Apply Critical Thinking Skills During Final Exams

critical thnking image

As we enter the final exam season, it is important to remember as you study to apply critical thinking to study strategies for you upcoming exams.  Finals do not just test your ability to memorize facts, many of them will be assessing your ability to reason an apply the knowledge you have gained over the semester (an in previous classes).  So it is important to demonstrate that you have mastered the thought process, concepts, problem-solving, deductions, inferences, etc., that you have learned.

According to John Chaffee, “To do well on an exam, you need to define the problem (what areas will the exam cover, and what will be the format?), identify and evaluate various alternatives (what are possible study approaches?), and then pull all these factors together to reach a solution (what will be your study plan and schedule?)” (Chaffee, 106).

You should not be surprised on you exams because the material will come from things covered in lectures, discussed in class, or were in the assigned readings.  Using critical thinking skills during exams involves taking the content you learned in class, synthesizing it to the questions being asked on the exams, and then using critical thinking to evaluate the possible answers until you find the correct one.

Chaffee provides an example of the critical thinking process:

  • Define the terms used in this test and explain their meaning in this context.
  • Gather information from different sources, such as textbooks, lectures, professional writing, etc.
  • Analyze information from multiple perspectives and from different angles.
  • Be open minded about all possible answers.
  • Approach complex problems in an orderly manner and deconstruct problems into easier to manage elements.
  • Think through the process, interpreting and evaluating the information.
  • Consider two conflicting view points, and identify the strong and weak arguments of each side.
  • Elaborate on various answers, and list pros and cons.
  • Choose the most appropriate answer to the question.

So use your critical thinking skills to prepare guide your preparation for the exam and then while taking your exams.

Source: Chaffee, John.  Thinking Critically, 11th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2015.

 

Apply Now: JALC Scholarship Application Deadlines

Image of the John A. Logan College Foundation Logo

This is from the JALC Foundation office:

APPLY ONLINE FOR SCHOLARSHIPS NOW! COMPLETE ONE APPLICATION TO BE CONSIDERED FOR SPRING AND FALL 2017 SCHOLARSHIPS 

https://jalc.academicworks.com

SPRING 2017, Application Deadline: November 15, 2016

Fall 2017, Application Deadline: February 1, 2017

The John A. Logan College Foundation recently launched a new scholarship management system to help provide students with a streamlined tool to search and apply for scholarships. The software targets the 2017 general scholarship application process, which is open now.  The deadline for Spring 2017 scholarships is November 15th, 2016.  The deadline for Fall 2017 scholarships is February 1, 2017.

The general application, which matches students with available scholarships, is now shorter, taking less time to complete. The AcademicWorks system also is better able to match students with scholarships pertaining to their specific major or other scholarship-based criteria. Continue reading

Important New Financial Aid Date: October 1, 2016

Picture of October 1st on a Calendar

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for next school year (2017-2018) will be available in less than a month, on October 1st.  Normally, the application would not be available until January 1, 2017.  It is important that anyone seeking financial aid for next school year fill out the FAFSA early, especially because the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant program uses the initial application date to determine student eligibility for MAP funding.  It is recommended you file in October or early November.  Read the full announcement from the JALC Financial Aid Office posted below. Continue reading

Free Microsoft Office

Slide for Installing Microsoft Office 2016

John A. Logan Students can download and install Microsoft Office 2016 on their personal computers for free.  The download is available for both Windows and Mac computers.  It may be installed on up to 5 computers.

To install the software, you just need to login to your Volmail account and go to the app settings page.  See the video below for a demonstration.

Students’ Top Tips for Becoming an Engaged Learner

student raising his hand

Cengage Learning has a post over at the Engaging Minds blog by Tami Strang addressing tips for students about how to become a more engaged learner.  The tips have to do with note taking, studying, participating, etc.  There are 10 tips provided by students to help other students become more engaged and successful in the learning.

The post is available here.