Tag Archives: Writing

Tips to Increase Your Final Exam Performance

The end to another academic term is quickly approaching… along with the stress of writing final exams. If you have to write exams and are feeling nervous, overwhelmed, and exhausted from studying, these are some useful tips from examtime to perform at your best on exam day.

The Night Before
You want to have your exam day planned out beforehand so you can focus on remembering the important information you studied.

  • Check the time and location of your exam
  • Set an alarm to wake up early
  • Collect materials you will need to bring to your exam tomorrow
  • Get a full nights rest (8 hours is recommended)

Exam Day
Make sure you start your day off right. If you’re feeling confident and refreshed before you write your exam, chances are you’ll perform better.

  • Wake up early and prepare for your day (taking a shower can help your body wake up)
  • Have a balanced breakfast (try to eat some fruit, for example, a banana)
  • Grab your exam materials (remember to bring your ID, translators, etc. if required/permitted)
  • Leave early (unexpected events happen all the time; you don’t want to be late)

Starting Your Exam
You have prepared for this moment. Focus your mind and get yourself prepared to ace this exam.

  • Write your name on the exam paper and make sure you have all pages of the exam
  • Read through the exam to get an idea of the content and length of each section
  • Plan your time and focus the majority of your time on the heaviest weighted questions
  • Start answering questions you feel most confident about (leave the challenging questions for last)

Finishing Your Exam
You’re almost done! Just a few more questions and you can leave feeling great.

  • Ask for clarification or assistance if you don’t understand a section/question
  • Pay attention to the time and pace yourself
  • Review your work to ensure you answered all questions correctly
  • Stay to the end of your exam period (review your work multiple times to catch silly mistakes)
  • Hand in your exam feeling confident that you did your best work

Congratulations!
You just finished your exam and can now move on with your day and enjoy the rest of the spring/summer!

I hope these tips were helpful and reduced your fear of writing exams. If you still have any concerns, feel free to post them in the comments or contact your institution’s help centre. Best of luck with your exams and the end of your semester!

5 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Academic writing is a challenge for most students entering post-secondary education. In response, most institutions developed their own resources to assist students struggling with academic writing. Still, some students prefer the convenience of online resources. For example, a short 12-minute YouTube video with over 500,000 views, posted by the YouTube account “Learn English with Emma [engVid]”, recommends 5 simple tips to improve academic writing skills.

Emma, an English teacher who primarily works with ESL students, outlines 5 ways to improve academic writing with the use of simple sentences, stronger words, and active voice. Emma’s energetic voice, a white board, and several great examples make this video enjoyable and educational.

After investigating “engVid,” I realized Emma is only one of 8 teachers who have posted a collective 550+ lessons online. I would recommend exploring some of their videos if you are an international student, learning the English language, or would like some comedic relief (I would recommend Ronnie’s videos). Similar to “Khan Academy,” in my post a couple weeks ago, Emma and her colleagues have adapted to the fast-growing technology age.

Be sure to like/comment this post if you enjoyed reading!
Let me know if you have topics you would like to discuss in future blog posts in the comments below.
I would love to hear from you!

Have a great day!

The Importance of Grammar Outside of Academic Writing

Grammar. Its important. So a student needs to prepare for there future!

Did you cringe when reading this introduction? How important is grammar?

An interesting post, “This Is Why Your Resume Was Rejected”, from The Recruiters Lounge, focused on employers and their experiences regarding job applications and candidates. The post lists some interesting reasons as to why employers reject resumes during the application process, with one in particular:

“1 spelling or grammar mistake and your CV (application) will be thrown in the trash can.”

A second post focused more on relating proper grammar to the work place. “Good Grammar Should Be Everyone’s Business” provides a few somewhat surprising facts that clearly support the theory that good grammar leads to professional success. The post states the following:

“Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their profiles achieved                     higher positions.

Fewer grammar errors correlate with more promotions.

Fewer grammar errors associate with frequent job changes.”

Both of these posts argue that proper grammar is extremely important when it comes to professional success. What are your thoughts on these statements? Do you agree or disagree?

Check out the original articles by clicking the links below.

This Is Why Your Resume Was Rejected

Good Grammar Should Be Everyone’s Business

National Punctuation Day: Celebrating the Proper Uses of Punctuation

Today is National Punctuation Day! This unofficial holiday takes place every year on September 24th and has been occurring since it was founded back in 2004 by Jeff Rubin. It’s basically a celebration of the correct and proper uses of the various forms of punctuation including commas, quotation marks, semicolons, and so on. National Punctuation Day’s website provides us with a brief explanation and some examples of how to properly use each form of punctuation. It also encourages everyone to pay close attention to store signs and point out the ones with incorrectly punctuated words.

It seems that nowadays, many people do not pay close attention to the proper uses of punctuation and tend to rely on auto-correct to fix their mistakes for them. Proper punctuation has almost always been skipped over when it comes to social media, and it appears that this causes improper uses to carry over into one’s academic writing. It’s almost as though punctuation doesn’t matter as much now as it has in the past. In your opinion, does punctuation still matter? What punctuation errors bother you the most?

For your enjoyment, here is Mashable’s photo gallery of 16 Unfortunate Misuses of Punctuation.

Check out the National Punctuation Day website here.

Module Update: Co-Op Writing and Grammar Strategies

Module Screen Shot

That’s right! Another update!

The Academic-Zone team just finalized updates to the Co-Op Writing and Grammar Strategies module. Members of our team met with Brock’s Co-Op Program Office to discuss possible updates to the Co-Op module, and there is a good chance there will be even more updates to this module down the road. For this update we focused on the content. We have incorporated more information on effective resume writing and cover letter writing strategies. We have also added full examples, in the form of PDFs, directly in the module for students to use as a reference.

We will be releasing more information on new products and other module updates later this month!

Brock University A-Z Learning Services

Did you know that Academic-Zone is run by A-Z Learning Services at Brock University? Well now you do! Take the opportunity to see what else the A-Z Learning Services team provides to Brock students!

http://brocku.ca/learning-services/faculty-promotion-a-z-learning

This video provides an introduction to the variety of services delivered by the A-Z Learning Services team.

Academic-Zone is one of the many initiatives that Learning Services has put in place at BrockU. But since Academic-Zone operates all online, it can be easily implemented at other institutions. We wanted to make it available to as many students as possible, so we started licencing Academic-Zone externally to institutions across Canada! 

Clumsy Language

I just finished reading an excellent article on improving clumsy language in academic papers. This is blog points out a variety of different strategies to help improve writing- from grammar tips to how to find common errors when revising. If you would like an engaging read on the topic of essay writing, I suggest reading this article.

Literacy in Learning Exchange Report

The National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) and a coalition of 30 education associations and policy organizations released a report on Wednesday April 3, 2013. The report: Remodeling Literacy Learning: Making Room for What Works is “based on a national survey of educators. Among its key findings are that educators at every level and in every subject embrace responsibility for improving student literacy, but that they need time and support for working together to ensure they can successfully teach the complex literacy skills required by the new state standards.”

The results and findings from the NCLE explain how United States educators are currently working together to meet rising literacy expectations and how best to support them going forward. The key findings are explored in more detail in the report; here is what they found:

  1. Literacy is not just the English teacher’s job anymore.
  2. Working together is working smarter.
  3. But schools aren’t structured to facilitate educators working together.
  4. Many of the building blocks for remodeling literacy learning are in place.
  5. Effective collaboration needs systemic support.

Click here for the full report.

Click here for the report inforgraphic

Click here for more information on the National Center for Literacy Education

 

Academic-Zone Online Module Demo

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Click the picture below to check out the online module demo!

Academic-Zone Online Module Demo