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Second year of my engineering degree

  1. Aug 27, 2006 #1
    Hi, I am entering second year of my engineering degree. Everyone tells me that it is going to get easier but I dont know if it is true. I have to admit, I'm a prety big slacker, I passed all my courses, I could have done better but I guess I did alright. I have terrible study habits (usually only open my notebook the day before a test) but I pay attention in class and get all my assignments done. It would clearly be easier if I studied more and Im hoping to clean up my act this coming year. If there are any other engineering students out there what are your study habits like? How much time do you devote to studying?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2006 #2
    hmmmm..... No, get ready for it to get harder, not easier. Let's put it this way, im a ME, and last semester I was typcially up every night until 2-3 am. But then again, I have a high GPA. If your foundation is weak its going to come back and slap you hard. :frown:

    What is your concentration?
  4. Aug 27, 2006 #3
    It's going to get a lot harder, and if you don't change your study habits, you're going to fail - very badly. Engineering is difficult and also VERY time consuming.
  5. Aug 28, 2006 #4
    The material is going to get harder, but it should also start getting a lot less general. If you love the subject your studying, you will not mind putting in the time it takes to master it.

    As far as study time goes, I'm more of a morning person, I'm usually in bed by 9:30 pm or 10 pm and I wake up without an alarm at around 4 am. This gives me several hours to study before driving out to school as soon as it opens and getting another 3 hours or so in before my first class. In a typical week, I usually spend around 35 hours a week studying and working on lab reports.

    BTW, what engineering field are you majoring in?
  6. Aug 28, 2006 #5
  7. Aug 28, 2006 #6


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    The truth is that freshman engineering classes are often difficult in very different ways than are upper-division engineering classes.

    Here's what I mean: freshman engineering classes are usually difficult because they give you enormous volumes of busy work, or because they give you very complicated directions and grade very, very harshly for not following those directions to the letter. The actual concepts involved are not usually that difficult, but the classes are full of academic "booby traps." My first engineering class, Engineering Fundamentals I, did not actually involve any concepts more difficult than solving triangles with trigonometry, but the class was still extremely demanding because of its time pressure and grading schemes.

    These kind of classes are really not intended to teach you any concepts; they're just intended to develop your study skills, and prepare you to pay very close attention to the details in your later classes. They're also good at weeding out the students who don't have the self-discipline to come to class. If you're a bright student, you can get A's in these kinds of classes with virtually no studying at all, since there are no novel concepts involved.

    Later classes are difficult for an entirely different reason: they demand that you understand and effectively use advanced concepts. They don't necessarily require a lot of homework, but self-study is an absolute requirement. These kinds of classes require very good study skills.

    The most important piece of advice I can ever give you about study habits is this:

    Don't ever use the due date of an assigment to decide when you should begin doing it. Just reprogram yourself to consider each assignment "due" as soon as you get it. If you're given an assignment on Thursday, and it's due the following Thursday, you should ideally begin working on it the same night it was assigned. It should be done by the end of the weekend. If you let yourself fall into the delusion that you can do it all on Wednesday night, you are going to get yourself into some serious binds -- work from other classes will compete for your time -- and you will not do well in any of your classes. Begin working on the assignments as soon as you get them!

    - Warren
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