Student Guide: How to Pass Your Courses This Semester


With you back in your dorm rooms anticipating another year of frat house parties and other forms of college debauchery, better think of the reason why you’re in college – you’re studying to earn your degree. However, like. But this year’s a good year to revisit good study habits. So here are some study tips to help you pass your courses this semester.

Attend the first class session. Professors would usually hand out the course syllabus and reading list on the first day of classes. Your professor will also most likely elaborate on the course requirements (tests, papers, studies to be done) and the grading scheme for these requirements. Knowing all of these would help you create a battle plan. Knowing which requirements take the bulk of your grade would help you choose which ones to focus on. More importantly, knowing the schedule can help you plot out your schedule for the semester.

Hit the library. Armed with the list of books you’ll be using for the semester, hit the library. It would always be helpful to be the first person to check those books out. Just in case, there are limited copies of the books, you’ll be the first one to get a copy. If you will be using a textbook, go to your college’s bookstore and get them there. Doing a study? Here’s a detailed guide on library research.

Take time to study. Know when to pass off that chugfest at the neighboring dorm. Set aside study time for each of your subjects everyday. Make a killing out of your study time with M.U.R.D.E.R study guide.

Focus on what’s needed. Your reading list may be fifty books long but that doesn’t mean that you have to read and master all of them. Just focus on the sections that would be taken up in class. Always counter-check what you’re reading with your course syllabus. Better yet, summarize what you read in your notes. Focus on the key ideas and the examples. It’s always easier to remember things through examples.

Take notes. Lectures can really be boring but that shouldn’t be a reason for you to doze off or skip class. Most professors would base their exams on their lectures. Bring your laptop with you or at least a notebook and pen. Take advantage of technology. Use your MP3 to record the lecture if the professor goes too fast. Get a snapshot of the board after the class is finished.

Pace your work. Specifications and guide questions for academic papers are usually given ahead of time. However, that doesn’t mean that you have a week or two to wait before doing an all-nighter. If you have a week to finish your work, start working on it the day it was assigned. This way you can properly prepare, outline, and flesh out the details. Working on it early gives you ample time to revise or revisit your work and look at it with new perspectives.

Prepare for exams. Ask your professor what type of exam will be given beforehand. Knowing the structure of your exam will help you focus. Objective multiple-type exams would require you to memorize details and are oftentimes the easiest to get away with. Essay type exams would definitely be one of the tougher ones to contend with since your knowledge of the details, capability to phrase them in your own words, and your understanding will be put to test. Here’s a guide to answering essay-type exams.

Relax. All work and no play makes Jack a suicidal college kid. While all of the tips above urges you to go on geek-mode, we’re not stopping you from fun. Besides, college is probably one of the best years in your life. Structuring your schedule and working on your requirements in advance could, in fact, give you a more confortable pace so that you can spend Fridays and weekends partying.