ECE Classes Studying Techniques?

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 29, 2010
Hello. I know this is a stupid/strange question, but I would like to know how did most EE majors study (aside from reading for hours) for ECE classes?


Joined Apr 26, 2005
I don't know how most EEs study but here some quick hints

Edward L. Thorndike postulated the laws of learning in the early 1900s. Although subsequent psychologists further clarified these laws, these are the basis.

Laws of Learning include
• Readiness
• Effect
• Primacy
• Exercise
• Intensity

The law of readiness states you learn the best when you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to learn. To be ready, you must master your previous material. If you haven’t mastered the PO3 material, your not mentally ready for PO2. If you are instructing, either professionally or in an OJT enviroment, you must be ready to teach. The trainee’s will see right through an unprepared instructor. Very few can teach off the cuff and maintain the appropriate level of readiness.

The law of effect states you learn best those things that result in satisfying consequences. There is a direct relationship to motivation in this law. Like most adults, you want immediate benefits from your training. The benefit you’ll see here is your new found confidence, your self-satisfaction, and skill improvement.

The law of primacy states you retain information you learn for the first time longer than the information you must relearn. This law drives the importance of learning things right, the first time. We all know it’s more difficult to unlearn than it is to learn. Bad habits come to mind with this law.

The law of exercise is the maxim that practice makes perfect. You learn best and retain longer information you practice and repeat. This provides improvement only when there is positive feedback.

The law of intensity states a vivid experience is learned better and is retained longer.
I call the law of intensity, “creating a significant emotional event.” How many times have your parents told you not to put your hand in the fire? When did you stop that desire?

Of course, learning is only half the game. Retention of the material is the other half.

Hope this helps.


Joined May 12, 2011
What I find best is studying a little ahead of the whole class (reading, doing some questions, etc from textbooks) before the lecture so that I understand what the prof is saying. Even if you don't understand what you read before the lecture, at least you have some idea of the subject so that you can connect the dots easier. Also, find online sources for extra help. I find youtube and and just simple googling the subject are best help for subjects like calculus and circuit theory.

*IMPORTANT: Remember to study efficiently. By this I mean you should always feel awake while studying. You can read the whole day for 6 hours straight but if you're tired, you can easily forget everything the next day.

Always do as much questions as you can. Cannot stress this enough. A lot of exams here (University of Toronto: Electrical Engineering) are always some combination of different questions in the textbook. So, its very simple. Doing all questions in the textbook equals at least an 80% on the test/exam (I'm assuming you're smart enough to reverse engineer the test questions and relate it with the questions you did in your textbooks since you made it into engineering).

Good luck!
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