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Studying tips?

by RussellBear
Tags: studying, tips
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Mar8-12, 09:07 AM
P: 2
I am having trouble getting good grades in classes in general, not just Physics. I've taken Calculus Physics I and II, and have gotten Cs in both. I have some Liberal Arts requirements I need to take in order to graduate, and I also get Cs in those.

I am currently at a Community College, so I commute to school in the morning around 6, and just stay there all day (because sometimes I have night classes) and go home at 9 at night. Throughout the day, if I am not in class, I will be sitting in the library studying, so technically I literally study all day, every business day. On the weekends I will do similar but since I don't have classes I just stay home and study.

Since this study time including classes accumulates to very close to 75+ hours a week, I figure I am doing something wrong if I am barely passing the classes (minimum grade for most of my classes is a C).

For example in Physics class, I can read the material and perform most of the questions presented to me based on that material, but on an exam if a question of similar nature is posed but with slight variation, I often get lost and tend to overthink the problem and end up spending more than I wanted on a single question. Basically I go through the motions of "brute forcing" techniques on a problem to see if I can get an answer, which makes me believe for some reason I am not understanding the underlying concepts and only the basics.

For the Liberal Arts classes, they're mostly kicking my a** because I go off-topic a lot and don't complete the assigment given and I am terrible at structuring my thoughts so I don't know how to transition paragraphs or a set of information because I have difficulty discerning what information is relevant to other information...for example if I am discussing in a paragraph about, say, the topic of dangers of ice on the street, I am not sure if I sure reference the factor of speed into that same paragraph, or if it's not relevant at all. I don't know what the professor wants to read, and it doesn't help that she blows everyone off that seeks help. I sought the assistance of a classmate who is doing well in the class, but I still got a C on the essay.

Anyway, my study habits consist of just reading the texts of a particular class over and over again until I can understand the wording (sometimes they use complicated sentence structures so it can take a while to decipher a sentence into plain old understandable layman English), and then re-read everything until I believe I understand what I am reading. For subjects like Calculus/Physics I will do just the same except also solve all the practice problems I can find in assignments and textbooks, and if I have time to spare will review those same problems again because I don't have great memory so I usually forget the solutions to the problems which sort of works out because I get to solve them again.

I feel for most of the Liberal Arts classes, I am not understanding what the professor wants even though I try to make out what they do want from the class Syllabus but either I am naturally born to be terrible at academics, or I have some sociopathic lack of empathy which prevents me from understanding what people want.

If there is a flaw in my study technique, please advise so I can fix it immediately. It's a bit too late (the program I'm in requires a minimum of 3.3 GPA and minimum of 3.0 GPA for math/science classes with no re-takes) since I will be transferred out of the program into a regular college degree program, but I still want to get into grad school so I'd like to keep up my grades, ideally up to the 3.8-3.9 range so I have a good shot at a school with lots of funding for research in engineering and good lab equipment.
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