How to look like I'm doing work.
And calculating the exact maximum time I can procrastinate on something and still complete it.
A note from the author: My professor referred to this as the "graduate school skim."
How to skim a text for important details without reading every word.
For those wondering: Read the first paragraph, possibly the second if it's a longer intro. Then read the first and last sentence of every paragraph following, making allowance for any quotes or dialogue within. Then read the last one- two paragraphs.
Got me through college right there.
How to be good at bullsh_**_ng something. I'm unfortunately a procrastinator. But after writing a twelve page paper about Abraham Lincoln and his election campaign in less than eight hours, I kinda don't want that kind of stress anymore. I got an A- on the paper, because I really do work better under pressure, but that was cutting it too close for me.
If you're unsure whether 'who' or 'whom' fits grammatically, restructure the sentence into question format. If the question can be answered as 'him' or 'her', use 'whom'. If the the question is answered with 'he' or 'she', you will want to use 'who'.
To whom does this belong? It belongs to him.
Who owns this this? He is owner of this.
If you're late turning in a paper, take a random dll file from a program folder, copy it, rename it to something like "Project.doc", and submit it. When your professor opens it, they will see garbage. I would usually get an email much later saying that they couldn't open my paper. I would say no problem, and send the real one that I was just finishing up. It was a nice way to buy time.
If you don't say much, you will learn so much about the people around you by just observing, people will also tell you more because they think you're quiet. On top of that, when you do speak, people will f**king listen cause you do so rarely.
If your carbonated beverage has too much foam, wipe the side of your nose with your finger and touch the top of the foam with your finger (which is now loaded with a coat of your face's natural oils).
I don't remember the actual chemistry behind this trick, but it immediately accelerates the dissipation of the excess foam. Have tried with beer with less impressive results, but it is super-useful when dealing with soft drinks.
Proactive: Old interferes with new. Retroactive: New interferes with old. This acronym is used to talk about proactive and retroactive learning in my AP Psych class. When this acronym first showed up, it showed up big time on the AP tests causing serious concern for Psych professors grading the tests who were confused why a ton high school students wrote "PORN" on their test.
How to think more objectively (especially in regards to politics). I grew up in a religious and very conservative household. One of my all time favorite teachers was a wonderful literature prof who also loved political science. She was very "middle of the road" and taught me to view laws outside of how my (then) religious beliefs and emotional reactions. To also look at all sides of an issue and not rely on any one source of information.
The quadratic formula. My high school teacher guaranteed we would never forget it. I'm in my last year of an engineering degree and still, this haunts me. Sung to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel:
x is equal to negative b
Plus or minus square root
b squared minus four a c
All over two a
x= (-b +- sqrt(b2 - 4ac))/2a
When to use "me" or "I" in a sentence by removing the second person/subject.
Example: John and (me, I) went to the park.
Conundrum! Which do I use? Simple solution. Remove John, and see which personal pronoun makes sense.
Me went to the park? No. I went to the park? Yes! Therefore, John and I went to the park.
Look at your hands, palm up. Fold down your left thumb, and you have 1x9= 9 Lift thumb, lower second finger. Left of the downwards digit is tens, right is units, so 2x9= 18 (one ten, eight units). Obviously only works until 10x9.
Never needed to learn the nine times table after learning that trick.
Identify the smart kids in class during the first week and then sit as close to them as you feel comfortable with. They are the ones who usually arrive early, are always prepared, always asking questions, always taking really thorough notes etc etc
Crack jokes, offer gum, lend pens or paper etc etc
When group projects are assigned and you get to choose your groups, people tend to go for the most comfortable scenario. They choose someone they know or someone who sits close to them and whom they've interacted with. That established comfort level is key.
If there aren't group assignments or you don't get to chose, it still pays dividends to make friends with the smart kids because they make the best study partners.
I did this throughout college and it always paid dividends.
-Make eye contact during group presentations. It creates an illusion of confidence and preparedness and teachers generally grade better if it looks like you are confident in what you are doing.
-Never roll out of bed and just go to class in your pajamas. You'll just end up feeling sleepy.
-You are not going to go to all of your 8AM classes your freshman year of college. Trust me on this. If at all possible, schedule your first class for after 9am or later.
-speaking of classes, figure out when you can first register for classes and set a reminder alarm in your phone. Register as early as humanly possible. If you blow it off, enjoy your 8AM and after 5pm classes.
If the essay topics bore you, ask the teacher/professor if you could create your own. You will be more willing to write about the topic since you chose it, and the teacher/professor will like the change of pace. To a person who has eaten 15 bowls of vanilla ice cream, a slightly better than mediocre bowl of pistachio ice cream will taste better than the best vanilla ice cream available.
Dimensional analysis. Whenever you're trying to work out a complicated problem that involves units, you can set it up and move things around till you get the units-in the orientation that you're looking for-in the answer. Then it's all just arithmetic.
How to use other students' quizzes and tests from previous years to do well on the upcoming one.
I joined a fraternity and it was tradition for everybody to file all tests, quizzes and homework assignments for future years. That helped SO much!
How does that apply now? I use Google to leverage tricks and techniques other people have used for everything I can.
H/T: Ask Reddit