As I got to thinking more about your test, I realized that a lot of students seem to have this false understanding that minimal effort will yield maximum rewards when it comes to college. For some classes, you may be able to “get by” on your existing study habits from earlier experiences: review a few terms once or twice before, regurgitate information, and move on.
For other classes, though, it’s not that easy. It isn’t just time invested, as I said the first week of class. It’s time and the TYPE of effort you invest. Maybe you just reviewed the terms that I covered in class–but those terms only made up 5% or so of the exam. Instead, that means 95% of the test was parts of the book that weren’t covered in class.
So, why would I do that!? Why on earth would I expect students to know material that wasn’t explicitly covered in class every day?
Well, let’s start with the basics: you’re in college. Sometimes, you have to make sense of more basic information before moving on. If I covered all the “basics” in class, then left you to your own devices on the more complicated stuff, I’m doing you a disservice. In life, if you don’t understand something someone says, it’s on you to ask questions. If you don’t “get” a term that someone uses, you have to ask them what it means (or look it up on your own!).
So it is with my course. I presume that students have read a basic amount of information BEFORE arriving to class. Keeping that in mind, again, if I focus on the basics, we can’t get to the more challenging–and usually, far more interesting–stuff! Spend time on the easy and basic stuff before you get to class, and you may find that the discussions get more interesting. You may understand those challenging things the teacher covers.
When you begin studying, you may keep this image in mind: It is WAY closer to what I think about when I talk about success…