Four Steps to Succeed in Tough Classes

There are bound to be a few extremely tough classes at some point in your college career, no matter how smart you are. Maybe the professors aren’t conventional, the subject matter is very vast, or the content itself is super challenging, but the bottom line is that the class is tough. Here are a few things you can do to make it through the class successfully.

  1. Make some friends in said class and form a study group.
    Forming a group with others who are taking the class will help you form a strong support system. I am not saying you have to be best buddies with these people, but doing the homework together and reviewing material before exams can be really beneficial, since someone else in your group might know a concept that you don’t and vice versa.
  2. Talk to students who have taken the class before.
    Usually, students who have taken the same class with the same professor will very willingly give you advice on how to deal with the class or the professor. They usually have tips on how to ‘beat the system’ or what the exams are like. Never question the value of the experienced.
    If you don’t know any seniors who have taken the class before, going to clubs focused on your major will help you locate them. E.g: ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and ACM (Associated Computing Machinery).
  3. Study the material before the instructor goes over it.
    Skimming or studying some of the material before the professor goes over it might help you make more sense of what is going on in class. Doing this will also help you realize what questions you have earlier on, and you will be able to ask the professor sooner, who will consequently notice your effort in the class.
  4. Make use of office hours.
    Every professor has office hours. Every single one. So do teaching assistants.
    If you are struggling in the class, ensure that you are meeting the professor/TA and going over your questions/concerns. They are usually willing to meet you outside their office hours if you ask early enough as well.
    They are here to help you, so please please please make sure you use them as the valuable resources they are.

I hope you don’t have a lot of difficult classes, but these tips will definitely help if and when you do!

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