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dorac
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Hello,

I'm in the first semester of my first year of undergraduate engineering. I feel so lost. I kind of messed up my mid-sem grades. I didn't know how to go about studying the materials. But I do now. But there's only about a week and a half left for my end of semester exams and it's too late to put what I know now into practice. I don't know how to go about studying, and I only keep thinking about how I should be studying and I'm not doing any actual studying. And the exams are real close now. I keep getting distracted and I feel I need some direction. Some sort of certainity about something. Please help. I know I don't want to mess these exams up. But somewhere down the line, with the way I'm behaving now, it seems like I do.

Thank you,
dorac.
 

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Big Boo's Haunt
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3,964 Posts
So the problem is that you feel it's too late to study for the exams the way you would've liked to, and are therefore procrastinating? Instead of focusing on the "studying" aspect, could you try just doing a bunch of problems? Set yourself a task of finishing however many, from different topics etc. and that way you'll have done a bit of preparation. Also, motivation is not required to do something. Start something, and the motivation may follow.
 

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I'm like you. Last quarter, I started off well, thinking I would do good this time ('cause I messed up freshman year) then started slipping half-way, skipping lectures and messing up badly in one class (got a C for midterms). I realized the only way I had of getting a decent grade for that class was to do really well on the final exam... except I'd been skipping lectures, hadn't bothered to look at the lecture slides, and there hadn't been any homework. What was I going to do?

The five days immediately preceding the final exam, I pretty much locked myself in my room and spent 5-12 hours a day studying for that one class. I had other exams, too, so I pretty much screwed myself over for one other class that I really needed to study for, but I was like **** it and went all out for that first class that I'd been majorly slacking on. -_- I had no idea it was even going to take that long but once I started, I just got absorbed in what I was doing and it was crazy how the time went by... and all I was doing was copying the notes and diagrams off the lecture slides. My brain went on turbo mode; I was memorizing entire weeks of stuff in just a few days and I could study until like 5 in the morning and ignore the fact that I was tired.

I got a B for that class. It's not what I would have liked, but that's still better than a C, which is what I would have gotten if I hadn't busted my brain for five days. I got a B for the other class I needed to study for, and only because I worked decently hard in it all throughout the quarter. Maybe you're laughing, but I used to get C's and D's. lol This is waaaaay better than not trying and straight up getting C's and D's, trust me.

The point is, just do what you need to do. You don't need to feel motivated.

Not that I should be giving advice, but I would start by making a plan. Partially failed plan = better than no plan. Decide which topics of which subject you will cover on each day. Put the stuff you don't necessarily need at the very end. Set up some rules for behavior (ex. do not go on Facebook more than twice a day, at such and such times). Position yourself somewhere quiet where you're close to all your study materials, food, and the bathroom. Personally, I just stocked up a lot of food and drink in my room.

Anxiety and doubts make everything worse. Do your best to ignore useless thoughts and focus on what you need to do. Even if you slip, don't bother to feel guilty. Get back on track and keep going.

I don't know which subjects you're studying for, but if it's mathy stuff with equations and problem-solving, it's probably better to do problems rather than focus on memorizing a lot of information, as SuperSky said.

It's never too late to do your best. Don't give up!
 
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