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To the First Year’s Who Aren’t Sure They Made the Right Decision

It’s been almost a month since classes started, summer has come to an end and the mid-term period is upon us. As a first year student, this was about the time of the term where I started to ask myself questions: Did I take the right courses for my degree? Will I enjoy them? Will I do well in them? What if this is not what I want to do at all? While some students know exactly what classes they want to be in and what career path they want to take, for many others, it is not as clear cut.

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Midterm is coming: what about the semesters in our lives?

Copyright: Calvin and Hobbes

It is just one month after school starts, but due to the tri-semester system at McGill, we already start to write our first midterms. Usually with only four to six weeks of stuff in our brain, it seems easy to handle, but due to the joy of the first three weeks (aka housewarming parties, reunions with friends, holiday-lag from summer), our machinery has not been tuned to its optimum.  (more…)

7 More Tips to Succeed in Your First Year

As a first-year student, you get a lot of advice on how to manage the start of this new chapter of your life. From student handbooks to online resources, many places offer tips and tricks that you can carry on with you throughout your studies and later in life. Things like ‘don’t procrastinate’, ‘eat well’, and ‘get involved on campus’ often make up part of the list of things you can do to both enjoy your university years and be successful, but there’s more!

Here are seven more ways to do well during your first year (and beyond!):

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The Age of Technology

Technology is incredibly convenient in many different ways. It provides an efficient method of long-distance communication, it allows for widespread access to information, and it’s a cool place to share our selfies. But as amazing as technology is, it also can be extremely distracting. Maybe not everyone feels this way, but I know firsthand that technology can be an impediment to productivity. I don’t think I could ever accurately claim that I’ve found a solution to that, but over the last few years I’ve learned some ways to manage technology-related distractions. (more…)

Taking a Summer Class in Montreal

Although the thought of summer break approaching can be the only thing carrying you through winter finals, taking a summer class in Montreal can be a great experience. With its own benefits and drawbacks, taking a class in the summer can be a widely different experience from regular scheduled classes. Here’s what I took away from my first summer class at McGill.

 

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How My Studying Strategies Have Changed Over the Years

In the past 3 years at McGill University, I have changed my studying strategies. In my first year, I wrote all my notes on paper during class and used the textbook, but did not take advantage of the lecture recordings. My first year classes such as calculus, chemistry, and physics required a lot of doing problems from the textbook. If I missed something while the professor was lecturing, it wasn’t such a big deal. Rarely, I would use the lecture recordings (not rewatch the whole thing) to take a quick look at what I missed if it was important. The only class which was more memorization based was psychology. I would retype my psychology notes I wrote in class and then supplement what I missed with notes from the textbook. My first year worked out pretty well.

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From Your Friendly Neighborhood Work Study

workstudyLittle known fact, McGill gives the most financial aid to students in Canada (so says MacLeans University reviews).

If you’re receiving any kind of government aid, such as OSAP, you’re likely eligible for the Work Study program. And even then, you can apply for McGill Financial Aid.

This is just a friendly reminder that WORK STUDY application is OPEN on the Financial Aid area of your Minerva.

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Beating the Curve: Academics

beat-the-forgetting-curve-5-728So there is this curve that students should concern themselves with. No, it’s not the grading curve, although that is a good kind of curve. I am talking about the forgetting curve.

It is really annoying when you forget something you know you have seen before, but the details are just out of reach. Here are some things I learned while learning about remembering.

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Prep-Course Review: GRE

GREWelcome to the last installment of my prep course review series. If you’ve been following my blog in recent months, you know that I’ve already compared prep courses for the MCAT, GMAT and LSAT. Last but not least, we have the Graduate Record Exam, or the GRE. In all honesty, I had never heard of the GRE until a few months ago, which is surprising considering it’s required by most graduate programs in the US and in Canada. With a little more investigation, Magoosh- a prep course company I had yet to come across in this entire series, and Kaplan- a series regular, seemed to be the most highly recommended.

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Prep-Course Review: LSAT

LSATWhen it comes to LSAT prep, the reviews of different companies and courses seem to be mixed. Even after scouring a number of different blogs and forums, I wasn’t able to identify any clear front runners. That being said, Kaplan and TestMasters were two of the most frequently mentioned.

Kaplan’s most popular LSAT course is their in-person course, which starts at $1,399. It’s taught in seven 4-hour sessions of comprehensive instruction and three full-length in-class proctored practice tests. In addition to the in-class sessions, the course also offers access to Kaplan’s LSAT Channel, which is an online resource providing hundreds of hours of live workshops.

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