You don’t have to read EVERYTHING


Recently, all the reading assignments have been SO overwhelming.  I complained to a friend about how much reading we are assigned (for one class, we have to read 4 chapters a week each about 50-60 pages long… ), she told me something that completely shocked me: that I don’t have to read in order to get a good grade. I was so surprised, because obviously you don’t have to read anything, you can always wing it, but the idea of getting a good grade without reading sounded a little weird. 

Her point was that if the lecture covers the exact same material as in the book, you don’t need to learn it twice. It might take a couple of weeks to figure this out, but compared to how much time you’ll save, it’s nothing. So the idea is that you just have to listen very closely to what is said on the lecture, write down notes and try to process everything right then. However, if you don’t understand the concepts or whatever you’re studying, it won’t hurt to look at the readings. If that doesn’t help, you can panic and go get help (always an option!).

Of course, this doesn’t work for every single class. This “technique” completely depends on what is taught in the class and how much the professor misses from the readings. I will give you an example.

I am currently taking two classes: physics and psychology. They are both beginner levels (110 and 101), so they are not very hard. But because they are introductory classes, there’s a TON of information to learn and process. My physics professor is actually very boring. He takes the exact same material as he assigns us to read and just goes over it with a PowerPoint presentation. I think even the examples are the same, from the book. So….I haven’t opened the textbook in about 6 weeks now (I’m not proud, but I am). My average score on the tests is 94% and all I do is listen to the lecture and take notes. The psychology professor, on the other hand, teaches us some information that’s not in the book and expects us to know every little thing from the chapter readings. Both of them are on the tests, so there is absolutely no way around them. So in this class, I actually read and take notes on the chapter in the end. This seems to work now, but it Just. Takes. So. Much. TIME. That’s why I want to find a different way to do this (and I think I have!), but more on this later.

So the point of this rant is- don’t do unnecessary work. The three things that will help you remember more and study less are:

1) Pay attention, 2) Take good, complete notes; 3)Listen closely and process all information on the spot.  It will save you a ton of time and nerves.

Coming up next- what I learned about sleep cycles.