How to Study for a Course that you HATE

Written by Charaf Mrah

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineering major currently studying in college. The purpose of this website is to share my learnings and insights with you, in the hopes of providing value and assistance to those who may need it.

Updated Aug 11, 2021

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Unfortunately, in college, you have to take courses that you’re not a big fan of (or absolutely hate).

So how do you deal with these courses and push through?

When searching online for answers, they were mostly generic and very unhelpful.

Some of them just suggested that you “love the course” or change your attitude.

I thought they were very vague, and so I decided to make some actionable and authentic tips for you.


1. Put things in perspective

Maybe you don’t need to study hard for that course?

Hear me out: maybe you don’t have to strive for an A in every single course. Unless that’s your goal.

For most people, you don’t need to become the first in your class and strive for the highest mark each time.

This will be totally up to you and your goals.

For example, if your goal is to get a Ph.D. and you need a very high GPA for it, then you might need to focus on all classes.

On the other hand, if you’re a STEM major, then experience is more important than your GPA in most cases.

So this will be totally up to you to decide on whether you need a high score on that course that you hate or not.



2. Use a studying technique

Whether you’re striving for an A or a B, you still need to study for that class at the end of the day.

Usually, when I’m studying something that I love, I just block some time and study until I’m bored.

But when it’s something that I hate, or get bored from, then I find that sticking to a technique or a routine is more effective.

One technique that I found useful is the Pomodoro technique.

You can read this article to get a grasp of what it is if you’re unfamiliar with it:

A Guide to the Pomodoro Technique



3. Go in with a military mentality:

I find that treating boring classes with a disciplined & a “military” mentality is much better than forcing yourself to like it.

This will also depend on the subject.

Most of the time, the subject itself isn’t the problem, but rather the professor.

Either the professor is boring or is just straight-up bad at teaching.

I can tolerate this with classes that I’m interested in either way because then I’ll happily study them by myself.

But, when it’s already a class that I despise then I’m usually not going to put in more effort into it.




Make a schedule or a routine of studying that is aligned with your goals. If you want an A for example, then you can figure out how many hours you have to put in per week.

Reverse engineer your goal, and then go in with a military mentality using the help of studying techniques such as the Pomodoro technique.

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