Below are some thoughts, tips and tricks to help young engineers navigate their studies. The ‘broad strokes’ of this editorial are 1) students often need to participate/practice/study much more than what they think will be required and 2) students should evaluate the credentials of their sources carefully.

Study Tips:

  1. Go to class: In-class participation is valuable. Form a postive habit. Meet people. Ask questions. There really is no substitute. Attendence shows a commitment to the course material. Being present during a lecture, recitation, example problem or guided discussion is much different than watching a video or reading a chapter. First, each class meeting is literally expensive. Consider the following thoughts. For 12 credit hours with a tuition of approximately ${$5000}$ a 3 credit hour course will cost about ${$417}$. If a course meets two days a week and has 28 lectures, admission to each lecture is around ${$15}$. Imagine handing your professor ${$15}$ in cash at the door to gain entry to your class. The payment is not immediate, but happens through invoicing, financing, grants or scholarships. Student incur cost and often debt for the opportunity to attend each lecture. Second, the practice of attendence is a mental and physical commitment of your educational investment towards your personal growth. A group of people form this positive educational habit together (including your professor). When a ‘critical mass’ is present, your professor will be energized from your great questions and interactions. These interactions help students protect the value of their investment. Students will make friends and acquaintances in this atmosphere. These friendships may last for decades. Your classmates will likely turn into your customers, clients, employers, employees, etc. Building your reputation with these future colleagues has already started. These added benefits evaporate when attendance is lacking.
  2. Take good notes: Students must form their own relationship with course material. No one else can do the work, effort has to come from each individual. Sometimes working in groups is beneficial, but the material must be processed and stored by some means into each student’s neurons. The most effective approach for organizing the material that students intend to commit to their minds is ‘active’ note taking.
  3. Rewatch lectures:
  4. Use your professor’s office hours wisely:
  5. Contact your professor respectfully, efficiently, and effectively:
  6. Learn to read your textbook:
  7. Study in groups:
  8. Try to explain concepts in your own words:
  9. Try to create your own problems:
  10. Don’t be afraid to go backward (maybe you missed something):
  11. Seek credible guidance externally:

Exam Preparation:

  1. Make a summary sheet:
  2. Make a notecard:
  3. Practice using your calculator:
  4. Communicate with your professor about expectations:
  5. Gather and review resources:
  6. Create your own practice exam:
  7. Time yourself to see improvement:
  8. Start early:
  9. Take breaks:
  10. Reward yourself:
  11. Make it fun:
  12. Be kind to yourself:
  13. Manage anxiety: