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Any college course is hard, but especially a condensed session. At Rutgers, the Winter session is only 14 days long. While a normal semester is usually about 14-15 weeks, this is only 2 weeks. That is a lot less time to get the same amount of work done! Specific to motor learning you have a total of 12 class days to complete 19 chapters and 11 labs. This is a ton of work in such a short amount of time. The class will be a lot to handle as well as super stressful, but if you are able to have some tips in mind before starting it will help you out for sure!

Get all the materials for the class before it starts

Before the class even starts it would be beneficial to get the book  and all necessary materials. For this specific class, a textbook was mandatory. Reaching out to the professor and finding out what is necessary to get to be most prepared is important. Since the class is such a short amount of time if you first order the book when the class starts you may get it in the middle of the session and it will not be as beneficial as if you would have had it the whole time.

Study the information before learning it

The first day of class will not just be a syllabus day. Be prepared to learn information starting the first day. In order to be most prepared, reading ahead in the text book will help a lot. Even taking notes on information that you believe will be taught in the class, or points that are important would be good to keep in mind. Since the class is so short, you will be learning 3-4 chapters each class period. If you get ahead and hear the information taught as a second time, it will be easier to recall and comprehend. Later on when going back and studying the material, it will now be the 3rd time hearing it and will be glued into your brain!

Study after class the material you learned that day

Just as important as studying before the classes are, studying after is equally if not more important. Each class will end and there will have been a lot of information that was taught. If you do not study the information and wait a few days, you can have 8-12 chapters of material to study. This is a lot and becomes very stressful. In order to have less stress look over the notes you had taken in class that day as well as the textbook pages you hopefully have also already previously read.

Finish the labs as they are completed, do not wait till the end

Throughout this class there are 11 labs that take place. There are only 3 days that are dedicated to doing these labs, so there will be a lot of take home work that comes along with the labs. The lab book is due a few days before the final exam, which in a way is helpful so that you are able to focus at the very end on just studying for the final and not also submitting the lab book. Each of the lab has a set of questions that need to be answered and most labs have graphs that need to be made. There is data that needs to be filled out on the actual labs as well as the questions and graphs that need to be made. Staying on top of this is really smart to do. Although the lecture may seem more important, the lab is still 33% of your grade and doing well on this section can really help boost up the final grade.

Ask your professor any question you might have

Any questions at all that you have, you should go to the professor for. Although the class has a lot of information, most class periods end early. The professor is required to stay the whole time even though students may be allowed to leave early. Take advantage of this!!! Stay a few minutes after class and talk to the professor. Showing him that you have questions shows that you have done work outside of class and shows that you care about doing well in the class. If there is every a question about your grade, you will most likely get the benefit of the doubt since you were able to show that you cared about the class.

Overall, winter classes are hard, but especially a class like this that is for a specific major, and is a higher level course. Staying on top of all of the work is extremely important as this can be key to both success and a great grade in the course. While in the course, keep telling yourself that there is not much time left and to just push through it. Having the 3 credits at the end after passing in such a short period of time, allows all the handwork to have paid off.


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Emily Bravman


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