How to ACE UIC

Differences Between High School & University/College

High School University/College
1. Study time outside of class may vary (may be as little as 1-3 hours per week).Generally students need to study at least 2-3 hours outside of class for each hour in class.
2. Reading/writing assignments are discussed and reemphasized.Substantial amounts of assigned reading/writing may not be discussed in class, but students are still responsible for knowing the material.
3. Teachers may review class notes and test material on a regular basis.Students are responsible for reviewing class notes and test material on a regular basis.
4. Students are presented with information and are led through the thinking process.Students are expected to gather information from a variety of sources and be able to draw conclusions and make inferences.
5. Teachers present material to help students understand what is in the textbook.Lectures may not follow the textbook; students have to connect lecture and textbook material.
6. Homework is usually checked and graded.Homework is often not graded, but it should be completed for class and test preparation.
7. Teachers may be available before, during, or after class to meet with students.Instructors are available during scheduled office hours to meet with students and may be available via e-mail.
8. Class attendance is usually mandatory and monitored carefully.Attendance policies may vary with each course. Students are responsible for everything that happens in class, even if absent.
9. Family members and teachers may provide guidance in setting priorities.Students are responsible for setting their own priorities.
10. Parents typically manage finances for school-related activities.Students are responsible for money management.
11. Typically, a school year is 36 weeks long. Summer classes may be offered. An academic year is divided into two sixteen-week semesters (fall and spring) and summer sessions. Summer sessions can be used to make up credits or to accelerate graduation.
12. Each class generally has 30-35 students.Each class will vary in size and can range from fewer than 20 to more than 200 students.

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Top Ten Study Tips

Scheduling

  • You are in charge of your own schedule. Make sure you pick a schedule that fits you and your ability to get to school.
  • If you are not an early morning person, live far from school, or have transportation problems, don’t schedule classes early in the morning.
  • Try to schedule breaks between some of your classes. Having a schedule with all of your classes back to back may help you finish school early but it doesn’t give you an opportunity to study, relax before going to the next lecture, meet with classmates, prepare for an exam, etc.

Syllabus

  • A syllabus usually lists the test schedule, class assignments, reading assignments, course rules, office hours for professors and TA’s, and an explanation of how your grade will be determined.
  • The syllabus is the most important guide to your course, and you should read it carefully.
  • Instructors generally distribute a syllabus at the beginning of the course.

Attendance

  • Few instructors take attendance in class. YOU are responsible for attending every session of your classes.
  • The effect of absences usually becomes apparent when you are tested and don’t have the information from sessions that you missed.
  • Changes in test dates, reading assignments, and other important announcements may be missed if you don’t attend class.

Notes

  • Take good notes! Professors will often focus on the parts of the course that they think are the most important and that they want you to learn.
  • Taking good notes helps you to prepare for exams and complete assignments. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the reading assignments; exams often include topics not covered in class.
  • If a lecture outline is available online, print it beforehand and bring it to class. You may decide to take your notes onto this outline. Most online material can be formatted to suit your needs.

Sit in Front

  • Sitting in the front rows of large auditoriums allows you to hear and see what the professor is presenting in class.
  • It also helps you to focus on the presentation instead of being distracted by other students in the auditorium.

Networking

  • Take classes with friends or students you know. This helps because you can study together, help each other with class assignments, and share class notes when one of you is unable to attend class.
  • Establishing a personal network can be very important for success in life.

Questions

  • Ask when you don’t understand something. Chances are there are many other students with the same question.
  • As long as you are doing the readings and assignments, feel free to ask for an explanation for things that you don’t understand.
  • If you are reluctant to ask in the classroom, you might visit the professor during office hours to ask your question.

Working

  • The best suggestion is that you shouldn’t work while you are in school. If you have to work, then you should try to work on campus and limit the hours to no more than 15 per week.
  • Working on campus can help because you get hours that fit around your class schedule; you can get time off for midterms and finals; you don’t waste time traveling to work; and you gain access to an extra set of advisors who can help you when you have a problem.

Tutoring and Study Groups

  • Make use of free campus tutoring or participate in a study group when you want an A instead of a B or when you are having difficulty with a subject.
  • Tutors are available in many subjects and in various departments and units. To find tutoring sites, use this link or go to the UIC Home Page and Google the term campus tutoring.
  • For study groups, form your own group with classmates or go to the Science Learning Center to join a Peer-Led Study Group.

Enjoy

  • Make your years at UIC a time when you try new things, meet new friends, and get involved in many different activities and organizations.
  • While going to school takes a lot of hard work and has moments of stress, it should also be a time to have fun. An important part of your education is what you do outside of class.
  • For a list of student organization and information about events on campus, visit the Campus Programs Home Page http://www.uic.edu/depts/chcc/programs/Campus/Files/#

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UIC Language

Time ticket: A time ticket is your appointment to register on-line.

Intercampus Bus Service (shuttle): The Intercampus Bus Service (Intercampus Shuttle) provides free transportation for students, faculty, and staff to locations on campus. A UIC Identification card (i-card) must be presented to the driver when boarding.

Blackboard: Blackboard is a Web-based integrated teaching and learning environment. Faculty can create a site on Blackboard for a course and post the course syllabus, announcements, assignments, lecture notes, and other course related information. Students enrolled in the course can log into Blackboard and access the posted information.

Flames: The UIC athletic teams are known as the “Flames,” a name chosen by UIC students in honor of the Great Chicago Fire.

UIC Pavilion: The UIC Pavilion is a multi-purpose arena, which is home to the UIC Flames basketball team and the Chicago Sky WNBA team.

Sparky: The Flames mascot is the fire-breathing dragon. The story behind “Sparky” is that the dragon was hatched on October 11, 1986, from a large egg found at the Pavilion a few weeks earlier.

Academic advising: Academic advising assists students with making the transition to college life and guides their decisions about setting academic priorities, making academic progress, completing degrees, and achieving their personal goals.

Lecture/Discussion: Lecture and discussion are two instructional environments. In a lecture section, the instructor does the talking. In a discussion section, there is a give and take of ideas between the instructor and class members.

Office hours: Office hours are the times when an instructor is available to meet with students individually. The times of office hours are listed on the class syllabus, and they may be posted on-line or on the door of the instructor’s office.

Teaching assistant (TA): A teaching assistant (TA) is a graduate student who is awarded an assistantship that provides him/her with financial assistance in exchange for teaching-related responsibilities.

UIC News: This is a free, weekly newspaper published by UIC’s Office of Public Affairs.

Chicago Flame: This is a free, weekly student newspaper published independently and distributed on campus but not sponsored by UIC.

Registrar: The registrar is the official at a college or university who is responsible for keeping all student records (past and present), including: maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the record, protecting student data, and enforcing and implementing academic policy.

Academic year: An academic year is divided into two sixteen-week semesters (fall and spring) and four and eight-week summer sessions.

Ombudsperson: The Ombudsperson, in the Office of the Dean of Students, investigates student complaints and helps to achieve equitable settlements.

University/College/Department: UIC is made up of colleges and departments. For example, a student majoring in Biological Sciences is a member of the University of Illinois at Chicago, a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Department of Biological Sciences.

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