How to Study a Subject you Hate

Everybody enjoys doing what they love, but what about when you have to do something you hate? The IB Diploma covers a broad area of knowledge, and it’s likely that you will have to study something you’re not so keen on at some point during these two years.

Not to worry! It is possible to get through – and even do well in – a subject you don’t enjoy as much as the others. Just because it’s not your area of interest doesn’t mean it has to suck! Being well-rounded is a core component of the IB that comes in handy here.

Keep in mind that doing well in a subject you hate doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up loving it. Some subjects will be more interesting than others. That’s nothing to feel guilty about! In this blog, I will go over my top 4 tips for studying a subject you hate so you still get the best grades possible.

Top Tip 1: Know your Weaknesses

The first step to doing well in a subject you hate is to figure out why you don’t like it. Be real with yourself! If you’re not into the sheer amount of reading that English Literature requires, get a text reader or an audiobook to read it out loud to you while you’re on the bus or taking a walk. If you keep forgetting what equations you have to use in Chemistry, compile them in one place and use that every time you do Chemistry homework! Knowing why you hate a subject will give you a clearer idea of what you need to focus on to ace the subject anyway.

Top Tip 2: Create a Schedule

I know, it seems obvious – but making a schedule really is the best thing you can do. Now you’ve accepted that there is a subject you hate working on, making a schedule will make sure you don’t avoid it until the last minute. No need to go overboard! Just like small doses of medicine can be taken every day, working 15-20 minutes of targeted revision on your problem subject into your daily schedule will make a huge difference. And don’t forget the spoonful of sugar to make it go down – give yourself a reward after studying the subject you hate, like a short break. You can also motivate yourself to keep up your studying when the going gets tough by using the app Streaks to track how many days you’ve stuck to your schedule.

Top Tip 3: Gather Resources

Try to tackle your problem subjects by making the information as interesting as possible for you. Thanks to the Internet, this is easy enough. Whatever the topic, odds are that someone, somewhere, has posted something about it. Cast your net wide and look for different mediums that could help you approach that subject you hate in a new and engaging way – for example, Youtube videos about a specific topic within your problem subject are great at holding your attention while still helping you revise.

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Top Tip 4: Find a Friend

When buckling down to work on that subject you hate, it’s always more fun with a buddy. That way, you can both keep each other accountable about sticking to your schedule, and motivate each other when the going gets tough! Working on a subject you hate with a friend can also ease the boredom of studying.  Have fun making up mnemonics to remember essential vocabulary, or create study guides together so you both have something to keep you focused. You can even make it a competition, if that helps you keep striving to improve!

If you would like some extra help with a subject that you can’t stand, why not get an IB tutor who knows what you’re going through, and can tell you what to focus on so you can still get the marks? Check it out using the link below!

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