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Jan 26 2017
by Sarah Hunt

How to Succeed in Weed-Out Classes

By Sarah Hunt - Jan 26 2017

Every college student has heard about terrible "weed-out classes." While weed-out classes are supposed to challenge students and guide students to possibly other majors, they can be difficult for even the most dedicated students. Here are some tips on how to succeed in weed-out classes.

1. Understand the Material Before Class

 Since most classrooms are set up in a flipped classroom style, it is important to understand the material, or majority of it, before class. That way during class you can test your skills and reinforce what you already know, and get help in the areas you aren't sure about.

2. Read the Textbook

This is so important! To understand class material, you need to read the textbook, and not with Netflix on or only skimming — read the required materials, and if you don't understand a section, read it again! You'll thank yourself later.

3. Write Down Notes During or After Reading

While reading the textbook, jot down a few notes to keep your mind engaged. You can write bulleted terms or just things you find interesting. If you are in a time crunch, after reading the textbook or required readings, in five minutes write down everything you remember. Then go back and check yourself and see if you missed anything important.

4. Take Notes by Hand During Class

It may be easier to type out your notes; however, having your laptop out is an easy way to become distracted with online shopping. Instead, write out your notes, not only will you pay attention better, but research has found that writing notes is better for learning.

5.  Review Class Notes After Class

In between classes, take the time to review your notes from the previous class and mark places that you aren't sure about. If you have the time, type or write down any important information.

6. Form a Study Group

Form a study group with other students in your class — it is a great way to make friends and get extra practice. If you are worried about forming a study group, classes will often have tutoring sessions in the afternoons, or your university may have peer mentoring with students who have already taken (and did well) in your specific course.

7. Make a Study Schedule

Make a study schedule. For example, you may study for history on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour, and study for calculus on Monday and Wednesdays for an hour. This way you aren't studying for all your classes in one day and can focus on just one or two. 

8. Practice

While it is easy to make flashcards or look over old notes, the best way to study is to re-complete old homework, quizzes and tests. You can even time yourself to see how well you do under pressure! If you want new problems, ask your TA or professor, or google example practice problems. If you are in a class that is more essay based, review old essays, see what you did wrong and formulate your own prompts based on previous prompts and new information at hand. Just make sure to write an outline of ideas, or write a rough draft!

9. Ask for Help

If you don't understand something, ask for help — there are tons of resources on campus! Rather it be with a professor, TA, classmate or someone else, there is always someone to ask! However, if it is late, Khan Academy and Crash Course have great explanations for tricky topics. Always remember: Google is your friend.

While weed-out classes can be scary, you can do well in them if you try hard and believe in yourself. However, remember to take breaks and have fun. 

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Sarah Hunt - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sarah Hunt is a hopeful Nursing major at UNC Chapel Hill. She enjoys theatre and her shih tzu. Follow her twitter for encouraging, but sassy tweets @XoSmHXo2016 .

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