Survival Guide for Engineering Students

Posted date: January 22, 2018

Currently, I am a student at a liberal arts college in Lewiston and I’m transferring to Iowa where I’ll be studying computer engineering. Up until now, I did not think that it would be that difficult.

Anyways, I want to finish all my general courses before transferring. I have no idea how to study for engineering first year in a bigger school, especially when I’ve already started feeling burned out. Right now, my GPA is 3.2 and I really hope to keep it like that in Iowa.

Does anyone have any good tips on how to manage time and how to study effectively to make the life of an engineering student easier?

Useful Tips for Engineering Students

  • Hold on, you’re about to see the real fun! At first glance, engineering is not that difficult, but like I said, only at first glance. Basically, you will be doing some work and then you will be tested. So if you study diligently, you will not fail. However, your success mostly depends on your study methods, so if you haven’t figured out how to survive engineering in college, you probably need to find the studying techniques that work best for you personally. You can do some online research, there are plenty of them there, but it’s totally worth your effort.
  • Study methods for engineering students: I’ve recently discovered that the best way to study in college is by being actively engaged in the process and by doing it gradually as opposed to cramming the night before the tests. I’m a visual learner, so I’ve developed one great technique to memorize the new material, you can also try it. Take a pad of graph paper and put all your notes on it and use this ‘construction’ when doing your homework or whenever else you might need it. Of course, you cannot fit all your notes in one pad, so you will have to periodically rip out some pages and summarize them. I do it once a week. This is extremely helpful because:
    • You revise the material regularly, meaning that you memorize it by small chunks.
    • It helps messy people (like me) become more organized.

The biggest challenge for me was to completely give up individual notebooks and move into the notepads. Nowadays it works perfectly well for me, but it might not work for you. Anyways, you can give it a try. 

  1. Working in Groups: if we are talking about study tips for engineering students, we should mention study groups as they are the best place to do your homework. However, be careful and try to find a good group, otherwise, you are facing the risk of ending up simply copying the answers instead of learning. On the contrary, joining a good study group guarantees easy access to unrestricted creativity, help, and fun. If I were you, I would try to find a group of people whose GPA-stratum is both higher and lower than yours. This will enable you to engage in self-teaching with the maximum efficiency as you will be teaching and learning in the same group.
  2. Similarly, joining the tutoring corps is also a great move. Not only will you create the network at college, but will also cement the basic knowledge. This might not yet be the case, but you can forget an awful lot during summer.
  3. Practice: you will soon understand that for an engi student, the best technique to learn something is by practicing it. This is especially true for clac because you want to become an expert in this field, so you will have to look for additional examples and solve more problems than the tutors assign. Our tutor did not assign any problems at all during the last semester so it was absolutely up to the students whether to seek additional work or not. The same rule applies to physics. To be honest, students don’t like extra work, so the average grade was far from being the best. So if you study, you will succeed just because most people are lazy.