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!
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 even be able to direct you toward campus resources that can help. Look on your course syllabus for your instructor's office hours if you don't have time to approach him or her after class.
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.
For more help with understanding psychology, be sure to check out these tips for succeeding in psychology class as well as these psychology study tips. You might also consider signing up for the Psychology 101 E-Course for an introduction to some of the major topics in psychology.
Image courtesy Ana Balzic