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

Accessible Study Cycle


Clock Icon


Plan for success



At the start of the semester, check your course syllabi. Then, fill in your class organizer and semester calendar.

Check Your Syllabus

Syllabus Handout
Accessible Syllabus Handout

Class Organizer

Class Organizer (PDF)
Accessible Class Organizer

Semester Calendar

Summer 2024 Semester Calendar (PDF)
Accessible Summer 24 Semester Calendar
Calendar updated on May 23, 2024.

Final Exam Planner
Final Exam Planner


Example Class Organizer and Semester Calendar

Example Weekly Planner and Master To-Do


Use a weekly calendar to plan your time. Then, use a master to-do list to identify your tasks for the week.

Master To-Do List

Master To-Do List (PDF)
Accessible Master To-Do List

Weekly Calendars

Weekly Schedule (PDF)
Accessible Weekly Schedule

Weekly Planner (PDF)

Accessible Weekly Planner



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, table of contents and learning objectives
    • Use textbook learning objectives to create an outline for your notes
  • Read upcoming class materials actively
  • Form questions

Use this template to organize and focus for problem-based/STEM classes:

Preview Template
Accessible Preview Template

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

Use this handout for more tips for effective note taking in problem-based/STEM classes:

Taking Notes Handout

Review: After Class

Reflect on the class session. This is your chance to form questions that you need to answer in your study sessions. As soon as possible after class, review your notes:

  • Fill in gaps
  • Annotate
    • Highlight important notes
    • Mark the muddiest points
    • Underline key terms/formulas
  • Connect course notes to learning objectives. 
  • Identify questions to be answered and concepts to master while studying


Book Icon


Build your knowledge


Understand Concepts

First, build understanding of basic concepts to establish a good foundation for your learning.

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

Active Reading Handout
Accessible Active Reading

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

  • Faculty Office Hours
  • CAS Content Support Services
  • Form a study group


Interact with the Material

Then, interact with the material to deepen your knowledge and achieve higher levels of learning.

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.

Concept Mapping Handout
Accessible Concept Mapping

Graphic Organizer Handout
Accessible Graphic Organizer

Active Study Strategies Handout

Accessible Active Study Strategies 

Rework/Review areas that were unclear, including:

  • Incorrectly answered homework problems
  • Additional practice questions

Check for Mastery

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

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 supplemental publisher or textbook resources for additional practice
  • Track missed items – 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.

CAS Content Support Services

   Supplemental Instruction   Tutoring


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.

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.