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What to Do When You’re Having a Hard Time in a Subject?

Having a Hard Time in a Subject

Students study a wide range of subjects in school as per the curriculum, out of which they might like some and dislike others. And the most challenging part is how to deal with those subjects that they dislike. However, they can do several things to help themselves, such as changing their perspective, staying motivated, etc. Here are a few ways that you can use to quicken your learning in a difficult subject.

1. Identify the problem

Identifying what is causing the problem will help you know what you need to do. Ask the following questions from yourself to determine why you are struggling with the subject.

  • What exactly is giving you trouble?
  • Are you facing difficulty understanding and applying concepts?
  • Do you have trouble grasping the fundamentals?
  • Do you find it difficult to answer certain types of questions?
  • Is it difficult for you to keep up with the pace of the class?

Identifying problems will help you know what specific steps you need to take to address them, which will help you progress in the subject.

2. Create an action plan

After identifying the problem, the next step is to create an action plan. Below are steps that will help you devise an action plan.

Set a goal

Find out a specific goal you want to achieve; Your goal can be anything from understanding a topic/concept to improving your scores. For example, let us say you find maths challenging and discover that algebra is the reason. Hence, setting a goal of improving your performance in algebra will help you overcome learning difficulties in mathematics.

Break it down

Next is to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, if you want to improve your score in algebra, break it into steps, such as reviewing math class notes, practising complex algebra problems, seeking help from the teacher and many more.

Set a timeline

A timeline will help you stay on track, review your progress periodically, and make improvements. But don’t set unrealistic timelines, as they lead to frustration and anxiety. Also, do not allow yourself too much time because it leads to procrastination and inaction.

Use resources

Find online resources, textbooks, and study groups that can help you achieve your goal. However, you need to learn how to manage them effectively.

3. Apply brain strategies

Several brain strategies can help make the learning process of a complex subject easier and more efficient. Below are some techniques that you can use to improve learning.

Active learning

Active learning is defined as a method in which individuals engage in the learning process, which helps them retain the information deeply. So, engage with your notes, summarise the key points after returning home and don’t hesitate to ask questions from the teacher.

Spaced repetition

The spaced repetition method involves revisiting a concept or topic at set intervals. Since the information can be consolidated in your brain over time using this technique, retention is improved.

Mnemonic devices 

Mnemonic devices are memory aids that work by associating information or concepts with visuals, words or phrases, making them easy to remember. Some examples of mnemonic devices are images, rhymes, acronyms and acrostics. They can also help you get over test anxiety brought on by the difficulty of the subject.

4. Recognise the subject importance

A broad range of subjects are taught in schools, and every subject has its own importance. You can search the internet or ask your family members, relatives or teacher about the importance of discipline. Talking with people will also help change your perspective about the subject, making you devote more time to learn the subject. For example, if you dislike English classes and learn from someone that it helps communicate with people across the globe, you will make more effort to understand and apply it.

5. Reward yourself

You can motivate yourself to study and improve your overall academicperformanceby rewarding yourself; It can be anything, from eating something you like (but don’t overdo it) to going to a park with your friends or family. And don’t wait for big accomplishments- celebrate the small wins to keep yourself motivated. Also, remember that rewarding is just another tool to help you stay positive and focused. You must, therefore, make persistent attempts to learn the material and improve your marks.

6. Take breaks

Taking breaks between studying a subject you don’t like will give your mind a chance to recharge, refresh and rejuvenate so that you can return to studies with a new perspective. So, create a schedule that gives you enough time between your studies to relax. The best is to do physical activity during breaks, such as walking and exercise, as this makes you feel more energised and alert, which will help you study. Also, during breaks, avoid scrolling social media or watching television, as it can make it hard to concentrate on your studies after the break.

The bottom line

Struggling with tough concepts is a normal part of the learning process; It can be frustrating and demotivating, but it will remind you that learning is a journey and progress requires hard work and consistency. Learning how to study challenging subjects can be a rewarding experience and aid you in your quest for a deeper understanding of the subject. All the best!

Frequently asked questions

1. What are some effective study tips for someone who is struggling with a subject?

Ans: If you are struggling with a subject, the first thing that you need to do is to identify the problem that you are facing, like the material, the pace of the class, etc. After identifying the problem, you can take the next step.

2. Should students talk to their teacher if they need help with a subject?

Ans:  If you are struggling with a subject, it’s best to talk with your teacher. Your teacher will provide additional support, advice, and resources to help you with your studies.

3. What are some ways to overcome test anxiety and improve academic performance on a difficult subject?

Ans: Student face test anxiety because of several factors, such as lack of preparation, fear of failure, etc. But there are several ways to overcome test anxiety and improve your grades in a subject in which you are struggling, such as preparing well in advance, getting enough sleep, using time wisely, analyzing mistakes, staying positive and many more.