Study Tips - Spring 2018

Tip 11: Getting Ready for Finals

May 15, 2018

Good luck on your finals. There are resources to support you listed on this website including when and where there will be resource tables to get supplies or snacks as well as numerous activities to take a study break. This information is also on the “Finals Programs and Resources” tile on the SJSU Sammy app.

Some tips for studying to keep in mind:

  1. Take time to sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. These factors all are linked to greater memory, efficiency in test taking, and creativity in problem solving.

  2. Study actively- review concepts out loud or write down key thoughts, practice problems, etc,  You will enhance your memory versus just reading over notes or texts.

  3. Study far enough in advance to get your questions answered. Study a little bit each day for each subject. As you work on that class, create a list of questions. Go to the professor’s office hours, post them on your class discussion board, or review them with others in the class.

  4. Study together - meet up with other students (or post things on the Canvas discussion board) to talk through questions, practice problems, share ideas for possible test questions, etc.  You will learn more by answering others' questions and getting your questions answered. You can reserve a study room for your group at the library.


Tip 10: Now is the time to get ready for Fall 2018 registration April 25, 2018

Fall 2018 registration is coming soon. Now is the time to get prepared and get any questions you have answered.

  • You want to be ready to register immediately at the start of your registration time. Your registration time (enrollment appointment) is posted in your MySJSU account.

  • Check your account for holds (they show up on the right side of your home page after you log into MySJSU). Get those holds addressed now. If you do not know how to remove the hold, go to the front desk of Academic Advising and Retention Services in the Student Services Center. They will help you figure out who you need to speak to about your hold.

  • If you have not already done so, watch the videos on advising and registration in Module 1. These will guide you through the process of both figuring out what classes you need and the registration process itself.

  • Check MyProgress to see how the courses you are in this semester count towards your degree. The courses you are in this semester will have yellow diamonds by them. Make sure all courses and test credit you brought in to SJSU are showing up in there. If you think there is a discrepancy, contact your college success center.

  • Run MyPlanner. The tool automatically maps out next semester’s recommended courses along with all the courses left for your degree in a multi-semester plan.  If you do not have a link for MyPlanner in your MySJSU, ask your department chair about the timeline of when your major will be launched.

  • Right before your registration time, use MyScheduler to generate your ideal schedule and load your “shopping cart”. Then, when your registration time comes you just need to submit it.

  • If you have any questions about what courses to take in the Fall, contact your college success center or enter your question in this form and an advisor will get back to you.


Tip 9: Planning your Summer April 18, 2018

Summer Registration: Summer registration opens next week (on Monday April 9th). The class schedule and calendar are online. You can view your registration appointment for summer in MySJSU.

Year Round Pell: Effective July 2017, the federal government implemented the Year-Round Pell Grant program. This means Pell Grant funds can be used to cover a portion of the cost of summer courses. To take advantage of this, you must be eligible during the current academic year for the Pell Grant and take a minimum of six units. These can all be taken in one summer session or you can take three units in each session. If you have questions on whether you are eligible to use the Pell Grant in the summer or if it is the right financial decision for you, go meet with a drop-in financial aid counselor.

Using MyPlanner to Select Summer Courses: You can use MyPlanner to find summer courses that count towards your degree.

  1. First log into MyPlanner through MySJSU. It is a left side link under “Academics” after you log into MySJSU.  There are a small number of majors not yet active in MyPlanner. If the link is not there, ask your department chair about the timeline for when your major will be activated.

  2. After MyPlanner sets up your plan (which will take about 15 seconds if this is your first time using it), select “Continue”.

  3. Then select "Edit Preferences". Click on the “+” sign in any of the rows to add a semester. Select “Summer 2018” from the pull down menu.

  4. Enter the number of units you would like to take in the summer. (To be eligible for a Pell grant, you must take at last 6 units.)

MyPlanner is linked to the existing summer schedule and will bring up summer courses that count towards your degree. This will also automatically adjust the remaining semesters' scheduled, allowing you to see if taking these summer courses reduces the number of semesters you will be at SJSU. The cost of summer tuition may be countered by reducing your time to degree. If taking summer courses moves the graduation date up a semester, this will increase your savings by an estimated $25,000 (based on a study by the Campaign for College Opportunity which accounts for saved tuition and average potential earned income with a bachelor’s degree). 

Tip 8: It is time to start building your professional network April 4, 2018

If you aren’t looking for a job right now, it may seem to early for you to start networking with professionals. However, it is important to start on this early. Not only, to hone your skills but also because it will help you succeed in the classes you are in now.

Often it is who you know and who knows you that is a key factor in securing a job. Therefore, it is important to start to meet people in your prospective field and to practice communicating about yourself with others. Communicating about yourself and concepts in your field will also help reinforce what you are learning about that discipline in your classes.  

So, how can you work on networking?

  • The Career Center has extensive resources on how to go about building your network.

  • Get involved in an SJSU student org for your major

  • Attend talks on campus or in the local area. Ask questions, approach the speaker afterwards to introduce yourself.

  • Go to office hours. Talk with your professor about questions you have for the class but also about what interests you in your field.

  • Practice talking with your friends and family about the content in your classes. The more confident you get explaining the material, the easier it will be to talk to professionals in your field. This will also have the added benefit of helping you secure that material in your memory.

Attend the workshop: Social Skills for College Success - Professional Relationships, Thursday, April 5th, 2018, 2-3:15, Register here 

Tip 7: MLK Library March 9, 2018

Top 10 Reasons SJSU Students Are Always at the Library
1. Plenty of space to study: Nine floors and 475,000 square feet. Includes 39 study rooms, and
both quiet and talking floors.
2. A librarian for every SJSU major. Contact your librarian for research help.
3. Wifi on every floor! Your MySJSU account is your login.
4. Your textbook might be free as an ebook or on reserve.
5. 3D printing for your assignments.
6. Technology to borrow for free.
Laptops, iPads, calculators, cables, chargers, adapters, Raspberry Pis, Arduinos and more can be borrowed for free rom the library:
7. Software training to complete an assignment.
8. Rooms you can reserve to work with your project team or study group. 
9. Unique collections. The King Library houses the Beethoven Center, Steinbeck Center,
California Room, SJSU Special Collections, Cultural Heritage Center,
and Mark Trent Goldberg musical theater collection.
10. All-night study hours and late night tutoring 

Tip 6: Are You Maximizing Your Studying? March 6, 2018

Here are some tips to maximize your studying.

  1. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eating rightgetting adequate sleep, and exercising are all scientifically shown to impact memory and test performance.
  2. Make your studying active. Don’t just re-read notes or look over homework problems. Take new notes. Write down important concepts and questions you have. Work on new problems. You can make up problems or essay prompts and share them with others in the class.
  3. Explain what you understand to someone else. This is sure to highlight what you need to study more. A great way to do this is to study with others from your class. Reserve a study room in the library and use the Canvas discussion board to invite others from the class to join you there. You can also review material with a family member or friend. Even if they know nothing about the topic, they will ask you some great questions.
  4. Your instructor is there to help you. Make a list of questions and go to his/her office hours or send her/him an email or Canvas message. Be sure to leave plenty of time (don’t do this the night before the test). The ability to explain yourself to your peers and those above you at work is a key skill needed for promotions. So, consider office hours as a safe way to practice that skill now.

Other SJSU resources including free tutoring and workshops are listed on the Tutoring Hub 

Tip 5: Free Resources for Writing February 23, 2018

A key component to excelling in most any field is your oral and written communication skills. SJSU has free resources to help you hone these skills. This will help you both in classes now and benefit you down the road in your professional career.

Check out the expanded resources of the SJSU Writing Center! During the spring 2018 semester, they are offering drop-in tutoring services in their Clark Hall 126 location, and they are offering their regularly scheduled tutoring sessions in their new location on the second floor of the MLK Library. They serve all active SJSU students (graduate and undergraduate).

All students are encouraged to attend Writing Center workshops, visit them for one-on-one tutoring, read their blog, and use their handouts and videos (all of which are created by SJSU writing tutors). 

Tip 4: Using University Resources February 16, 2018

Make sure you are taking full advantage of the resources you have already paid for through your tuition to get questions answered you may have about your classes.

Connect with faculty: First off, don’t miss out on the opportunity of connecting with the faculty who teach your classes. Go to office hours or approach them after class with a question. Introduce yourself and remind them what class you are in. Prepare a list of questions ahead of time so you are organized. If you are nervous, recruit a friend from the class to join you. In addition to tapping in to their expertise, asking them questions and sharing ideas you have with them is a great way to gain experience in professional networking, a skill critical to getting a job and being promoted in your field.

Tutoring and workshops: There are also numerous tutoring resources and professional development workshops included in your tuition. Take a moment now to look over all the resources ranging from development in writing, communication, technology, and specific content areas and fields.

Tutoring Hub:

Academic Success and Professional Development Workshops:

Tip 3: Time Management February 9, 2018

Now is the time in the semester to make sure you are organized and have your time managed well. Need some tips on that?

Peer Connections has a time management workshop coming up: Thursday, February 15th, 2-3pm in SSC 603

Also, the Spartan Success Portal has an online time management workshop.  To access that:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the “Spartan Success Portal”
  3. Create an account (free to all SJSU students)
  4. Search “Time Management” (There are also 53 other online workshops on professional development skills.)

As you collect all your class syllabi, you should take some time to make a formal, weekly time management schedule.

  • Plan out when you will be in class and other set commitments like work or caring for family.
  • Allot time for exercise, eating, commuting, and adequate sleep.
  • Block out times during each day when you are going to study. Set aside to do the weekly recurring activities like homework, readings, etc.
  • Use a calendar and block out when the major assignments for each class are due all semester.
  • Be realistic and allow time for you to be yourself. That is, put in time for things that are important to you like socializing, spending time online, or volunteering.
  • Recruit one of your friends to be an “accountability buddy”. Share you schedule with them and ask them to check in with you about how often you study or how much time you spend on other things that might be hard for you to limit like socializing or being online.
  • Share your schedule with your family. Help them to understand the new time commitments you will have with college.

There are more time management resources here:


Tip 2: Details on dropping/withdrawing from classes February 2, 2018

 Monday 2/5 (at 11:59 p.m.) is the last day to drop any classes online through MySJSU. (Please note that the system will be down from midnight on Friday 2/2 through 5 p.m. on Sunday 2/4. Plan to adjust your schedule before Friday night.) Right now you should review all your syllabi. Evaluate assignments, due dates, and course workload with everything else you have going on. Make sure this is the right schedule for you.

Beginning Tuesday 2/6 you will need to submit petition to drop or withdraw. The drop petition is used for individual classes.  If you are dropping more than one, fill out a petition for each class. The withdrawal petition is used to drop all classes.  Petitions can be found at Drop/Withdrawal Petitions. The HealthCare Provider form is also found on this page. The petitions for Spring 18 will be posted on 2/6. 

 The only exception to submitting a petition starting Tuesday, 2/6 is if you are changing from one section of a class to another section of the same class through Monday, 2/12, the last day to add. In this case, you should take your permission/add code to Window R in the lobby of the Student Services Center, and the Registrar’s Office will make the section change.

 For the drop and withdrawal petitions, read the instruction page carefully and note the following:

  • You should submit a drop or withdrawal petition if you have had a significant change in life circumstances that occurred after the drop date (or, because of the scope of the incident, clearly prevented you from dropping classes by the deadline). These must be verifiable in some way. Really, you need to show what changed in your life- something unanticipated that is contributing to not being able to handle that load of classes or specific times of classes.  If you are only dropping some classes, you need to address why you must drop those specific classes.
  • Drops will not be approved because of lack of prerequisites, poor academic performance, non-attendance, change of major, or because a class is not required.
  • Final approval is granted by Academic Advising and Retention Services (AARS). Instructors, Major Advisors, and Associate Deans either acknowledge or recommend. They do not approve.
  • There are no refunds for drops (except for Open U classes). Refunds for withdrawals are pro-rated and may affect financial aid.
  • All approved classes that are dropped will show a W grade, which does not calculate in the gpa.
  • You are expected to continue to attend class until notified by a MySJSU message that the drop has been approved.
  • All petitions require both a personal statement and supporting documentation.


Tip 1: Welcome Back- are you in the right classes? January 25, 2018

Welcome back! We hope you had a good fall semester and a restful break. We are thrilled to have the energy and enthusiasm of students back on campus. 

Here are some tips for making sure you are in the classes you need this semester:

  • Check your schedule: If you have not already done so, log into MySJSU and make sure the schedule appears matches what you think you are in. Make sure you know where each class is located.
  • 15 to Finish: You should be registered for 15 units to make timely progress to your degree.  Students who register for more units per semester actually have higher GPAs. Also, registering for 15 units each semester instead of 12 will save you over $20,000 in tuition and lost income
  • Wait list/ adding a class: The wait lists from the regular registration period have gone away. If you want to add a class, you need to contact the instructor and/or go to the first class session. Using MyScheduler is the easiest way to find classes that fit in your schedule and have space available.
  • MyProgess: Have you run MyProgress yet? If not, take some time now. The courses you passed in fall (and any AP or other units you transferred in) will show up as “green” on your MyProgress. The courses you are registered for in spring will be “yellow”.  The “red” courses will show you the remaining requirements for your degree.
  • Dropping a class: You have until Monday Feb 5th to drop a class. So, for now, do not drop a class until you have been added into an alternative.
  • GE options not at SJSU: If you can't find a GE course at SJSU that matches your schedule, try using Quottly to find options. This site will help you find transferable, online courses at other Cal State Universities and California Community Colleges that count towards SJSU's GE requirements. It is free to search (there is a $34 fee if you register for the course through Quottly).

Any questions? Contact an advisor in your college success center or email