You know that class you just finished like, oh, not quite a month ago now? The one that’s a prerequisite to the next 5 courses in your major? Yeah, that one. How much do you remember of what you learned? All of it, right? Or maybe it’s more like…
The obvious but really important thing to remember about classes that go from 101-202 & up, or anything that requires a prerequisite, is that they really do build on each other. So if you took a class in the spring – regardless of if you liked it, hated it, found it interesting but hard, crammed constantly, or really thrived – you’re going to need that knowledge again when you start the subsequent class this fall, or even next spring.
Hopefully, they are classes that are interesting to you as they are generally really getting into your major or minor-area content. Regardless, if you want to avoid that “oh crap what is he/she talking about again?!?” moment at the beginning (or first week or two) of class and be able to roll back into things, you can do some things to keep that knowledge fresh over the summer.
- Set aside a little time on a regular basis to just glance back over the material from the spring. Go in sections that make sense to you, and don’t try to re-memorize the whole course, just try to remember things. Give yourself little tests at the end of each “session” to see what you really absorbed.
- If possible, try to take each concept or major theme and apply it in a real-world setting. Even if that is just working all the way through what a particular situation or context would look like (e.g. if you’re learning about business ethics, make your own mini case-study and determine appropriate actions, etc.) If it’s a skill, see if you can practice it over the summer (the link below suggested starting a blog to practice writing skills and keeping timelines)
- If it’s a very formula-based, science or math-type course – try to work through each type of problem, refreshing your memory on how it all works.
It doesn’t have to be super time-intensive or painful, but just do something purposeful to keep the information as solid as possible in your memory.
For more suggestions and a peer point-of-view, you can read this article.
And from the Think Center Team – we hope you are having a fantastic summer!