With unshakeable optimism and an insatiable hunger for wisdom, Idealists enjoy learning. People with this temperament inspire others to realize their potential, and often show a great deal of influence in groups. Idealist students possess a wide variety of abilities, and succeed in majors that fit their interests. If you are an Idealist, you may need extra study time and effort when studying for midterms in required classes; it is more difficult to study subjects outside your major. There are 4 distinct types of Idealist personalities: Teacher, Counselor, Champion and Healer. Follow these guidelines to help you prepare for midterms and improve your GPA.

To fulfill a liberal arts requirement, Elizabeth, an Idealist Teacher, decided to take an art appreciation course that conveniently fit her schedule. Finding the course quite difficult, Elizabeth sought advice on how to improve her study skills. Teachers study most effectively by utilizing both social and quiet time. The material takes on greater meaning when they talk it over with friends, while studying alone allows for deep introspection. Both study methods are important for Teacher students. To prepare for midterms, Teacher students should take time to review their notes and mark items which are likely to be on the test. Pay particular attention to key words and/or phrases; Teacher students can be too global and lack specifics. Knowing key definitions and being able to cite examples helps them have a thorough understanding of the concepts.

Stephen, an Idealist Counselor, liked to write, but was having trouble in English literature. His instructor wanted a great deal of details in his essays, and told Stephen he was not specific enough. How could he improve his study skills? Counselors may have problems with memorization if the material triggers original thinking. When this happens, they need to spend more time with the material and discuss it out loud. Write down key points; it can also be helpful to use flash cards for definitions. For languages or oral presentations, Stephen should practice speaking the material to become proficient. Counselor students need a quiet place to study. They can learn to study when surrounded by sound, but generally are able to concentrate better in quiet surroundings. Counselor students need periods of uninterrupted concentration and are likely to ‘give up’ if interrupted too frequently.

Eddie, an Idealist Champion, needed help studying for a required math class. Champion students do best when studying in groups; talking about it with fellow students helps with retention. Even when studying alone, they want to have activity around them. Champions may choose to study with music or the TV playing; it can also help simply having people in the room with them when they study. Sitting still for too long does not work for them, so they should take breaks and move around. Since Champions are so original in their thinking, memorization may not come easily. Stephen will remember math material better if he both writes and talks about the solutions. Whenever possible, he should highlight textbooks to show key concepts and phrases, while learning to be selective with the highlighting pen.

Pauline, a creative Artisan Healer, is majoring in art, with a minor in music. She was having trouble with a required history course. Despite reading the material over and over, it just didn’t seem to stick. She asked what else she could do to optimize her study time. Healers need to make the material their own through discussion or visualization, rather than trying to absorb it only through reading. Though some Healer students want quiet and others want to listen to music, they usually prefer to study where they won’t be interrupted. When studying for midterms, it can help to repeat the material out loud. Healers do best when the material becomes part of their own experience, not just something to memorize. Pauline can also phone friends to joke around, or debate about, the material.



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