More Time Doesn’t Mean Better Grades

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of the Time You Actually Have to Slay Engineering School

We all know that doing absolutely zero coursework is a highway to failing engineering school. Not attending class, doing no homework, and never reading or studying means not passing.

The only exceptions are (1) if you believe that people are born with engineering knowledge and magical powers or can get them through ninja pills, or (2) if this isn’t your first rodeo and you’ve seen this material before, then you really should be able to pass without putting in the effort this time around.

the inverse of doing nothing leads to nothing doesn't equal doing everything leads to everything

The point is, we generally accept that doing nothing gets you nothing. There is no free lunch. Whatever you want to call it.

So, we take for granted that the inverse must be true. Doing everything means that you will ace engineering. And off we go to do more. Because we’re gonna ace this already.

But what if “more is more” is just a fallacy and you’re wasting your time and precious youth in the pursuit?

Don’t get us wrong, doing more can feel pretty powerful. You put in the time. You know you’re prepped. You’re battled hardened. You’re ready. to. demolish. Grrrr!

And it can also be super exhausting and can actually undermine your confidence. When you legitimately can’t throw a million hours at everything, which will happen if it hasn’t yet, you’ll feel under-prepared or like your final product isn’t good enough. Perfectionism sneaks it.

perfection. don't worry, i've got this totally under control

Perfectionism is an old haunt of Lacy’s, and isn’t about having high standards. It’s about having unattainable standards or standards that are too high given the very real constraints. And to never be good enough is a self-defeating way to be.

So where is the middle ground between nothing and too much? How do you do just enough to own engineering school?

(Please excuse us as we sound like your local CrossFit coach for a hot sec.)

You need to train smarter, not harder.

And it’s true. The best engineering students often make it look easy (and here’s how you can steal their tricks) because they’re not spending time reinventing the student wheel. They’ve figured out how to student reel gud and so can you.

If More Isn’t Better, What is the Best Path to Results in Engineering School?

1Get organized + create a dialed schedule

Most students waste a ton of time deciding what to do next or following the herd. Be intentional with your time. Draft a schedule each week that will get you in, results out, and save time for fun stuff.

2Have a solid strategy for solving engineering problems

Engineering school is a degree in problem solving. If every time you attempt a problem, you try something new or—even worse—you try the same old ineffective problem strategies, you need to get dialed. Stop wasting time on what doesn’t work and learn how to set up an engineering problem to solve it effectively.

This is double the case if we’re talking about solving engineering exam problems.

3Create a game plan for exam review

Most students treat exam review just like the rest of the semester, only more so. More studying. More time wasting. Just like you should for each week during school, you should have a game plan for exams.

There is a method for knowing what to study, when to study it, and how to progress. Learn it here.

Also make sure that you’re rehearsing–not studying–for exam review. It’s more than just a semantics switch!

4Understand how to rapidly earn points on an exam

At the end of the day, you can’t get results in engineering school without knowing how to demolish an engineering exam. You can be the best everything else on the planet, but if you’re bombing your tests, all your hard work goes unnoticed and unrewarded. We don’t want that.

Learn how to maximize points for your engineering exam and practice the most effective way to front load earning points.

5Learn the course concepts as effortlessly as possible

If you hate lectures or have an effective lecturer, despise textbooks or just don’t have the time to launch into that 10-pounder on your desk, you still need to learn course content to get results. There’s no way around it.

You could take an online course that deep dives into the topics and find a tutor to help you through, but these both take a crazy amount time (and sometimes serious bling) to take advantage of.

The most effective path to understanding course content is to have it broken into bite-size, digestible, and doable chunks that have been refined to exactly what you need (and none of the filler or fluff) and then to have a solid game plan to practice related problems. Crammables courses are designed to be exactly that for each specific engineering course. If you’re ready to know it already, find your course content now and dive in.

We all know that zero in yields zero out. But it’s also true that doing everything hard doesn’t always translate to amazing results.

Instead of doing more, take a pause and learn how to do this student thing the smart way. Being a magical student can be hacked and learned.

Let us know how you leveled up in engineering school while studying less.

You got this!

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