Advice from Former Intro to Psych Students

Future Psychology 100 students,

This is what worked for me.  I read the material and took notes from it simultaneously before we talked in class.  I only wrote down the important information and maybe one example.  In class I listened actively and participated by asking and answering questions.  Then I went to the study guide and answered the questions.  If I couldn't recall the answer, I went back to that section.  I then reread the material before I went on to the practice test.  During the practice test,  I thought about how the concepts interacted with and complemented one another.  I think that even though this process is very time consuming it worked rather well.  They all are an integral part of understanding material presented and being successful on exams.

Tina Woodbeck (Summer 2007)
Highline Community College

Dear Psych 100 student,

You are in for a great experience in Psych 100. Sue is an excellent instructor, and the information taught is not only interesting but also very relevant. The best advice I could give a new student would be to plan out your reading schedule. Figure out how many pages you need to read before the upcoming exam. Divide the pages by the number of days you have available to read. Leave yourself days free to study for the exam, or to write your reaction papers. If you stay current with the reading, take good notes, and complete your assignments you will probably do well.

As a student, employee, and a parent, I found it helpful to make flashcards. Whenever I had some down time, I could pull out my cards and quiz myself. It was easiest to make the flashcards as I read and took notes. Your note-taking will be much more beneficial if you read the web-link “How to take notes on the textbook.

Lastly, read and re-read your notes. There is a lot of information and it takes time, and repeated exposure, to sink in. Enjoy the class!

Lisa Cramer (Fall 2005)
Highline Community College

NOTE: The "Discussion Board Extra Credit" no longer is part of this course.
Dear Psych 100 student:

First off, stay on top of your reading.  Look ahead and plan your time accordingly.  Some modules are short and some are pretty long.  The reading schedule on the syllabus means that you should have the entire module read by that date.  Also, take good notes on the modules.  Be sure to know your vocabulary and have a clear understanding of what you just read.  Lastly, I would recommend that one takes their notes in the outline format.  The modules are written in that format and make note taking by that format, easy.  If you don't have a good way of taking notes, or perhaps you take too many notes (like I did!), learning how to use the outline format is a huge help!  It really makes better use of your time and makes studying for the exams much easier. 

P.S.  Have fun!  The class quite fun, especially if you participate!

Sonja Paige (Fall '04)
Highline Community College

Welcome to Sue's Intro. to Psychology class. Do not be overwhelmed by the syllabi. It is a schedule to keep you focused on what you need to do to complete this 12-week course. My advice to you is:

1) Do the psych homework assignments as soon as you are able.
2) Skim over the required modules, and their summaries; READ the modules.
3) Typewrite (recommended) each module outline--include the bold and italic words and examples that will help you understand the text; work on the psych study guide in studying; print out Sue's module(s) outline.
4) Attend each class lecture; be punctual and have your assignments ready to turn in first thing; Take out your outlines and Sue's outline, and be prepared to take the unscheduled open notes quizzes. Use Sue's outline to take lecture notes on. (Hint - turn OFF your mobile phone before entering class.)
5) Ask questions during class to clarify any terms, concepts, and points. Sue loves to be asked questions.
6) During your study time, read and rewrite your class notes, and REVIEW the modules and study guide covered thus far; then go through the same steps for the next required modules.
7) Reaction papers are actually interesting and insightful to do. Relate your personal experiences as well as what you see in your environment to understanding the main concepts, and you can easily write up to 750+ words. (Don't forget to include the number of words.)
8) Participate in the web discussion board each week. It's a great way to earn extra credit and generate new ideas and thoughts for the upcoming reaction paper.
9) In preparation for the exams, review notes and study guide DAILY. The exams are multiple choice and structured in life experience situations. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
10) Lastly, drink lots of water, eat nutritious foods, and try to get 8 hours of SLEEP before any of your class exams.  If you need more help and understanding, meet with Sue at her office hours or schedule an appointment.

All the best to you in your academic career.

Debbie Vang (Fall '04)
Highline Community College

Dear Psych 100 students,   

I thought I had a good grasp of how to study when I entered psych 100. I got the first "F" of my life on the first exam! After reading the six hour D and following the suggestions, I made big changes. The best piece of advice I could give fellow students is go home every single night and re-read the unit you learned about that day. Take notes AGAIN, and answer the questions in the back of the unit and do the entire study guide for that unit as well. If you are still in that unit the next day in class, go home that night and do the same thing again. The weekend before an exam spend fifteen minute or so intervals doing the study guide and skimming the units AGAIN for the entire weekend. By the time you take the exam I guarantee you the information will be firmly cemented in your head. Take your time and dissect each question to be sure you understand it. Good Luck!  

Allison Rock (Fall '04)
Highline Community College

Dear Psych 100 students,
In order for anyone to do well in this class make sure that you read!!! Also make sure that you go back and reread the sections that you don't understand.  I recommend that you make an outline (it can work as a preview) for each chapter, if it is possible do it by computer so that it will be neat and readable.  It may seem like it is time consuming but it will save you lots of time in the end when you review for a test.  Make sure that when you are done with your outline you go back and read the chapter and take important notes.  Make sure you include in your outline all bolded words (know their definitions!) and also keep in mind that words in italic and the examples given should be understood as well because they are important.  Always read the summary that the book gives at the end of each chapter and do the multiple choice questions, by doing this it will make you understand the chapter so much better!  Note cards are an option, I usually used it for chapters that had lots of definitions.  Make sure once you have your outlines written and completed that you review them everyday.  The last advice is don't procrastinate!!!  Psychology is a very hard subject and you have to read the chapters ASAP and review your notes daily so that your mind absorbs the information!!!  if you wait till the day before the test, you will not retain anything!!!!  Thanks for reading and good luck!

May Moua (Fall '04)
Highline Community College

Dear Psych 100 student,
The main criteria for doing well in this course is dedication. You have to set a goal for yourself to do well and in order to do that you must make time outside of class to study. Like it or not, it's the truth. For exams, my strategy was to make flashcards of key terms from the book and lectures a week in advance. Using the spacing effect, which you will learn about in this course, I would quiz myself at least three times a day up until the day before the exam and then I would go through them over and over any spare moment I had up until exam time. It worked well for me at least! Overall, you just need to be dedicated enough to make the time to study. Good luck!

Jenesis Huntington (Fall '04)
Highline Community College

Dear Psych 100 Student:

I believe the best advice I can offer you is get the vocabulary into your head. If you have a good grasp of what the vocabulary really means, then it is much easier to put it in context. Many of the questions on the exams are put in the form of a situation, and all of the answers are multiple choice. If you are able to look at the answer choices and recall what each word means, you will do fine! The best method to get the words encoded into your mind? Flashcards. They are kind of a hassle to make, but once they are made, you can carry them around with you. Then, whenever you get some free time, pull them out and quiz yourself.

There is a lot of reading required in the class, but as long as you stay caught up, you'll be okay. Don't always put off reading until the night before it's supposed to be done, lots of things come up. Instead, any time you have some free time, read a few pages, it won't seem like such a burden then. (Hint* take notes as you read, mainly vocabulary, since most of the pop quizzes are on the vocabulary.)

Here's the big one, Reaction Papers. These can actually be a lot of fun. Make them interesting! If you think of an experience you've had that can relate to the material, write about that! This way you can share a bit about  yourself, and anyone can write a 800 word paper about themselves. ^_^

Most of all, ENJOY! This class is so interesting! You are learning explanations for things you see and deal with every day. I think you will really get something out of this course, as long as you don't look at it as "just another class to get through." Sue is great, so have a good time and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Erin Glover (Fall '04)
Highline Community College

I think the key to this class is repetition, get the information into your head as many times and as many ways as you can. Use the website for the textbook, its flashcards and quizzes are very helpful. Use the study guide, it's your best friend! Use your family/friends, teaching someone else is a great way to remember information. Take advantage of the self-reference effect, if you can come up with examples out of your own life you'll remember those better than examples from the book.

Alicia Akerman (Winter ' 03)
Highline Community College

I had attempted to take psychology on two other occasions and withdrew each time.  This class is the most demanding class I have come across.  The amount of work you get does not vary from teacher to teacher.  Be prepared to actually learn when taking this class.  I have a few suggestions that may help other students entering into this journey.

1) Take the open-note quizzes seriously.  Don't fall behind on those and do the reading.  Being prepared will greatly increase your grade.

2) Take notes.  Not only on the reading but from the lectures as well.  Print the chapter and lecture outlines and use those as the bases for your note taking.

3) Take the practice quizzes.  The online textbook offers a 10 question quiz for each module.  I usually took the quizzes that corresponded to the exam I was preparing for.  I would take all of them a day or two before the exam and then study any areas that I got wrong.

4) I tried to use flash cards for the first exam and they just didn't work for me.  I ended up re-reading the modules which allowed me to put everything into context.  There is way too much new vocabulary to try and memorize with out being able to relate it.

5) As I mentioned in the first part DO THE READING!!!!!!  I cannot stress this enough.

This class can be very fun and interesting as long as you stay on top of everything.  If anything, you picked the best teacher.  She will keep your interests peaked and that makes a big difference.

Anna MacInnes (Winter ' 03)
Highline Community College

1) Whatever expectation you had when you came into the class of how much homework/reading/studying you'd do -Double or Triple it! If you want a good grade you have to work way harder than you thought you would.
There is no way to skate through this class and get a good grade without substantial effort.
2) Take the online tests before the class tests and then when you get it wrong, use the page #'s they give you to check your answers to see what you did wrong.  Read through the questions and repeat them to yourself w/the correct answer -to imprint it in your memory.  (FYI -These tests are connected to text website)  
From talking to other people and also knowing how I did on the quizzes, your test grade will likely be similar to how you did on the quizzes.  If you did bad on the online quiz(zes), you'll probably do bad on the test -UNLESS you study more and grasp the concepts.   
3) Copy and paste the text's module outlines into Word, print it out, and fill it in when reading the modules.  Use this as your notes for pop quizzes.  The outlines provided by the book's website were pretty accurate as to what the pop quizzes would be on and provided a good breakdown of concepts and their subissues.
4) Do whatever works for you in order to grasp the concepts.  You can do all of your reading and still not "get it."
Figure out a combination of what works for you to do well. 
Hope this helps somebody out there!
Susannah Dougherty (Winter '03)
Highline Community College
Here are some hopefully helpful tips I found useful in taking this class. 

Read and take excellent notes, take your time with each module. I would read, take notes, and make flash cards for every module as I went. I never had to go back to a module once I did this because I would just refer to my notes, and I went over the flash cards everyday. This helped me with the open notes quizzes, and the flash cards helped me with the exams tremendously. It takes time but it's worth it if you want a good grade. Another thing I found helpful was to go through the study guide for each module as I finished each module. With this method I did very well in this class. The fact that I found the content very interesting was a bonus. 

Here's how it went:

* Read and take notes and make flash cards.

* Do the study guide for each module right after I'm done reading and taking notes - I used the study guide to help add flash card ideas.

* Read flash cards everyday.

* Preparing for exams I would only do the progress tests in the study guide (the flash cards on definitions and concepts took care of the rest).

* I got ahead when I had a chance, and always set up my time so that there was no interference the day of the exam. For example, if I thought there was a possibility for an open notes quiz the same day as an exam, I would take care of the notes and reading for the module first. That way the day of the exam I could focus on the exam with no interference.

* If you don't take advantage of the discussion board extra credit you're a brave soul; this is a must.

* The open notes quizzes are designed to reward those of us who read the modules prior to coming to class, and it's set up for a possible 16 extra credit points if you take excellent notes on the modules.

* Between the open notes quizzes and the discussion board there were 26 possible extra credit points, and those who didn't jump on the opportunity to grab these regretted it for sure.

Good luck, and have fun. This class was challenging and demanding, but using my time wisely and taking advantage of all those extra credits really helped me kick some Psychology 100 butt!

If I had to choose one word to give you it would be FLASH CARDS oops that's two!

Donnie Schwendeman, (Winter '03)
Highline Community College

You have now entered one of the most enlightening courses you will ever take. My advice to all Psych 100 students is:

READ THE MATERIAL!! Not only will you benefit academically from the text, but it is really interesting stuff.

BE IN CLASS!! The information Sue goes over in class is critical to your understanding the text. Use the lecture notes that Sue has put into the syllabus to guide you.

Take advantage of the extra credit projects that Sue has put there for you. Not only will you receive the extra credit, but it will help you remember the subject matter.

Take advantage of the textbook website. Do the crossword puzzles, flashcards, and quizzes.

Keep an open mind and enjoy!!!!

Polly Osborn (Spring '02)
Highline Community College

My advice, if you are going to take a psych class for the first time, make sure you take one of Sue Frantz's, (you won't fall asleep) and make sure you are ready to learn.  I agree with other comments on taking a biology class also.  I had biology as my first class and psych for my 3rd this quarter; a lot of the things I learned in psych I would later learn in biology (sometimes I got confused and thought, "didn't we already learn this?").  It would be helpful if you studied biology first, then psych; it's like learning the same thing only studying different views of it. Be sure to study and read the chapters, and pay attention in class. It's not hard because it's hella interesting; Sue makes it that way, so you actually enjoy what you are learning.  I think I had the most fun writing reaction papers; it's like your time to talk to Sue.  Well enjoy the class and trust me you'll learn some pretty cool things. 

Joanna Kowalczyk (Winter '02)
Highline Community College

I think this class is incredible. I'm recommending it to all of my friends. Sue is an incredible teacher, I even have friends that have her this quarter because I recommended her. She's awesome and she's done really, really well with this course. I don't even think there are any warnings that I would give to future students. I would just advise them to pace their chapters and be sure to read them through. That's pretty much all my advice would be. And take notes and pay attention during the lectures. They're pretty interesting.

JT Thomas (Winter '02)
Highline Community College

Hi all - My advice is to "be prepared". Read the lesson materials. Don't miss any classes because each class is a wealth of knowledge and makes the whole subject matter come alive. If you are prepared you will be ready for the extra point questions at the beginning of the class. Be on time so that you don't miss those questions. Take advantage of every extra point opportunity that Sue gives you. If you are never late with an assignment then you will get the most possible points that your assignment deserves.

Talk to Sue and let her know that you are truly interested in Psychology (if that is the truth). Sue is very fair and goes out of her way to help you succeed. It is all attitude and how much you want to put into it to succeed. Good luck - it has been fun. 

Liane Pierce (Winter '02)
Highline Community College

NOTE: The "Open Notes Quizzes" replaced the "Kingsfield Procedure."
My advice for future students would be take advantage all the extra credit opportunities. The e-mail discussion list by itself is a ten point "softball" as Sue would say. To properly prepare for the kingsfield procedure you will need to allocate extra time to read and take notes. The notes will not only come in handy for extra credit points, but they will also be helpful because many test questions come straight from the book, and are not mentioned in lecture; so the notes will also be a good study tool for tests.

One more quick tip, keep a close look at the course schedule. This will not only help for knowing when extra credit points for the kingsfield procedure will be available, but also when assignments are due. The due date will not be mentioned in class.

Chuck Brueske (Winter '02)
Highline Community College

Hi everyone,

While psych 100 is a very interesting class, it is intense and there is a lot to learn. One thing I noticed is that most of its topics are interrelated thus making it easier to relate one thing to the other. Assignments too are as par. The other thing is that most of the things taught are basically what happens in our day to day activities.

Group work could be encouraging but if taking more than two classes it is hard to achieve. For every part of it, the exams need more reading and concentration "not those easy multiple choice kind of question". 

Lastly I wish everybody success in their endeavors in this worthwhile cause of getting learned.

Frank Kim (Winter '02)
Highline Community College

To future student of Sue Frantz

Should you have any problems, and or questions, do not be shy about letting her know.  She will not make you feel  lacking in knowledge (ignorant or stupid). She has great suggestions, and is willing to help.   

Tresa Rainey (Winter '02)
Highline Community College

Dear Intro to Psych students,
Sue teaches this class very well! The examples and information she gives during the lectures will help you in understanding what you read. She uses an outline that is available off the psych website, which will help organize and prepare you for the exams. Make sure you read all the homework before class so that you're prepared for the Kingsfield Procedure. I found that using the study guide, the book's website, as well as finding a study partner can help immensely. Finally, make sure to review your notes daily, this will help you retain what you have learned and possibly a better test score!

Good luck!

Candace Gardipee (Fall '01)
Highline Community College

Dear Intro to Psych students,
Take this from somebody who's been there, done that.  That sort of thing.  This is what I got to tell you.  Every time you get the chance to read on the book, please do so.  Even if it takes away your 15 minutes of your most precious time.  Prepare your reaction papers right away, ahead of time will be great.  Make sure you read before going to the class.  The topics are real interesting.  It will be more interesting if you know what they are discussing.  Take the time to subscribe and participate in the e-mail discussion list. I found the e-mails worth reading and very helpful. Just a head start, enjoy the class and be present in the lectures!   Have fun with learning especially with a great teacher and a great course!
Mari Wager (Fall '00)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo
The best advice I can give to is to READ, READ, READ.  When in doubt READ. 

Read especially before class.  Sue does a great job with the lectures and if you have read the chapters you will not be lost. 

When it comes to the test, know your stuff. 

Good Luck!

Janie Olivares (Fall '00)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Dear Future Intro to Psych Student, 

I have enjoyed this class very much . Sue Frantz is a very good instructor.  I heard many  times that she is a hard core instructor with a difficult class.  All I can say about that is that I didn't have that experience. She wants the students to learn about psychology and take something away with each of us into the rest of our lives.  I find it easier to learn from an instructor like her.  I do however have a suggestion:  if there is a study guide offered and recommended I say get it, use it!!  It helped me to understand what I should focus on and to absorb the content of the book better.  I got mine a little after class started but the first time I used it , there was an immediate difference for me.  Even if you walked into class dreading the whole deal, like I was, I feel confident that you will walk out of the class with a much better outlook on the subject of Psychology.  Enjoy! 

Joyce Jack (Summer '00)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Dear future Intro to Psych students,

The only advice I could give you is read the the extra credit can always help.  The other advice is don't just memorize the definitions, understand what they mean and remember Sue's examples.

Have Fun,
Toni Guedes (Summer '00)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Dear Future Student,
     I am finishing up my semester of Psychology this week and would like to give you a little bit of helpful advice.  When you first start off the semester don't go to class thinking that you are only taking it because it is a degree requirement.  That was my attitude when I first started class.  My attitude began to change after a few class periods.  I started reading the text and found that I was really interested in psychology.  What I can also tell you is that you should always read ahead of time so you know what is going on during class.  Sue is not a typical instructor.  She makes the material seem very easy and interesting.  Just be sure to study, go into the class with an open mind, and read ahead of time.  I hope you enjoy the class as much as I did.  Take Care! 

Bianca Mendez (Summer '00)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

To do well in the class you must have TIME.  Be willing to read and read and then read.  Sue told us she is here to assist the book.  She was 100% correct.  All of the test questions came from the book.  I gave a minimum of seven hours a week to the class.  I asked probably more questions than any other student.  Sue was always glad to help.  Join the e-mail list.  I am one of the ones who had a border line A and the extra credit helped push me to the A.  Make sure to do the reaction papers.  Trust me, you will want to have all the points you can get.

If you don't have the time.  I suggest taking psychology when you do.  I did not use the study guide.  I just read and made sure I understood the terms and how to apply them.  All the tests are application.  If you can not apply what you learn, you will have a problem.

Now for the good news.  Sue is an awesome teacher.  She will help you to understand.  She will tell you if you're in the ball park or not.  I was constantly in her office for one thing or another and she was always waiting.

Don Harris (Spring '00)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

After I read the class notes, then my book notes, I used your lecture copies (from your web page) to try and fill in the blanks. For example, if you had as one of your outline items "depression", I would try to give the definition, and see how close I was to the correct answer.  If you already had a definition, I would cover the answer and try to answer it on my own. In a sense, using your lecture copies as a mock test.

Sue, I really enjoyed your class!  Thank you so much for being patient with all the questions we had, and (most of the time) not laughing at our weird comments or ideas we had.  Your class is very challenging, but at the same time, informative and enjoyable.

Elena Prats Lombrana (Fall '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

I think the most important thing you can do to pass the class with a reasonable understanding of the material is attend every class, take notes, and if you can't make it to class have someone take notes for you.  Another thing you can do is sit in on one of the other classes that is maybe on a different day so you are caught up on the material. Class participation is important too. I found the more I discussed things in class the more they would stick with me and I got better understanding of the material.  Just pay attention and don't worry about speaking up and asking questions, there could be a whole bunch of people that have the same question but for whatever reason did not ask.  Try to
have fun in the class, of course with Sue has a teacher, it's hard not to have fun!  It makes the learning easier, that's for sure!

Heather Vernier (Fall '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Future Psych students,

This class has been a wonderful experience.  It was taught well and it has a lot of useful information.  Here is some advice:

1.  Make it to every class.  I felt like taking a couple days off but went anyway... It helped a lot and kept my interest up.

2.  Get to know the other students in the class... A lot of information can be learned this way.

3.  Don't be afraid to disagree.  For me that was easy.

4.  Get involved with the e-mail group.  Is was a blast and it helped me unwind after a long day.

5.  Use the text on line.  I used it a lot to prepare for the test and it even got me through a couple classes that I didn't have time for the reading.

6.  If you have doubts about something, ask Ms. Frantz, she is open and will clarify things.  If you are having trouble so is someone else.

7.  Finally, don't wrap yourself up in the grading system.  This class will give you what you earn and participation will get you the grade.

I had a wonderful time in Intro to Psych, I hope you do too.  Good Luck

Don Boots (Summer '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Dear Intro to Psych Student(s): 
Last semester I enrolled into Sue's Psy201 class.  I had been breezing through school with excellent grades.  But Sue's class is much different from other classes you take.  It is not about memorizing definitions, but actually understanding the concepts.  It is vital that you can personally relate as much of the information to yourself or incorporate it into some sort of scenario. I found that the study guide came in very useful, that is if you use it after reading the material.  The concepts in the study guide are very similar to the ones on Sue's tests.  The tests are as hard as you make them.  The more time you spend in actually studying, the better you will do. I wish all of you luck on this upcoming semester! No matter how difficult it gets, don't give up because you will  learn a lot from Sue and her class! 


Julie Walker (Spring '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

I have a little bit of advice for taking Sue's psychology class.  Find someone in your class or another section and study together.  I studied for the test with a friend in another section and it helped a lot.  We would define the concept and then we would both come up with an example that explained it.  After we did this we would also discuss the examples that Sue gave us.  It also helps tremendously if you participate in Sue's classroom experiments and examples.  It is really hard to forget a concept that you were a part of.  Good luck to everyone on the final and all the other finals you may have. 

Casey Oien (Spring '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Dear Intro to Pysch Class;
I was in Ms. Frantz's class last semester and I have some great advice for passing the course!! Things I wish I had known at the beginning of the course are that #1 you have to really read every  chapter she assigns you to read otherwise you will not be able to answer the extra credit questions she asks at the beginning of the class!  Also you should read each chapter at least three times in  order to really understand the chapter before the test.  My own personal advice: Try not to miss any class unless it is an  absolute emergency. Going to class every day is really beneficial and  when you do not go you really miss out on the candy Ms. Frantz gives out ( just kidding).  Really you miss out on a lot of interesting and useful knowledge that you could really use in the world today and for the test!! Well Good luck and Be Happy!!!! :-) 

Amy Jaime (Spring '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo

Intro to Psych Student, 
  Some advice I can give about the course is: STUDY, STUDY, STUDY. Like some students mentioned, relate all the topics they talk about to your own personal life. Myself, I read the chapters, took the online quizzes, read articles related to the chapters, attended the lectures (very important) and watched the psychology videos from the library. It is a really interesting class taught by a good instructor. I know you are going to have fun, like I did, and you'll remember and learn a lot of things that are going to help you in the future.  After taking the class I found out a lot of things about myself: being an anal repulsive, I'm trying to get over it my phobia of cockroaches, I sometimes become fixated on things, I don't forget things as much, and I'm still trying to learn how to learn. This and other things you will learn throughout the course which at the same time will be very practical. 
 Have Fun! 
                 Elliot ~:-@ WoW! 

Elliot Martinez Fraticelli (Spring '99)
New Mexico State at Alamogordo