Ever wondered what the intelligent guys and girls do to be the best in your engineering classes? Perhaps it is inherent to them (thanks, genes) that they are geniuses, but that doesn’t suffice to excel in a field where it requires so much technical knowledge.
One needs to form habits and mindset that will propel you to the honor’s and dean’s list. A lot of things are common to top engineering students anywhere in the world and here are 22 of them.
They don’t spend so much time with their homework.
Considering homework only consumes a lot of time and only weighs little on your overall average, top engineering students do not focus on doing bulky assignment. Some homework is given by engineering teachers just to comply to that small percent of your grade, even with little knowledge that you can get from it.
They never read all of what is on the textbook.
In engineering, concepts are important but top engineering students do not read all of what is on the textbook. That’s a complete time-suck. They try to understand more of the concepts by using examples and practice problems, and also through the teacher’s lectures – that’s where the important topics are usually at.
They go to Google to discover things.
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Top engineering students maximize their Internet resources by googling everything they want to know. If there’s a problem that seems to be a trap, they go to Google for references. If there’s a concept that is difficult to decipher, they watch short courses in YouTube.
They test themselves frequently.
When you test yourself frequently, you enhance your brain to answer problems and welcome new material. It improves long-term retention when it is done repeatedly. That’s one thing top engineering students do.
They study in short periods, not marathons.
Marathons of studying, especially on the eve of the exam day, can be really exhausting and will affect your brain’s performance. Top engineering students study in short periods instead, taking regular breaks to help you focus intensely.
They reverse-engineer solved problems.
This is the ultimate secret in remembering the method of solutions to mathematical problems. Solve the problem backwards, from solution to question, and ask how and why. When you stick to the steps of the professor to solve a problem, the tendency is that you’re only understanding the problem on the surface and not in-depth.
They don’t necessarily use a highlighter.
Top engineering students use highlighter when necessary – only key terms. If you highlight almost everything, it becomes unengaged reading. The odds are that you won’t remember anything you highlighted, so the best ones in your class prefer to underline the terms and write a corresponding note.
They make the best out of a lecture.
Of course top engineering students are also bombarded with boring classes. What do they do? They maximize with the time given to them. They need the class to pass the subject, so they make the best out of it. They make it productive and engaging in every way. They even use such time for studying to save some time for later.
They sleep. A lot.
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When one doesn’t get enough sleep before you study, it’s almost useless to sit through your notes as your mind cannot process information efficiently. The daily routine should be getting adequate and proper sleep. This is what top engineering students do and the rest of other field’s top performers.
As you already know it, top engineering students are at the top because they know more than what the regular students do. They don’t stop at the end of their textbook and lectures, and sometimes advance in learning topics when they have the luxury of time. They learn more than what is required.
They ask a lot of questions.
Intelligent students become powerful by having the ability to inquire. This translates to exercising your brain. Ask your classmates. Ask your teachers. Ask Google. The more curious you are about certain topics, the smarter you become when you figure it all out.
They immediately correct their exam mistakes.
When they receive their test papers (when they do), top engineering students check the items where they got wrong and instantly find out the correct answer. This is crucial because it improves performance in the next exams.
They get busy with side projects.
There’s not a boring time for top engineering students as they get themselves busy with projects that are related to their study. They work on little projects that will boost their technical knowledge into applications.
They practice under test conditions.
The famous adage “practice makes perfect” is actually insufficient – it should be constant correct practice. Top engineering students make sure that when they practice, they are doing it correctly.
They don’t wait for motivation to strike.
What most top engineering students have in common is that they are consistent with their habits. They do not wait for motivation to strike them – the best students figure out to get things done as soon as possible without wasting time.
They use old exams.
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It’s not actually a crime to use old exams because professors are well aware that students, the top ones, do it to advance their learning. When you study items from an old exam, it serves as a familiarity of the actual exam.
They make their own study guides.
One of the best learning techniques is to write everything you read. This is true to top engineering students who make their own study guides, because that way, when you write what you read, you develop retention.
They don’t complain.
What top engineering students do when they encounter unfavorable situations is they just choose to ignore it or change it when they can. Complaining will only cost you your time and energy. If you have a crappy professor, you can trade for another. If you have an incomprehensive textbook, find one that is comprehensive. It’s all about acting upon finding a problem, not just whine about it.
They take personal responsibility for learning the materials.
Top engineering students become what they are because they realize upon themselves that they hold their own education. They are responsible of their own learning. They do not wait to be spoon-fed by professors to learn. Even when they are not at the best school, they can be better engineering students that those who are in the best.
They know where and when to study.
What most students have a problem with, top engineering students have already mastered. Study habits among them are already established. What regular students need to do is to identify their own study habits to a more efficient study time.
They ask teachers.
Not necessarily challenge, but ask. They always think outside the box which leads to a certain line of questions that will yield answers from teachers when they just ask.
They play hard.
Yup, they also play hard. Their intellectual prowess is also powered by a balanced lifestyle and not entirely studying. They also take time to put their studies aside.
How many among these things do you do? Are you on your way to be a top engineering student?