idea as a first step, but you should take your assessment a step further.
During that first look, take another moment to do some time management. If there is any chance you won't be able to finish the entire exam (and therefore miss a lot of questions) quickly divide the test into sections and determine how much time you will have to finish each section. Stick to your time management plan and finish all parts in the pre-set time limit. If you have time left over after you've completed all sections, you can go back and check your work.
You may also use the first minutes of your test time to do a mind dump if you've spent the night cramming. You should be able to predict a few questions in the last moments of study time and store answers in your short term memory. Then you can use the first minutes of a test to mind dump some answers to questions you've predicted.
Believe it or not, failure to follow directions properly is one of the most common mistakes students make on big tests.
As you get closer to the end of the term, you should be mindful to read over all the instructions carefully to make sure you understand what the teacher really wants from you. For a little practice, you might want to review a list of instruction words to make sure you understand how to answer each question.
Math seems to be the one subject that intimidates students the most, and many students feel they were just born with limited potential when it comes to math. But some scientists say that the notion that we're stuck with a certain level of math ability, or intelligence in general, is just a myth.
While it is true that some people really are born with impressive math ability, it is also true that many other students can increase math skills with hard work and practice. The greatest challenge, psychologists say, is believing we can.
So there are two belief systems:
- some people think we're born with a set amount of intelligence and we're stuck with it
- some people think we can increase our intelligence (and math ability) with confidence, good study habits, and hard work
Maybe it's time you changed the way you think about your intelligence. Believe in yourself and improve your study habits, and see how far you can go!
For many students, the most intimidating part of a research project is formatting the in-text citations and bibliography. There are just so many precise rules to follow! These students may be glad to know that there are programs available to take care of the formatting.
These programs vary in scope and ability, and they go by several names, to include citation management or research paper management programs. Some of the most popular incude:
While many of the research management programs are available as free downloads, you may not need to bother with them; you may have a good system built into your own word processor. Microsoft Word has a Reference tab that opens to a complete source management menu.
Using the tools in this source manager, you can insert properly formatted in-text citations and generate a formatted bibliography with a few clicks.
Is there one grammar mistake that trips you up every time? It seems that most people have one grammar mix-up that they just can't get right without looking up the rules.
Do you know the difference between effect and affect, for example? Do you know when to use who and whom in a sentence? These are two of the most common mix-ups that create confusion. And you can't count on grammar checkers to find many of the most nagging grammar problems.
What's the goof that gets you every time? (Choose as many as you want.)
Need more tips? Try these:
Many students groan and grumble when they are asked to write a story about themselves. After all, who wants to read an essay about an ordinary kid? Right?
Wrong! Students who believe they have nothing interesting to write about just haven't tried hard enough. Everyone has a good story to tell. It might be funny, or it might be sad, but it will certainly be interesting if you take the time to tell it well.
If you're having trouble coming up with a topic for your personal narrative, read over this list and see if it stirs up some chuckles or sighs. If so, you have a topic.
- Have you been in trouble for something you didn't do?
- When have you laughed until your stomach hurt?
- Have you kept a secret to avoid hurting someone's feelings?
- Did you ever get so scared that your legs wobbled and felt numb?
- Was there ever a moment when you couldn't believe what your eyes were seeing?
- Have you ever been lost and afraid?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- What was the weirdest thing you ever did or witnessed?
- Have you been caught in the act?
- Did you ever have a secret hiding place or a secret friend?
- Was there ever a time that you narrowly escaped a disaster?
I'll bet this list conjured up some interesting tales from your life! Everyone has an interesting experience to share, so relax. You just have to write it down and turn it in.
Do you have a job?
Studies show that many students enter the workforce early in their teen years, as early as the law allows, and those students are at the very age when they need to be building an academic record for college. I don't like to see homework time eaten up by a part-time job, but I know that some students have no choice.
There is no question that some students have to work; they are doing what they can to support their families and help their parents.
For students who have to work, time management skills are critical. I hope these tips will help you meet your immediate obligations and reach your long term goals, as well.
- Be very faithful to your student planner. Plan out every minute of your day, including time for homework, but also time for "time wasters" like games and Facebook. Your brain needs downtime, after all. And you deserve it. But stick to your plan!
- Be wise about your courses. Don't take on AP courses if you don't have time to commit to this extra challenge. That could do more harm than good.
- Consider early morning for homework time. If you are a normal teen, you may not have ever considered 5:00 a.m. as a productive time of day, but you could be surprised! Some people do their best work early in the morning.
- If you must have a job, try to find a job that will sound good on a resume. Use your job as a step toward a career. If you work in a restaurant, ask a manager if you can help with a resume-building skill, like ordering supplies or leading a shift. You could also use your job as a way to network with people who can provide reference letters and career connections later in life.
- Communicate with parents and teachers. If you are juggling many obligations and having a tough time keeping up with everything, please let people know! Don't assume your parents know this, and don't assume your teacher won't care. Meet face to face or send an impressive email and explain yourself if you're feeling overwhelmed. It can't hurt!
Finally, be honest with yourself and consider whether you really have to work. If you're really working to earn money to pay a smartphone bill or buy a great handbag - it might be time for a reality check.
If you determine that really do have to work just to make ends meet and to help your family, then be sure to give yourself credit for being a responsible and awesome person. Reward yourself without reservation, because you deserve the credit!
This exercise can shed light on many issues that might have perplexed you. For example, an introvert may have a much easier time sitting down and writing an analysis essay. An extrovert will have an easier time working in groups and speaking in class.
Take time to explore your personality with a few free tests (found easily online) and read over some tips about the link between personality and study habits. This exercise could lead to a better understanding of your perceived strengths and weaknesses.
Many students think that reading an assigned chapter before class is a waste of time because (they believe) the teacher covers all the important points in a lecture. But this is a risky strategy, because there are several good reasons to read before class.
Even if the teacher plans to cover the most important points in a lecture, the teacher could leave something out by mistake. And you can bet that material will still be on the test!
But more importantly, teachers assign those readings for a reason. You should prepare for every lecture with an idea of what will be covered, because you need to have a basic foundation and framework in your head in order to understand many of the concepts and examples.
Students who go to a lecture unprepared will miss important points because they don't know how they fit into the bigger picture.
And always remember: if it's in the textbook, it could be on the test!