How to Pass a Hard College Course

How to Pass a Hard College Course
Passing a hard college course may be easier than you think

We've all been there before, that college class that drives so much fear into you, your hands were probably shaking when you clicked register. The class may have gained so much notoriety that it's a hot topic of other students in your major. It may be one or based on your major a few, and you just can't stop thinking that after all your hard work, this may be just the thing to bring your GPA down. Passing a hard college course, however, is not impossible, and it may actually not be as hard as you think. Here are 5 useful tips for passing even the hardest college courses.

Bring Your "A Game"

How to Pass a Hard College Course
Bring your "A game" now, so you won't have to later

When it comes to passing a hard college class, the number one thing you do not want to do is to set yourself up for failure. Forget everything that may have gotten you by in an easy course, when it comes to this one, you're going to want to bring your "A game".

What this is going to mean is you are going to have to dedicate additional time in the week just to do your coursework. It may sound like a lot to do now, but it is better to get it right now than have to get it right again next semester because you failed the course. Also do not procrastinate, and ensure you begin coursework at least 3 days ahead of schedule.

Stay One Step Ahead of Lectures

How to Pass a Hard College Course
Reading ahead gives you the opportunity to review content and get help with things you many not understand

Always read required chapters before your lectures. This is highly effective because it gives you another chance to study. The lectures become less stressful, because they are now more of a review than an introduction to new concepts.

It also gives you the opportunity to know ahead of time what concepts you are having trouble grasping, and therefore what topics to ask your professor for assistance with. Chances are your professor is well aware of how the course is viewed, and will be even more helpful to those who put in the effort.

Take Notes

If you have the time take notes of concepts in the textbook and write it in our own words

Take notes both during and after the lecture. During the lecture take notes from materials on the PowerPoint slides, even if you are able to print the slides. The act of writing down the concepts actually forces you to read it in your head, and will make it easier for you to internalize it. Also write down any additional explanation the professor offers that may not be in the book. You can take notes word for word while the lecture is going on.

At a later time, go over those notes and this time put it in your own words. That will test if you truly understand what was taught. Also take notes in your own words while you read the textbook. Taking notes is a great study tool, and you can actually study your notes instead of the textbook when the time comes.

Supplement Your Learning

How to Pass a Hard College Course
YouTube and Khan Aacademy are great resources that are also free.

If you're getting your information from one source in this day and age, you're doing it wrong. There is far too much information readily available for you to rely solely on the coursework. Supplementing your learning is effective because a huge part of the reason why you may have trouble passing a course may relate to your learning style. Watch videos from other sources like YouTube (you may be shocked at the amount of educational videos available), which has videos on a wide range of topics.

Khan Academy is another great resource especially for those doing Math and Science, and it too is free. There are also tutoring companies like Tutoring Zone and Study Edge that tailor videos specifically to your course, and give in depth reviews on assignments and exams.

Apply Your Knowledge

How to Pass a Hard College Course
Practice chapter reviews and old exams

Practice makes perfect, and it is especially true when it comes to a hard college course. Always look for opportunities to test what you have learned. Practicing is extremely important if you are taking a quantitative course like Calculus, Statistics, College Algebra and Finance. Many textbooks contain chapter review sections that test you on what you just read.

Another great way to apply your knowledge is by doing old exams. Many professors have ran out of new questions to put on exams, and simply change small details like numbers. So this is a must do, especially if you're looking to score an A.

Do you have any other useful tips for passing a hard college course? Tell us in the comment below.

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