How to Handle Increasingly Hard Classes

May 28, 2019 Nikki Kaing

There is no doubt that classes end up becoming more difficult throughout your college career. Course workload increases exponentially, and the material taught consists of deeper level thinking. Treating these courses with a careless attitude may significantly detriment your GPA and academic track, so consider following these tips on handling increasingly hard classes.

  1. Do Your Research.

Courses always become more difficult the deeper you go into your major, so ask around (other students, instructors, tutoring centers, or online sites with course reviews specific to your school) to gather more information on a specific course to see just how tough it really is. This will give you a good idea as to what to expect from both the professor and the course material, so you can better prepare yourself at the start of class.

  1. Set Your Priorities and Plan Ahead.

Once you’ve gotten a feel for which classes will be harder or more demanding, start making a study schedule. Allocate more study time to the more challenging courses and start studying earlier than you typically would for easier classes.

  1. Stay Invested.

Pay attention in class and actively take notes. Don’t lose focus by checking your phone or playing on your laptop. The material you’re learning is taught by the person who most likely creates your exams--- the professor. By listening to your professor, you’re one step ahead of most in scoring well in the course.

  1. Consistently Review.

Cramming doesn’t work. Cramming puts information into your short-term memory, not long-term memory where you need it for the whole semester. Reviewing what you have learned thus far in the course a few times a week will help you retain information easily and lessen the burden of cramming everything in your brain before an exam.

  1. Ask For Help.

Don’t be afraid to go to your professor to ask any questions. Even going to your friends who have taken, or are taking, the class will increase your understanding of the information better than if you hadn’t asked at all.

  1. Work in a Study Group.

Though being in a group may cause distractions, finding the right people to study with may prove to be the most helpful when studying. Gather people who are and are not taking the class with you. Those who are currently in the class can help answer and clarify any confusing material, while those who aren’t in the class can listen to you teach them the information. Verbally explaining concepts to others will undoubtedly enhance your knowledge and increase your level of thinking.

  1. Get Extra Help.

Professor office hours and tutoring centers don’t just have to be a resource for when you’re doing poorly. Setup time beforehand to review difficult concepts or big projects so that you’re confident you’ll do well. It’s always easier to get help before your grade is in jeopardy.

  1. Relax!

Take a deep breath. Don’t stress yourself out and panic. As long as you keep at it and prepare beforehand, you’ll have no problems getting through all your classes.

About the Author

Nikki Kaing is a Junior at University of Pittsburgh majoring in Finance.

More Content by Nikki Kaing
Previous Article
Is Taking an Online Class Right for You?
Is Taking an Online Class Right for You?

Learn the advantages of each course format, including face-to-face, online, and hybrid, and which one is th...

Next Article
The Benefits of Study Groups
The Benefits of Study Groups

Study groups give you a chance to learn differently and help each other without the pressure from instructors.