When I went to graduate school, I knew I wanted to “crush it” — I wanted to get the best grades to show my capability and talent to potential employers. A high GPA from a well-respected grad program would help me a lot.
I had a specific strategy for how I did this, and I’d like to share that with you here. You can use this approach anytime you find yourself struggling with a class or a topic.
Here’s what you do:
In every class, there’s at least one person who really understands the material. He or she just “gets it,” and they crush the mid term and the final. They make the material look easy, and they make the rest of us feel dumb.
I found this genius in the room, and recruited him or her to study with me, or join forces to do a group project. Your goal is to figure out how he or she thinks about the subject, and then borrow their way of thinking.
Specifically, the human mind is a giant cataloging machine [link to lifehacker article on taxonomy]. We organize everything in a taxonomy. When you figure out the mental organization / mental organizing principles that the genius uses, you’re well on your way to breaking the curve, too.
If the material still doesn’t sink in, I recommend re-examining your study habits and adopting some of the techniques I’ve been sharing with my students for years. Read about my techniques at Save My GPA. You’ll learn something new, and you’ll learn how to learn better.