CAS Semester Toolkit

CAS Semester Toolkit

The CAS Semester Toolkit will help you organize your time, engage in your classes, and get the most out of your studying. Tap into these tools to help you implement the CAS Study Cycle and excel in your courses all semester long!

CAS Study Cycle (VIDEO)



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Get the most out of your time. 



At the start of the semester, fill in your semester calendar and class organizer.


Semester Calendar

Fall 2021 Semester Calendar (PDF)

Fall 2021 Semester Calendar (PPTX)

Calendars updated on September 29, 2021.

Class Organizer

Class Organizer (PDF)


Use weekly planners to schedule out your specifics for each upcoming week. 


Weekly Calendars

Weekly Schedule (PDF)

Weekly Planner (PDF)


Start each day by updating your Master To-Do List. 


Master To-Do List

Master To-Do List (PDF)


Classroom Icon

Get the most out of class.


Preview: Before Class

Get the big picture. Do the following to prepare for class: 

  • Check your syllabus
  • Preview material to be discussed
    • Watch videos
    • Review vocab, graphs, and table of contents
    • Create a concept map or outline
  • Read upcoming class materials actively
  • Form questions

Attend: During Class

Stay on track. Focus on the following strategies to get the most out of class time:

  • Reduce distractions
  • Take meaningful notes
  • Listen to understand
    • Focus on the why and how
  • Engage with the professor
    • Ask questions
    • Participate in class discussion

Review: After Class

Reinforce your learning. As soon as possible after class, review your notes by:

  • Fill in gaps
  • Annotate
    • Highlight important notes
    • Mark the muddiest points
    • Underline key terms/formulas
  • Identify questions to be answered


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Use Active Strategies


Build Understanding

Build understanding of basic concepts to establish a good foundation for your learning.

Interact with the Material

Interact with the material to deepen your knowledge and achieve higher levels of learning.

Check for Mastery

Test your recall ability, depth of knowledge, and understanding without using resources. 

Review concepts

  • Watch videos
  • Review notes
  • Make flashcards

Actively read course materials

  • Paraphrase concepts and take notes
  • Answer embedded questions
  • Identify and define new vocabulary

Attend a Shell Study Group or form your own study group

Ask why, how, and what if questions while using active strategies:

  • Combine notes from class, textbook, etc
  • Rework example problems/questions
  • Complete homework assignments
  • Make connections with concept mapping, outlining, etc.

Identify problem areas and get help if needed (keep log of questions)


Rework/Review areas that were unclear, including:

  • Incorrectly answered homework problems
  • Additional practice questions

Create your own tests or use practice tests

  • Test for memorization by using Quizlet or flashcards (ask who, what, when, where)
  • Use why, how, and what if questions to get to higher levels of learning
  • Use good writing strategies when practicing sample essays/short answer questions
  • Log items missed – try to find patterns for missed items

Simulate the testing environment 

  • How long is the test?
  • What are the materials you can use?
  • Is it online or on paper?

Determine if you can teach the material. If not, figure out what areas you still need to work on. 


Additional STEM Tools

CAS Course Study Cycles

Biology 1201 Study Cycle

How to study efficiently in your Biology 1201 course.

Math 1550 Study Cycle

How to study efficiently in your Math 1550 course.

Chemistry 1201 Study Cycle

How to study efficiently in your Chemistry 1201 course.

Study Cycle for Problem-Based Courses

How to get the most out of in-class time and structure your out-of-class time for problem-based courses.


CAS Resources

Multi-Step Problem Organizer

How to organize the process of solving multi-step problems.

Get the Most Out of Homework

How to work homework effectively with problem-based strategies.

How to Study Physics

Resources to learn how to study physics.


Chemistry Resources by JoVE

LSU Libraries purchased two new products from the JoVE Science Education Video Collection. The purchase includes Chemistry and Core Biology content. Educators and students use the video collections to better teach and learn key concepts and fundamental techniques at the undergraduate course level.