Hi There! I am Fatema Hasan, a second-year Psychology SL Pamoja student. For the past two years, I gained tons of experience on how to tackle Psychology, especially when taught online. Here are the challenges I faced and how I overcame them!

Challenge 1: Tons of studies to memorize

Psychology is considered to be a relatively new field. So, most concepts are open for discussion in which each argument should be demonstrated by a study(s). For psychology students, this means there are a lot of studies to memorize *sighs*.

To combat this challenge, I usually plan what studies I will memorize for each topic. In some cases, you will find that a particular study could be used to discuss more than one topic. Hence,  fewer studies memorized! Additionally, our teachers advise us to have 2-3 studies per topic, so don’t memorize more!

When it comes to the act of memorization itself (especially for the trial examination), I make sure to recall what was memorized repeatedly across a period of time.

For example, if I memorized a study today, I would recall it tomorrow and the day after. In the weekend, I will review all that was memorized in the week-day. I repeat this pattern until all content was covered.

Challenge 2: Understanding the Command Terms

The key to get high SAQs or ERQs marks is through understanding what the question title actually asks for. If you are a new Psychology student, this may sound a bit weird. After all, we all know the definitions of ‘Explain’ or ‘Discuss’, why should this be an issue?

My answer is this: Yes, we might be able to define different command terms. However, understanding what the command terms practically mean can be a challenge. When should I include all the study’s details? Is it required to discuss one perspective or multiple of them?

The only way to answer these questions is through experience. Personally, the more questions I answered the easier it is to navigate new ones. Therefore, make sure to reflect on your past assignments. Ask yourself, where did I go wrong? What did I do right?

This habit would provide a practical guide on what a command term specifically requires. Also, constantly refer to your teacher’s comments on the assignment’s submitted. They can be helpful too! If you think your teacher’s comments are not that helpful, ask them to be more specific or reach out for a fellow classmate.

Challenge 3: Time Management

One of the blessings of online learning is the flexibility in managing one’s time. However, to me, this was a double-edged sword. I would use this opportunity to prioritize other subjects, which lead me to either repeatedly extends my submission deadlines or submit low-quality work.

To avoid going back to that rut, I will make a detailed list of all the course tasks required to be done in the next two weeks. In this way, it was easier to determine how much of my time I should spend on Psychology in a specific week relative to my other subjects.

For example, if I had an ERQ summative assignment in the upcoming week. On the current week, I would focus on other subjects to later free my time for Psychology.

Moreover, doing the course’s worksheets, even if submission was not required saved tons of my time in the long run. As I was preparing for the trial exam, my worksheets acted as my exam notes since they include 90% of the studies you would need to memorize.

Hence, no time was wasted on preparing notes/flashcards before actually revising!

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