‘Kay, so far we’ve covered cramming (hint: don’t) and note taking (less is more). This time I’ll tell you why those of you who do all the assigned readings are probably wasting your time. Ever seen a syllabus with readings like this?

Poultry Lactation 101

Class 12: Avian pituitary fluxions
Readings: MENSA for Dummies, F. Smoottinkler, pp. 119-827; Unabridged Transcript of Congressional Proceedings, 1806 to 2008, pp. 1-211; Latvian Journal of Yorkshire Terrier Psychiatry, May, 1972, pp. 23-117; Introduction to Poultry Lactation, K. Pootwhistle, et al., pp. 72-76

Many of the assigned readings have a very tenuous relation to the actual class. Here’s a little known factoid for you; professors assign course readings using a page quota system based on astrological readings obtained from the Tibetan of the Dead. I’m speaking hyperbolically, of course, but don’t you sometimes wonder?

Some professors only assign you readings that you actually need to read in order to ace the exams. These profs get together at the Annual Profs-That-Don’t-Assign-Busy-Work Convention, held in beautiful Chappahiney, Indiana. Last year, both of them showed up. Most professors, however, seem to work with the assumption that if they read it at one time (or at least thought about reading it), you should have to read it too.

Handy pointer: don’t. Only do the assigned readings if they will actually contribute to your bottom line, GPA’ically speaking. Often this means that on readings the prof assigns for each class you will need to carefully read a few, carefully skim others, and carefully use some to pick up your new puppy’s “accidents.”

Get the straight skinny here.

Next time, part 4 of the Top Five Ways College Students Work Too Hard, Studying the Wrong Way.


Top Five Ways College Students Work Too Hard

  1. Cramming
  2. Taking too many notes on the wrong stuff
  3. Reading more than you need to
  4. Studying the wrong way
  5. Not taking care of your brain


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