One Reader Writes: I am taking psychology for the first time in college and I have always thought that it would be a really interesting subject to study. That is why I took up this subject but now I am finding it really hard to understand or something like that! I just don’t want it to become a waste and really want to know and learn more and more. Can you please give some advice on where to start? Thank you so much!
What to Do When You Are Struggling With a Psychology Class?
Learning a new subject that you are not familiar with can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you understand the class materials and do well on tests and assignments. First things first, start by discussing your concerns with your class instructor. Your professor can offer helpful tips on how to best study the material. The instructor may even be able to direct you toward campus resources that can help. Look at your course syllabus for your instructor’s office hours if you don’t have time to approach him or her after class. Or even try emailing your instructor to see if they have any suggestions that may help.
Things You Can Do to Improve Your Grade
Some other tips:
- Form a psychology study group. Get together with a group of your classmates at least once a week to go over class notes, review difficult topics and prepare for exams.
- Find a tutor. Contact your academic advisor or ask your course instructor if psychology tutors are available. Even if there is not a formal tutoring program in place, you might be able to find an upper-level psychology student interested in volunteering as a tutor.
- Read the assigned chapters before class. While it is easy to procrastinate and fall behind, doing the readings early is the best way to get the most out of class discussions. Read the chapters and take notes as you read. Write down any questions you have and make note of any topics that you don’t understand. By doing this, you will be prepared to actively discuss and ask questions during class.
Finally, try not to be too hard on yourself but do take your classes seriously. Psychology can be a difficult subject, and certain courses such as statistics and biopsychology can be particularly challenging. Most importantly, take action as soon as possible. The more quickly you address the problem, the more likely you are to have luck improving your grades.
Kendra Cherry, MS.Ed., is an author, educator, and founder of Explore Psychology, an online psychology resource. She is a health writer and editor specializing in psychology, mental health, and wellness. She also writes for Verywell Mind and is the author of the Everything Psychology book (Adams Media).
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