Biology Major

Male student with ADD, auditory memory difficulty and a reading disability (3.625 GPA in senior year).  

  • Needs to ask lots of clarifying questions
  • Likes courses with study guides (like Gen. Bio. and Intro. to Psych.)
  • He takes a low load of classes each semester (12 to 14) and picks up some extra transfer credit in May term or summer.
  • Relies on good reworked notes and asking questions.

Biology (his major)

  • Tape records lecture while taking rough notes. 
  • After each lecture listens to tape and takes a new set of notes, looking at his rough notes as a guide (this takes 2 to 3 hours). 
  • He thus has 3 to 4 hours of exposure to each 1 hour lecture, and he is listening, reading, and writing during this time. 
  • Notes are very detailed.

One or 2 weeks before the test:

  • He begins rereading notes and he highlights the main points and a few (short) key points. 
  • Then he summarizes his notes (condensing 50 pages to 6 to 10 pages); he always cross-references the summary to the actual note page. 

Three or four days before the test:

  • He reviews his note summary.

Non-Major Classes

  • Takes fairly complete notes in class while tape-recording.
  • If he misses a point, he records the number on his tape-counter and leaves a few spaces.
  • He rewinds the tape later to the spots he missed and listens to them taking notes.
  • He compared notes with a classmate for clarification (always selecting good students).

Physics (B+) 

  • He prayed. 
  • All students received a typed summary of each lesson from prof. with assignments for the topic (reading & homework). 
  • When he read the assignments he wrote all equations (major ones) on a study sheet. 
  • He referred to these sheets to do the problems: he looked for an equation with the “letters” (variables) his problems required and tried that. 
  • He went over all his homework assignments with a tutor after attempting it himself.  The tutor explained how the formulas applied to situations different than the problem.

Intro to Visual Arts (A)  

  • An opinion class (so you must have opinions). 
  •  He couldn’t take notes as the class was too discussion oriented. 
  • Photocopied notes of another student and rewrote them in his own handwriting.

Western Civilization (Airhart C+)

  • Studies with a friend.
  • Had tutors help him.
  • Drilled information into his head. 
  • Took extensive notes of all reading. 
  • Did not excel as teacher wanted more than learning the material thoroughly.