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How to Study for a Psychology Class

Studying for psychology often requires students to memorize a lot of information. In this article we will share some helpful tips to help you prepare for your next test!

7 minutes long
Posted by Sam Farber, 4/9/2022
How to Study for a Psychology Class

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studying for psychology

A Psychology degree is a very rewarding career that often leads to a variety of unique post-graduate career opportunities. Most psychology courses will allow you to gain a thorough understanding of the human mind. In Greek, the term “psychology” means “study of the soul.” Obtaining your psychology degree is critical for a future career in the industry, as most jobs in the field require at the very least a master’s or Education Specialist degree, but the majority also require a doctoral-level degree.

Let’s get into some specific study tips on how you can ace your next psychology test and move one step closer to earning your degree…

1. Take good class notes, and hold on to these notes until you graduate

Without taking annotations and ensuring you fully understand each page, psychology textbooks can be very difficult to understand. You may not want to read or study for your next class on some days, but you must convince yourself that doing so is necessary in order to grasp the key concepts you are learning.

During in-person discussions and class lectures, many students are asked to take notes. For some, this is a simple task, but for others, it can be daunting. Because people learn in different ways, not everyone can take effective notes. Some people think better by writing things down and taking notes with pen and paper, while others think better by typing their notes. Regardless of the method you use, learning is difficult if you don’t take good notes. Anyone can understand key psychology concepts by following the few simple tips provided below.

  • Draw Pictures: Pictures are much easier to remember than words, and take much less time to write down
  • Use Your Own Words: If possible, try to summarize your professor’s lecture using your own words. This will make it much easier for you to recall in the future
  • Limit What You Write Down: If you try to write everything down, you will get distracted and will often write down irrelevant information. Stick to writing down key concepts that your professor keeps coming back to

2. Form Your Own Study Group

Working alone can be tedious and overwhelming at times. Working with a study group is beneficial for students of any major, but it is especially important for psychology students. Because psychology is a career that requires a lot of human interaction, it is critical to practice concepts in groups. Working in a group provides you with a variety of perspectives to help you solve problems that may arise during your study sessions.

Study groups develop an organic environment in which members begin teaching concepts and ideas to those who do not fully comprehend the material. Because teaching is one of the most effective ways to learn a subject, this collaborative environment is an excellent place to hone your psychology skills.

Finding a study group is fairly easy, especially in college. Simply ask those that sit around you in class, send a message in a class GroupMe, or ask your professor to send a mass email asking students to meet outside of class to study if they would like.

Once you have your study group formed, you must realize some study groups can be more effective than others. Some guidelines to follow when choosing your study group are:

  • Keep the groups limited to 3–5 students
  • Do the work by yourself first, then collaborate when needed
  • Ensure each student in your study group is able to come up with a solution to each problem

3. Take the prerequisite psychology courses seriously

Although it may seem obvious, paying attention in class is critical for psychology students. Especially in the introduction to psychology classes, which will provide you with a foundational understanding of the numerous topics on which you will eventually delve deeper. Most psychology students believe that schools force them to take certain courses, such as statistics, for no reason other than to make a few extra dollars, but in reality, these classes are the foundation for your future success as a psychologist. Many psychology subtopics have patterns that can be understood and predicted. By learning to recognize these patterns, you can streamline and accelerate your learning process.

4. Try to solve a problem before asking for help

When you don’t know the answer to a specific question, it’s easy to give up. No one, however, wants to do your homework for you. People are much more likely to assist you if you have already started the task. Attempting to solve a problem on your own before seeking help from professors or classmates will force you to expand your knowledge while also teaching you problem-solving skills that will be useful in the real world.

5. If you are struggling, ask your professor for help

If you are struggling after hours of staring at questions and still can’t determine the correct answer, there are many support systems in place to help you ace the course and get some additional practice.

For example, you can reach out to your professor or teaching assistant (TA) to schedule an office hour for them to walk you through the ideas, you can reach out to help centers at your university that have upper years who can help you as well, you could find a private tutor who could help you 1 on 1 to resolve your burning questions, and finally, you could also access homework help apps like Kunduz to help. The problem with the first two options is that these resources are not available all the time, and thus it would take quite some time for your professor or TA to respond to your problems. For private tutoring, it is expensive, as tutors often cost more than $50 USD an hour! Thus, we recommend that homework help apps would be the best option for students.

Kunduz helps students in a wide range of subjects including Psychology, Math, Physics, Economics, and many more. They are available 24/7 and respond to questions as fast as 15 minutes while providing step-by-step homework help. It has a vast network of 40,000+ tutors globally and has answered 58M questions in 17 different subjects.

It offers one free and two paid subscription plans:

  • Free: free question credits for any subject matters
  • Standard Plan: $9.99 USD / month for 50 questions
  • Unlimited Plan: $14.99 USD / month for unlimited questions

Thus, if you are looking for an affordable solution that can provide you with 24/7 Biology support, Kunduz would be an excellent supplement to your lectures, allowing you to excel in your Biology class!

6. Learn to play the game

If you’ve spent some time studying for classes at your school library, I’m sure you’ve come across the students who lock themselves in for 24 hours a day.

But simply, this is not the way to approach your psychology program. You can get a good GPA, get 8 hours of sleep, and have a good social life. Some tips to consider when learning what is important to know for your psychology class include…

  • Study Your Syllabus: Determine which assignments will contribute to the bulk of your grade. Often times homework accounts for a very little % of your course grade and is often the part of the psychology curriculum that students spend the most time doing. Yes, Homework is a great practice for your upcoming psychology exam, but oftentimes includes run-around problems that you will never see on future exams.
  • Look for past exams on Koofers: If you’re lucky, professors will tell you general information about what is going to be on your next exam. But oftentimes, you have no idea what is going to be on your test or exam. Giving you little to no information to prepare for your upcoming test. Koofers will allow you to reverse engineer your exam, and determine what exactly you need to focus on.

7. Take Mock Tests

Try taking a self-test after a study session or a long hour of reading. Testing yourself on what theories you know and how much information you can retain from studying will give you a good idea of where you are right now. Especially in a group setting where you can study with other psychology students who may know more about certain psychology topics than you do, and vice versa.

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