DBAs have been part of the FLVS curriculum for a long time. Many students, including myself, feel anxious about them. Whether it’s due to being unprepared or not fully understanding the module, there are numerous reasons to dread DBAs. As a 14-year-old in 11th grade, I find myself spending endless hours writing arguments and notes, watching help videos, and attending tutor sessions for a conversation that lasts less than 10 minutes. In this blog, I will share five tips to help students prepare for a successful DBA. From one student to another, these tips will assist you in overcoming anxiety, improving your studying techniques, taking effective notes, and more!
Tip #1: Planning & Goal Setting
Goal setting is a crucial part of a successful DBA. SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely) are an effective way to achieve your desired outcomes. These goals have helped me set both short and long-term targets when preparing for a DBA. They also minimize procrastination and reduce overwhelming stress.
Tip #2: Positive Reinforcement
Preparing for a DBA also involves taking care of your mental health. I often hear other students say, “I can’t do this” or “This is too hard.” When getting ready for a successful DBA, it’s essential to remain positive. Remind yourself that making mistakes is okay and that there’s always a chance to redo the DBA. We won’t always succeed immediately, but with positive reinforcement, everything becomes easier. Try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “I can do this” or “This will be the best DBA ever!” My personal word of encouragement is: “Cecilia Khan, Do It, and so can you!”
Tip #3: Study Execution
My third tip for all of you is to create a study execution guide. For example, for every 30 minutes of studying, take a 5-minute break. During this break, stretch, go for a short walk, or engage in some other physical activity. I use this method because it allows me to take a break from screen time, increases my focus capacity, and helps calm my mind. It’s important to customize this guide according to your study abilities. I assure you that this tip will change your perspective on studying.
Tip #4: One Sheet with Prepared Notes
We spend countless hours writing notes for our DBAs, only to use very few, if any, of them. Therefore, I recommend reducing the number of notes to just one sheet. Write down the most important bullet points that are supported by three specific facts learned in the lesson. The help site usually provides us with a DBA study guide, which can be used for more specificity.
Tip #5: Connect with Peers
My final tip is to connect with your peers. Studying in groups helps many students externalize their thoughts, keep their sessions interesting, and stay accountable. While studying in a group or with a partner replaces independent study, it can be a useful component of a comprehensive study plan.
By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared and confident for your upcoming DBAs. Good luck!