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studying notes

How to Take Good Notes for Studying

Many students have a tendency to believe that taking notes is just writing what an instructor is saying or copying what’s on the board. However, taking quality notes involves just a bit more work and focus, but a small amount of additional effort can make a huge difference in how study sessions go and may help improve your grades.

Getting into the habit of good note taking can make it easier for important facts and concepts to stick in your brain. Further, when you need to study for midterms or final exams, good notes can reduce the stress and time it takes to properly prepare for an important test. Here are some methods and tricks to improve your note taking.

Pay Attention

Unless you really enjoy a subject, chances are, you fall prey to boredom and spacing out when in class. If you’re not actually paying attention to what’s being said, your note taking is going to suffer. You’ll likely miss important points and may just jot down random phrases or keywords that will mean little to nothing to you later.

Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re paying attention in class and that you’re taking in and understanding what is being said. This will allow you to not only take better notes; it will help ensure that you ask questions if you don’t comprehend a particular topic.

Bring The Right Tools

Whether you take notes by hand or use a computer, it’s important that you come prepared. If you take notes by hand, you’ll want a notebook or a binder and different colored pens and/or highlighters. A notebook or binder will help you keep your notes in the same place. If you take notes on loose-leaf paper and don’t have anything to keep your papers together, it increases the risk you’ll lose them.

Multiple colored writing utensils can help you break up topics as well as allow you to color code your notes. Using a different color of pen or highlighting words can help you bring attention to important topics or vocabulary words. It may also be a good idea to create your own shorthand instead of trying to make up abbreviations on the fly. What makes sense in class may turn into Sanskrit when you’re reviewing what you’ve written.

If you’re taking notes on a computer, you may want to consider a good note taking program. While a standard word processing program may do the job, it’s easier if you’ve got a program that will let you sort notes into topics, highlight keywords and concepts and break up your notes into digestible segments with little effort. You should also be sure that your computer is charged and/or that you have a power cord handy.

Stay Organized

Taking great notes does you little good if you lose them or are spending enormous amounts of time trying to find what you’ve got on a particular topic. Hand note takers can benefit from binders or notebooks with pockets in them to help keep track of written notes as well as any handouts. At the top of each page of notes, you should include the date, chapter and topics covered. It may also be a good idea to skip lines when taking notes so that you can add details later.

If you keep your notes on a computer, make sure that you separate each class into its own folder and that each document is labeled so that you know when the notes were taken.

Review Your Notes After Class

Some people find that rewriting their notes after class or after school helps them cement what they’ve learned and ensure that their notes are clear. You may find it beneficial to transfer your notes to a computer if you normally take notes by hand. Computer users may also want to review everything and make sure what they’ve written is clear and makes sense. Reviewing your notes after a class makes it easier to correct errors or clarify things that could be confusing in a few weeks.




Hurricane Irma, currently a category 5 hurricane, has reached top sustained winds of 185 mph and is currently forecasted to head west towards Florida later this week.
A state of emergency has been declared by Florida State Governor Rick Scott.
At this time, ASA Management is monitoring the storm and begins to take precautionary measures:
All ASA FL Campuses will be closed on Thursday, September 7th 2017 and Friday September 8th, 2017
We will be communicating important instructions and information to you via e-mai, ASA’s website or an emergency phone line # 877-441-6709.
Accordingly, we ask that you please monitor your e-mail, ASA’s Main website or to call in to the emergency phoneline # 877-441-6709, and give your prompt attention to any instructions you may receive.

Sign Up To Receive ASA College Emergency Alerts


best flash cards

8 Tips to Create the Best Flash Cards

Although flash cards are often used in elementary school classrooms, they are effective studying tools for college students as well. When crafted correctly, many are effective vehicles that help the brain absorb information. Here are eight ways to make flash cards that will bring you the most successful results.

  • Create Unique Cards. Although many students share their flash cards or use pre-made items, it is better to draft a unique set. Your brain will absorb more information when you use your words and choose pictures.
  • Combine Words and Drawings. Many flash cards only contain words. Although this is acceptable, it may be better to incorporate pictures. A Toronto study found that the best results occur when words are combined with drawings. Mixing a picture with a simple phrase or sentence is enough to increase the mind’s ability to recall information.
  • Mnemonic Devices are Effective. A mnemonic device is defined as a trick that creates a link between two different pieces of data in the brain. For example, many music students remember the names of the spaces of the treble clef by using the acronym FACE. A rhyme may be used as well. Another successful way to remember information is by using an associative image.
  • Since they are memorable, it is smart to invent crazy associations. Your mind is built to recall things that are not common. When creating your cards, draw unusual and funny pictures so that you remember the information. Even if no one else gets the joke, it only matters that it helps you study.
  • Limit Facts on Each Card. As you create flash cards, it is best to place only one fact on each piece of paper. When you include lists, you may easily skip over bits of information that you may not know.
  • Split Complicated Ideas Into Different Questions. When one topic is very complex, there may be numerous questions or pieces of information that accompany it. To make sure that you learn everything that goes with the subject, it is important to create multiple flashcards. Even though this will increase the number of cards that you have, you will be sure to master all of the data.
  • Vocalize Your Answers. Many students study flash cards in silence. This method is not as effective as saying your answers out loud. The best way to study is by reviewing your cards with a friend. However, if no one is available, you can still vocalize your answers before you flip them over.
  • Study Your Cards Forwards and Backwards. By only using one side of your flash cards during your study time, you may not be adequately preparing for your test. For example, when you are studying chemistry element symbols, and one card reads “Na,” you will be able to tell that the answer is sodium. However, if the exam question asks for the symbol for sodium, you may not be able to recall the right answer.
  • Flash Cards are Just the Beginning. Flash cards are reliable ways to study for a variety of tests. However, there are other methods that may bring you successful results. They are useful when you are covering vocabulary or definitions, but they will not be as effective when you must recall more complex material.

When you use flash cards as your study buddies, the above tips will help you create the most effective tools. Learning what makes flash cards successful will decrease your study time and will allow your brain to recall information in a simple manner.

healthy lifestyle for college students

Maintaining Healthy Habits in College

College is a time of dramatic changes. For some students, it’s the first time that they’ve lived on their own with the responsibility to finally take charge of their own life. College courses are also much more difficult than any other previous schooling, leading to late nights of studying and plentiful amounts of stress. It’s easy for new college students to feel overwhelmed and pick up some unhealthy habits, but with a little preparation you can make sure that your health is up to the challenge.

Stick to Solid Sleep Schedule

Getting enough sleep every night is a good way to keep your stress levels down and feel energized for each day of class. Make a sleep habit that you can stick to, even during the weekends. If you have trouble falling asleep, try to avoid using your smartphone or your computer for about 30 minutes before bedtime. Reading and drinking tea can help your brain start to relax and prepare for sleep. Be sure to avoid having excessive caffeine in the evening so that you can fall asleep easily.

Learn to Say No

College life usually means easy access to tasty foods, from the candy in the vending machines to the doughnuts in the bakery across the street. If you’re now living on your own, you might feel emboldened to partake of delicious treats at any hour. Learning when to say no is a good skill that will help you keep the extra pounds off. Avoid eating when you’re not actually hungry, and stick to light snacks when you need a little treat. Try to avoid eating too much late at night as well; this can cause heartburn and weight gain.

Eat Regular Meals

When you’re racing from one class to another with twenty different deadlines looming ahead of you, it’s easy to forget to eat a meal now and then. However, if you start missing meals regularly, your body and your brain won’t be properly fueled for the demands of college. Adjust your schedule so that you have enough time in the morning to get breakfast without feeling panicked about missing class. Start taking your lunch with you, or find a healthy place you can buy a lunch. Keeping a handful of healthy snacks in your backpack, such as peanuts or dried fruit, can help you get some nutrition when you unexpectedly are late for a meal.

Find an Exercise Activity You Love

Regular exercise is a great way to burn off some stress, boost your fitness levels and lose some weight. However, there’s little point in picking an exercise that you hate. Instead, choose an activity that you that you enjoy and would look forward to. This can include:

  • Yoga with friends
  • Walking around campus
  • Joining a gym
  • Taking a sports class, such as badminton
  • Making time for exercise, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day, can help you unwind and take a break from your deadlines and homework.

Load up on Healthy Foods

Filling up your plate with healthy foods, including vegetables and fruits, can help you avoid eating too much unhealthy junk food. Aim to build a colorful plate with a variety of fresh foods for each meal. A simple meal of grilled chicken, brown rice and roasted vegetables will keep you full and be easy on your waistline. If you want to indulge in the occasional calorie-rich meal, such as pizza, pair it with a nutritious salad with a light dressing.

While you’re in college, maintaining your healthy habits may be a challenge. Including a little extra time each day so that you can take care of your physical health is a good way to reduce stress and become healthier.

Stop Procrastinating

College students face tons of essays, courseworks and science papers during their years of study. And it’s not a big deal when these works are just in the ordinary flow. But when it comes to a 90-page senior thesis, you have to spend at least 1 year on it. This is where procrastination finds and catches you. A way too big project presupposes planning an explicit strategy. Almost every student decides to start in the middle of a year in order to meet the deadline. What happens next? Months pass by and dust covers your thesis.

Then you invent another strategy – to start two months before the deadline. But two months turn into one, which turns into several weeks. So one sunny morning you come out of the oblivion with two days until the deadline without a word written. What a challenge, to produce 90 pages in 48 days. You don’t sleep, eat or relax, struggling to be in time. Yes, you will get your mark, but results are nearly always frustrating.

How to avoid this Procrastination Monster? You’ll need to get rid of all the leisure temptations that prevent you from completing tasks. But let’s face the truth: students are not so responsible. It is impossible to kill procrastinations, all of us are subjected to it. But you can optimize your work for the sake of your career. Consider your calendar, mind the whole process and don’t let anything ruin your study goals.

Try not to burn out

Life in college is full of activities. Most of them are odd and unwanted. But it takes time to get this fact. Various competitions, contests, matches, socials, soirees, not to surrender? Moreover, every mate will try to drag you to a new party and resisting is tough! It is very dangerous not to have a time-schedule, because participating in the each and every scene, you will burn out quickly. Pick up the most significant events and don’t violate your precious time. Set the priorities and maximize the advantage of your college experience.

Digital course materials I e-books

ASA Miami partners with a digital content company to deliver your course materials. Digital content is up to 70% off the cost of the equivalent new print text.

Please use this link: to purchase your course materials.

If a digital format is unavailable for your course, you will need to purchase the text from an alternate source.

If you are Financial Aid Student, you will receive access to your course materials via e-mailed instructions shortly after term start.

time management

Attending College: Six Tips on Time Management

If you attend a university, skillful time management may make the difference between success and failure. It’s not always easy to set aside enough hours for college assignments and complete them before due dates arrive. Many students also have jobs and family obligations. These tips can help learners finish schoolwork on time without neglecting other important responsibilities:

1. Planning for the Future

Don’t just think about the next day or two. Take steps to prepare for due dates and tests in the weeks ahead. Rather than trying to finish a project in one day, it’s much easier to complete a small portion of the task every day for a week. You’ll probably do better work because you won’t need to stay up late at night before a due date. It’s hard to thoroughly proofread a paper when you’re sleepy.

2. Precise Scheduling

A schedule can help you avoid putting off assignments until the last minute. Write down tasks that you need to complete each day, and carefully determine when you’ll do the work. For instance, you could plan to finish your psychology paper in the time between algebra class and your shift at the department store. Various scheduling techniques work well for different people; you might prefer a calendar, notebook, smartphone app or computer program.

  • Beware of electronic distractions
  • Leave a bit more time than you need
  • Remember to bring necessary items

3. Use Course Calendars

When an instructor gives you a course calendar, thoroughly read it and keep it in a safe place. This document tells you when to expect most tests and major due dates. It can help you plan for the long term instead of waiting for a professor to remind you about upcoming assignments. These calendars also come in handy when you miss classes.

4. Sleep and Eat Well

Time management becomes difficult when you don’t have enough energy. Fatigue greatly increases the number of hours it takes to write papers or read books. Even if you’re particularly busy, try to sleep at least seven hours. You can also use time more efficiently when you eat healthy meals. Be sure to consume enough protein; you’ll gain plenty of energy from things like peanut butter, cheese and black beans.

  • Some dorms allow slow cookers
  • Try not to rely on sugary drinks
  • White noise may help you sleep

5. Organize Papers, Files

Many students waste time because they’re always looking for misplaced items. You may sort your papers more efficiently by using a different folder or binder for every subject. Use the same strategy to separate computerized documents and make them easier to find. You can create monthly subfolders for classes with numerous assignments. If you work at a desk, take the time to organize it every week so that clutter doesn’t accumulate.

6. Create a To-Do List

Use a written or computerized list to keep track of short-term commitments. You can include class assignments, appointments and supplies that you need to purchase. Cross off or delete each task as you finish it. Many people find it satisfying to remove completed items from a to-do list. Don’t let a long list overwhelm you; take it one step at a time. Here’s an example:

  • Finish reading Chapter 14 for biology
  • Buy two notebooks; sale ends on Saturday
  • Talk to calculus professor at 2 p.m.

If you make an effort to apply these tips, you’ll earn higher grades and avoid unnecessary stress. This will help you balance work, school and household obligations in ways that lead to lasting success. If you still have difficulty with time management, consider asking teachers or experienced students for advice.


10 Life Balance Tips For Working Students

Many students find that it can be hard to manage their coursework and a job without becoming overwhelmed. Today’s blog post will contain 10 tips to help students achieve and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

1. Set Realistic Goals

You might have decided that this new phase in your life should mean a whole new you, which can lead to some overly ambitious goals. You might initially feel like you can eat healthy meals, study for an hour every night and work out every morning, but trying to implement all of those big changes at the same time is a recipe for failure.
Instead, start with smaller, more realistic goals that are stepping stones to your ultimate goal. Aim to study for 30 minutes each night or work out twice a week. Setting realistic goals will lower your stress and make you feel good about yourself.

2. Don’t Procrastinate

It’s easy to put off a little bit of work here and there, especially if you don’t have parents or teachers looking over your shoulder. To avoid last-minute cramming or feeling swamped by your work, be sure to set aside small chunks of time dedicated to completing assignments.

3. Prioritize Your Time

It’s important to use the time you’ve scheduled for yourself wisely. To help keep your work and personal life balanced, set a list of tasks you want to complete in order of importance. This will help you make the most of your time.

Other ways to manage your time better include:

  • Making a weekly to-do list
  • Breaking up large tasks into smaller components
  • Setting deadlines for yourself
  • Keeping an up-to-date schedule
  • Planning segments of time for relaxation and seeing family or friends

4. Eat Well

What you eat may not seem like a big deal, but it can affect how you feel and think. Eating foods that are greasy, sugary or carb-heavy can make you feel sluggish and tired. Choose healthy meals and snacks to give yourself a natural energy boost and increase focus. Be sure to stay hydrated as well. Not drinking enough water can make you feel tired and contribute to headaches.

5. Improve Your Study Habits

Any good student will likely spend countless hours studying, so it’s important to make sure that time is being used wisely.
Here are few simple ways to make the most of your study time:
Plan to study when you’re most alert, regardless of what time of day that might be.
Have a study goal for each session.
Dedicate each study session to a single subject.

6. Learn to Say “No”

It will take some time to adjust to your new workload. You will be flooded with requests to join clubs, fraternities and volunteer causes, but you shouldn’t add on any additional stress until you can handle it. Maintaining your school, work and home life should be your first priority; other opportunities will still be there later.

7. Ask For Help

Your family, friends and instructors all want to see you succeed. If you start feeling overwhelmed or too stressed out, reach out to someone you trust sooner rather than later. The quicker you can get someone to help you manage your stress, the better your life will be.

8. Be Present

Worry about one thing at a time. When you’re in class, focus on absorbing the material and engaging in discussion. Don’t let your mind wander to work or relationships. When you’re spending quality time with family or friends, allow yourself to relax and have fun without worrying about work or school.

9. Reward Yourself

All work with no reward is a quick way to burn out and become irritable or depressed. Plan small treats for yourself for completing projects on time or sticking to your schedule.

10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

You can’t be perfect, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. If you miss one class or let your room get a little messy, it’s okay. Learn to let go and focus on what’s important.
If you’re starting to feel like school is taking over, incorporate a few of these tips into your life to help regain your balance.

master tests

10 Tips That Help Students Master Tests

It is common for college students to be frazzled when it comes time to take tests. To get through the challenges, here are 10 tips that will help you prepare for exams.

  • Keep an Upbeat Attitude. The brain is a funny thing. When you have a poor attitude, you may feel as though you will fail at everything. It is better to enter a classroom with a positive demeanor, especially on the test day. This will keep you in the right frame of mind. It is wise to approach a test like a puzzle. Although it may be difficult, it is possible to get through it. When you keep an upbeat perspective, you will be ready for the challenge.
  • Create a Schedule. Creating a plan of study will keep stress levels low. Approximately one week before an exam, it is smart to uncover what material will be included. Many teachers take information from the textbook or class notes. Also, scheduling time to study will cut the need to cram the night before a test. This will keep you feeling better prepared.
  • Eat Breakfast. On the morning of a test, never skip breakfast. Keeping your stomach full will help you concentrate. Nothing is more distracting than a growling belly. While you eat, you can take a few minutes to review your notes.
  • Understand the Directions. Before beginning the test, it is essential to review and comprehend the instructions. Also, it is wise to ask how the test will be scored. Sometimes, it is better to make educated guesses than to leave questions blank.
  • Manage Time Appropriately. As soon as you receive your paper, you should scan the pages quickly. Begin answering the easy questions first and budget enough time for harder material.
  • Remain Calm. If you hit a question that is extremely challenging, it is important to remain calm, circle the number, and move on to something else. At the end, you can return to it and try you best to give the correct answer.
  • Multiple Choice Options. With multiple-choice questions, you can use reasoning to uncover the best answer. Eliminating one or two answers that you know are incorrect limits the other possibilities. Many times, there is at least one choice that can be crossed off right from the beginning.
  • Write Neatly. When you must answer an essay question, it is wise to write as neatly as possible. If a professor cannot read your handwriting, it will definitely lower your grade. Also, when you are taking a math test, it is vital to carefully write your numbers in a legible manner. If you make a mistake, erase the entire answer as well. For tests that will be graded by a machine, you must make sure to fill in the circles completely.
  • Check Your Work. When a test seems easy, you may be done early and will be tempted to hand in your paper. However, if time permits, you should always check your work. Sometimes, you may know the right answer, but you will find that you placed it on the wrong line. Also, you may find a question that you accidentally skipped.

The above tips are smart pieces of advice for college students who want to successfully master the art of test-taking. Since they are not difficult to follow, you will be able to easily take the stress out of the exam day and will achieve a good grade.