How to Do Well in Your STEM Classes

Learning can feel difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Joseph Mellor
22 min readJan 26


Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

We’re a few months into the semester and a lot of students are a little stressed. Midterms are coming up or have already come up and I’ve been getting a lot more students asking me to tutor them. While I can only tutor so many students at a time, I can publish an article that can reach a lot more people. In this article, we’re going to talk about my general approaches to doing well in STEM classes. If you have any recommendations, please leave a response.

A Sense of Scale

Before I get into the article, I want to make it clear that you don’t need to do everything in this article, especially if you just want to get by in a class instead of becoming an expert in the field. You should only do everything I recommend if you’re trying to get a perfect score on all your tests and homework. Everyone else should take the pieces of advice they find most helpful.

With that being said, none of these ideas are mutually exclusive, so you could do all of them at the same time once you get the hang of them.

Classes Build Upon Each Other

There is a small part of me that dies whenever an engineering student wipes Euler’s Theorem from their memory. I don’t expect everyone to memorize everything that they learn in class. I don’t mind if you need a refresher on a topic you learned last semester. I don’t mind if you forget Partial Differential Equations as you’re leaving college to work in an unrelated field. And I certainly don’t care when someone doesn’t memorize every single trig identity. I only suffer when someone forgets something they’re going to use next year, such as when a sophomore engineering student forgets Euler’s Theorem. I know they’re going to feel blindsided when they get to complex roots in Differential Equations, and I can feel their pain.

How Much Information to Retain?



Joseph Mellor

BS in Physics, Math, and CS with a minor in High-Performance Computing. You can find all my articles at