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Discussion Starter #1
"Not interested in abstract theories; want learning to have direct and immediate application."

How do you cope with learning abstract theories in courses such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry, mathematics, etc.?

I am in college and finding it difficult to find ways to learn, especially because I can't absorb anything from my lectures and have no way, I can think of, to make some of this material hands on for the learning process.

Does anyone have any tips for learning science and math?

How do you like to memorize information, especially when it is something you have never seen before, like a molecule?

Have you found a way to make your lectures more effective?


 

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MOTM July 2010
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I actually love math, it's fun. I'm also quite good at chemistry, although I hate biology due to things and names that need to memorize. I hate subjects that need memorization, since I prefer to learn the concept and the big picture instead of memorizing trivial things.

When I have to memorize things, I have three ways that I find useful.

First, I try to understand the concept. "What's the point of studying this subject? What's the use? Why is this so important? Why is it set this way?"

Second, I collect test questions and quizzes and study by answering the questions. Memorizing will be a lot easier when you understand the question and write the answer. Plus, you can also understand the type of questions that will be asked during the test, so you can focus on your study toward these types of questions. Practice makes perfect.

Third, group study with classmates. Sometimes your classmates can explain the subject better than your professors.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I actually love math, it's fun. I'm also quite good at chemistry, although I hate biology due to things and names that need to memorize. I hate subjects that need memorization, since I prefer to learn the concept and the big picture instead of memorizing trivial things.

When I have to memorize things, I have three ways that I find useful.

First, I try to understand the concept. "What's the point of studying this subject? What's the use? Why is this so important? Why is it set this way?"

Second, I collect test questions and quizzes and study by answering the questions. Memorizing will be a lot easier when you understand the question and write the answer. Plus, you can also understand the type of questions that will be asked during the test, so you can focus on your study toward these types of questions. Practice makes perfect.

Third, group study with classmates. Sometimes your classmates can explain the subject better than your professors.

I actually really like those subjects too, I just have a difficult time absorbing the information.

I really like the thought of making it useful. Do you try to see how it will be useful to you personally in the future or to society in general?


When I take notes in lecture, it makes it hard for me to actively listen when I am trying to keep up with writing and some lectures don't give notes so I have to copy them down. Do you have any suggestions for that or do you just go over the lecture on your own after class?

When you study with groups, what format do you use? Do you all just do the homework and ask questions of one another when you need to? How do you go about getting people together for a group?
 

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I actually really like those subjects too, I just have a difficult time absorbing the information.

I really like the thought of making it useful. Do you try to see how it will be useful to you personally in the future or to society in general?




When I take notes in lecture, but it makes it hard for me to actively listen when I am trying to keep up and some lectures don't give notes so I have to copy them down. Do you have any suggestions for that or do you just go over the lecture on your own after class?

When you study with groups, what format do you use? Do you all just do the homework and ask questions of one another when you need to? How do you go about getting people together for a group?
I've found asking the professor the basis and application very helpful. It was wonderful for calculus. Some subjects the application was readily apparent, but others really needed this real world basis. I now lecture with the application and the information.

How to keep up? Will they allow you to record them? Also, try to take information on the "this is important" scale. Each lecturer has a "tell" for what's truly important. There are some rare ones that it seems like every "the" they say is important, so it's difficult. I would really recommend asking someone who took the class previously or the professor how you would know.

Although you asked WickedQueen, I figured I'd add my perspective on group studying. I've only found it beneficial when I've already studied before hand and am able to discuss things more in depth or bounce off my questions on them. I tend to pick a knowledgable group that has the same work ethic as I do. I read people's strengths. I avoid the feeders.

Molecules have reason on why they work. memorize their reactions and the complexities can be simplified. covalent vs polar bonds, electron clouds, charge, and the periodic table are good things to learn to utilize
 
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Truth be told ,I never learn much from classroom lectures ,I make important shorthand notes ,then rest of the study is dependent on my self study ,because I like discovering my own methods of knowing ,understanding and learning about concepts and theories .I also like to discussing about topics that are a bit hard for me to grasp ,with other intelligent students of my class ,and also sharing some insight about what different methods and formula modification can be used for solving a question in its easiest way .

My advice is ;
1. Self study is a must ,you can make short notes of important points about a topic for learning it easily.Discuss your notes and theories with other students who are good at those topics for more clear understanding .
2. For memorizing a concept compare the theory with some real life example or application like the salt we take in our day to life whose one molecule, consists of one atom of sodium and one of chlorine. Discover your own methods for understanding these concepts.
3. Don't get distracted while studying because concentration is a must need for memorizing and learning .
4.And most importantly start with easy topics ,then take difficult one that way your interest and will to learn that topic will increase.
Science and mathematics are two most fun and intriguing subjects ,the more we learn about them ,the more we find them interesting and easy to learn, more easy than learning and understanding literature or grammar :tongue:.
 

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MOTM July 2010
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I really like the thought of making it useful. Do you try to see how it will be useful to you personally in the future or to society in general?
Haha, not that far, though. :D
I usually try to see how one concept connects with other concepts. I see a concept or theory like a small component. Each component has different function and purpose, and if you understand the function, you can put some components together to build a machine, the bigger concept. So, its like breaking down a machine to figure out the function of each component. I ask myself, why is this important? How is this connects with that? etc.

I think this is an introverted sensing (Si) style. We learn the small concepts and then gradually climb up to see the bigger picture and the overall concept. The advantage of this learning style, is that we are not stuck on one big picture. Since we learn the small concepts first, we are able to adjust the organization of the small concepts and even create other variety of big pictures. This micromanagement style of Si, ironically, gives us more flexibility in terms of perspective and creativity.



When I take notes in lecture, it makes it hard for me to actively listen when I am trying to keep up with writing and some lectures don't give notes so I have to copy them down. Do you have any suggestions for that or do you just go over the lecture on your own after class?
I usually only scratching my notes with some ideas while listening to the professor, and then I target the other students who have made careful notes of the course. I borrow his/her notes and copy it. Therefore, I didn't missed anything. :p

Bring a recorder could work too, so you can concentrate on making notes while recording.



When you study with groups, what format do you use? Do you all just do the homework and ask questions of one another when you need to? How do you go about getting people together for a group?
I usually have a study group with my classmates during exam season. As I said before, I collect test questions and quizzes, usually from my seniors. If there's some questions that I do not understand, I ask my other classmates and have a discussion about it. We also ask each other using the test questions and quizzes.

I have few friends who need the study group to learn, because they don't like reading books. So they will ask few friends to explain it to them, and then they discuss about it, and I took advantage from listening the discussion too. :p
 
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