If you're intelligent enough to get into school and work toward a degree in math, engineering or science, then it's a safe bet that you're intelligent enough to handle the course material. However, it's not at all unheard of for even the brightest minds to get bogged down while studying and ultimately flunking out.
There's an art to studying for the material properly, and knowing how to go about it will undoubtedly help you achieve success and avoid the proverbial failing grade. In this article, we'll cover various phases of the studying axiom: Planning, in-class, and out-of-class.
You'll find a lot of course material out there for business administration, nursing, and a wide assortment of other courses considered to be "easier". But there's not a lot of common sense, helpful information out there about engineering, math or science.
Why? Well, it has to do with the nature of the subject matter. These are three of the hardest degrees you could strive for, and assuming there’s an artful method to help you better study at any of them is a taboo in itself.
This isn't the case, however, and even the most basic study and life-planning tips can help a student out when working toward a degree in any one of these three big subjects. After all, a student pursuing such a degree obviously has the mental mettle to pull it off. Why shy away from common sense aspects of student life just because the course material is more difficult?
Here's where the difference comes in. Because these subjects require progressive, step-by-step learning of the fundamental order of processes, experts feel as if any attempt to streamline the learning process somehow sullies it.
The Planning – Phase I
You have to plan for these three subjects a little differently than other subjects. Your learning will have to fit into your life and become a part of it, not take it over. This all starts by realizing your must plan your life around the work in able to absorb it into your psyche.
Focusing on the Goal
The goal-graduating with a degree and learning everything you can in the field-is what you need to be focused on when you decide to take these types of courses. You're going to need to find the balance in your life between school and life, taking care to ensure that you have down time, time enough to sleep, time enough to study and time enough to work.
Calculate the Time
In this context, school should count as work - as in, it’s an obligation and something you must do. Look at it this way: there are 168 hours in a work. For 56 of those hours, you should be sleeping. This leaves you with 112 hours of viable time. If you’re working for 40 hours, then you have 72 hours in which to work with.
Now, assuming you'll have at least 70 hours to devote to schoolwork, formulate a schedule and adhere to it. How you go about doing this is vital to what the end result produces. For instance, if you think you can devote the entire chunk of time to studying and attending class, you'll quickly find yourself burned out.
The safest way to proceed here is to include your class time plus 2 to 3 hours daily. This is the time that should be devoted to studying per week. This leaves you with ample time to spend with family and friends, to spend by yourself, or to spend anywhere other than immersed in the material.
Out of Class – Phase II
How you conduct yourself out of class is going to be half the battle. Per the tips in the previous section, it's important that you spent plenty of "me" time to avoid the proverbial burn out.
Since the course material for math, science and engineering degrees is far more demanding, this is going to require you to cut out some of your usual extracurricular activities in order to stay fresh and alert for your classes and various assignments.
Forget about your course material for a second and focus on your personal life. A lot of information floating around won't place such strong emphasis on staying healthy and happy, but personal struggles and issues account for more than half of all failures in school.
Be sure you can find support when and where you need it. Doing this type of work isn't easy, so it's important that you have someone in your corner that believes in you and that can lend an ear when you need to speak. Joining various groups with your peers can be a great idea. Just make sure the "fun" you have is clean.
Keg stands and all-night debauchery makes for great Hollywood comedy, but it will spell pure disaster for your learning
Staying True to Yourself
It's almost important that you don't try to be anything you're not. You're not Superman. You're not the most brilliant person in the world. And you're not obligated to anyone but yourself to earn this degree. Use this information wisely and realize that you can't do it all quickly, you will run into problems, and that you only have yourself to let down.
More than anything: use your time away from school as an actual tool for school. The degree and course materials are always going to be on your mind. You have to find the focus without allowing school to invade all aspects of your life.
In Class – Phrase III
What you do in class is obviously going to have the most influence on whether you pass with flying colors or fail miserably. This is the third phase because it’s a combination of planning and out-of-class routines that will ultimately decide how well you do inside of the class with the material.
Knowing your Curriculum
It's important for you to understand which courses are prerequisites for other courses, and also which courses are traditionally offered as opposed to elective. This will put you on the right path and enable you to schedule your days and weeks with far more accuracy, and also allow you to develop a course of attack for note-taking, studying, lectures to attend, etc.
Find Your Balance and Prepare
A great tip to use with your actual classes is to categorize them by their degree of difficulty. This way, your class load becomes far more efficient and it allows you to properly prepare for what's ahead of you. You will also need to eliminate any and all classes from your repertoire for which you're not equipped to handle for whatever reasons.
These particular steps are made much easier if you plan it all out at least a year in advance.
Understand how You Learn
By knowing how you absorb knowledge, you’ll be able to correctly take notes, learn the material, complete projects, ace exams and ultimately have a great experience on your way to earning your degree. Use the previous tips listed and realize that you’re not a Superman – you can’t just do everything that’s offered. You will have to pick and choose your classes, study, work extremely hard and keep your school life and personal life separate.
In conclusion, remember these few points to help you study:
- Always attend class
- Take prerequisite courses
- Pay attention at all times
- Take notes whenever possible
- Give full effort for all assignments
- Listen up and ask questions when necessary
- Never procrastinate
- Find your balance in school and personal life
- Contribute to the classroom as well as taking part in it
references: education atlas..
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