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Fall is Officially Here and so are Mid-terms

You might have thought turning the calendar over to September 21st signaled the beginning of fall. For me it was always the first mid-term exam. In a recent tutoring session related to financial accounting, I was trying to help a student get caught up. Whole chapters had not been read and the course relies heavily on the text. So I offered an approach that I hope will help this student get back in the race to the mid-term. If your text book includes an introductory page or two, look for a list of study objectives or a summary of chapter topics. Look at each one and find that topic in the chapter. If there is a summary at the end of the chapter, read that too. Get a grasp of what the chapter is meant to teach you. In other words, if you are behind, go back and get a 30,000 foot view of your course.

The next suggestion might surprise you, but keep in mind we are trying to get caught up. Look at the illustrations. Finance, accounting and economics text can be dense. If you are behind and already stressed, trying to wade through those long paragraphs can be a tough slog...and after any hours of reading and re-reading entirely useless. First learn what the illustrations are trying to tell you.

Next take a look at a few problems or questions at the end. If you are able to answer questions, congratulations. Even just recognizing terms is a signal you have already taken in some of the main concepts just reading the summary and reviewing illustrations.

Now read the chapter from start to finish. The reading will go faster and more of it will resonate with you because you recognize what is relevant as you are going along.

Good luck with your mid-terms!