How to Pass a Social Studies Class: 13 Steps

Table of contents:

How to Pass a Social Studies Class: 13 Steps
How to Pass a Social Studies Class: 13 Steps

Social studies classes can cover a variety of content, but tend to focus on topics related to history, political science, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc. Regardless of the specific topic of the course, you can apply several basic strategies in your study to ensure that you pass the class. Get started today by following the steps below.


Part 1 of 3: Determine What You Are Expected To Do

Pass Social Studies Class Step 1
Pass Social Studies Class Step 1

Step 1. Read the syllabus of the course

The teacher has likely provided you with a printed or digital document at the beginning of the academic year, which will contain information about the class. This syllable will likely include information on the structure of the course, what the teacher expects of the students, and perhaps even a list of projects or assignments along with estimated due dates. Review it carefully to determine what you need to do to be successful in class and plan ahead based on due dates.

  • If the teacher has not given you some kind of syllabus for the class, you will have to talk to him directly. Before doing so, verify that he has not answered your questions by reading the notes from the first day of class or previous emails.
  • If you have received a physical syllable, consider reviewing it and saving an electronic copy on your computer. In this way, you can easily print another one (if you lose or damage the original) without having to ask the teacher.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 2
Pass Social Studies Class Step 2

Step 2. Talk to the teacher directly

If you read the syllabus and are not sure what to do in class (or if you don't have one), talk to the teacher about what to expect from the students. Let them know that you want to be aware of all the course requirements so that they can plan appropriately. He probably appreciates your initiative and is happy to help you.

  • The sooner you do it, the better. If you ask about what you must do to pass the class one week before the cumulative semester exam, you will not see it with good eyes. Being proactive about your grades will show them that you care about them.
  • If the subject seems very difficult, do not hesitate to point it out. You may not be the first student to say so, and there is always the chance that he will make changes in class to address your concerns.
  • When you talk to him, don't blame him. He will put a lot of effort into designing the course, creating the classes, and grading the students' work. He won't appreciate you telling him that your problems with class are his fault (even if it's partly true!).
Pass Social Studies Class Step 3
Pass Social Studies Class Step 3

Step 3. Create a calendar with due dates

If you've received a course schedule with due dates for all important assignments and projects, and exam dates, use that to create a calendar. You can do it digitally (with a phone app or computer program) or the old-fashioned way (with a printed calendar). Pick something that you can check frequently and keep.

  • If you have such a calendar, you will be less likely to forget important dates. You can also modify it later if they leave you a new task or if the dates change.
  • It's a good idea to add calendar reminders several days or even a week or two before important due dates. This could help you get your work done at an early stage, so you can be as thorough as possible and get it done on time.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 4
Pass Social Studies Class Step 4

Step 4. Identify the pace of the class

Do you always have to submit homework on Thursdays? Do you have an exam every six weeks? Do they only give you readings on Mondays and Wednesdays? These questions can help you determine if the class is sticking to a predictable schedule. This will help you set your pace and plan your efforts.

  • Create a study and homework schedule using what you have identified around the pace of the class. For example, if you only have reading assignments on certain days, you might need to plan the time you spend on projects or other assignments for days when you don't have reading.
  • Take your study habits and skills into account. For example, if you can complete readings quickly, but take longer with written assignments, you should plan them and adapt your schedule accordingly.

Part 2 of 3: Study and learn the material

Pass Social Studies Class Step 5
Pass Social Studies Class Step 5

Step 1. Stay focused during class

You will learn and retain the material much better if you pay attention to the teacher in class. You should make an effort each day to use class time and in-person interactions with the teacher in the most efficient way. To do this, make sure you are free from distractions.

  • Come to class early and prepared to learn. You will have a hard time succeeding in class if you are always 3 minutes late and forget to bring your pencil. A little planning goes a long way, both for your ability to learn and how your work ethic is perceived by the teacher.
  • Leave your phone and anything else that can distract you in your backpack during class, and don't take them out until it's over. This will prevent you from paying attention.
  • Sit in the front of the classroom or near the teacher's desk if you have this option. This will prevent you from chatting with your friends during class or scribbling in your notebook while the teacher is talking. If you have been assigned a seat in the back of the classroom, but are easily distracted, ask the teacher to move you.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 6
Pass Social Studies Class Step 6

Step 2. Ask questions in class

The teacher is your best resource for success in class. In addition to being a trained and licensed teacher, he will be the person in charge of qualifying you. If you come across a topic or assignment that confuses you in class, point it out! Find a suitable time to raise your hand or speak to him in a personal way, so that you do not leave the class without solving your doubt.

  • Asking questions during class will show the teacher that you care about learning the material and that you are striving to do well in class. This will ensure that they appreciate you, as long as your questions are relevant to the topic and not inappropriate.
  • If you don't have a chance to ask the question as soon as it occurs to you, write it down so you can ask it later. Depending on their preferences, you can even send them an email about your question so they can answer you directly or in the next class.
  • Remember that if you have a question, you are probably not the only one. In this sense, asking questions in class is like doing your classmates a favor that will benefit you too!
Pass Social Studies Class Step 7
Pass Social Studies Class Step 7

Step 3. Do all the homework

One of the most common reasons students receive poor grades is that they do not complete the required work in the course. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest problems to fix. You are unlikely to pass the class if you complete all your assignments and turn them in on time.

  • Effort counts. If you turn in your work and it is clear that you have not put in effort, this could harm you, as it will show the teacher that you do not care enough about his class to work on it.
  • Try harder every now and then. This means putting more effort than the minimum required on tasks or projects. For example, if you are assigned a report that requires at least two sources, get at least three. This could help you get a better grade, and at the very least it will show the teacher that you are willing to work towards good grades.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 8
Pass Social Studies Class Step 8

Step 4. Complete the reading assignments before class

Teachers often design classes under the assumption that students have already found out about the material through reading assignments. You will get the most out of your classes if you read about the topics before attending them. This will also help you enter the class with any questions you have in mind.

  • Spend enough time reading to at least absorb the main points. If you start reading the night before class (when you're already tired), you will have a hard time reading completely and you probably don't remember the material very well.
  • Take notes on the main points of the reading and review them before class. This will prepare you to understand the class material more easily and reinforce the important points of the topic you read about the night before.
  • As you read, come up with questions to ask the teacher in class about the material in the book. This can help you associate the important concepts and assimilate what you have read. You will also show the teacher that you are doing your reading homework before class and that you take an active role in your learning.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 9
Pass Social Studies Class Step 9

Step 5. Study for the exams

Never try to solve a test without studying. Social studies courses often feature many concepts, dates, places, and names; which can be difficult to remember. You will do much better on tests if you spend considerable time and effort studying the material several weeks before each test.

  • Ask your teacher for a study guide. If he gives you one, use it to prepare for the next exam. You can review the guide topics one by one, and make sure you understand all of them. Ask the teacher for help with very difficult topics.
  • Create a study group. If you have friends in class, ask them to help you study the course material. This can be a useful way to combine your knowledge with that of others in the class. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one!
  • Take tests frequently. You may not master the material as well as you think you do by just reading homework. By taking quizzes on various topics in the days after they are presented in class, you will be able to identify those that you need to work on the most and you will learn the material better.
  • Match your study style to the exam format. Check with your teacher about the structure and format of the exams so you know what to expect. For example, don't limit your study to memorizing definitions if the test will be in an essay format.

Part 3 of 3: Getting Help

Pass Social Studies Class Step 10
Pass Social Studies Class Step 10

Step 1. Communicate with the teacher

If you are struggling, one of the best things you can do to improve your grades is to consult with your teacher about what he or she expects of your students. You may lose points for simple mistakes that you can easily fix. If so, he will tell you what you have done wrong. Don't assume you know what she wants without her telling you!

  • Go to the teacher in person. You can do it before class, after class, or during study time. The teachers are very busy, so meeting him in person will show him that you are sincere and increase the likelihood that he will remember your situation.
  • Be honest when discussing class issues with him. If you can show him that you really care about learning, he will be much more willing to help you or even make an exception.
  • Don't make excuses for why you're having trouble. Keep the conversation focused on the specific problems you have with the material. Accept responsibility and don't blame someone else. This way, they will be less likely to think you don't want to do the job.
  • If you have already submitted all the work they have left you, ask for other assignments to improve your grade. Just avoid asking for them if the teacher has a "no extra credit" policy. If you accept this request, make it your priority to complete the work and submit it on time!
Pass Social Studies Class Step 11
Pass Social Studies Class Step 11

Step 2. Find a tutor

If you have difficulty studying on your own or if you don't understand the material during class, consider finding a professional tutor. Keep in mind that the tutor will not do the work for you, but will help you understand things better. It will be your responsibility to do the work required to improve. Use the internet, your school's services, or the recommendations of a teacher or colleague to find a suitable tutor for your needs.

  • Social studies classes often cover a lot of writing, such as essays, reports, and research projects. If you have trouble with writing in general, you may need to ask a writing tutor for help.
  • Make sure the sessions are personalized. Some tutors meet with multiple clients at the same time, which means you will have less individual help. You will get the best benefits if you only attend sessions for personalized help.
  • If you go to tutoring companies, ask for a tutor who has experience or special expertise in the social studies topics you are struggling with. For example, if the class is focused on American political science, you should not go to one who only knows European history.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 12
Pass Social Studies Class Step 12

Step 3. Ask a classmate to study with you

If there are other students in the class who seem to understand more than you, ask them to join you in study sessions. After all, they probably already spend time studying and may not mind helping you with the material. This type of arrangement can be helpful to everyone involved, as your friend will retain information more effectively if they explain it to you, and you will have a knowledgeable and patient partner to study with.

  • When creating study groups for collaborative projects, choose group partners who are dedicated and committed students. You will have a lot of difficulty finishing work if the other members also have problems, are always distracted, or don't care about class. If you are in a group that doesn't fit in with your goals for the class, kindly ask the teacher to switch you to another (and tell them why you want to).
  • Don't expect your classmates to teach you the material. Even if they seem to understand it, they are learning it too! Your advice or guidance should always complement other more reliable sources. Always check with the teacher or check the course book when in doubt. You can be more confident that the information you get is reliable if it comes from multiple sources.
Pass Social Studies Class Step 13
Pass Social Studies Class Step 13

Step 4. Find and use online learning resources

Let's face it: not all teachers and books are good at explaining complex topics. If you find yourself in such a situation, it might be time to search for additional resources online. There is a lot of great information on the internet (but some of it is very unreliable). You have a good chance of getting material on the internet that you can understand more easily than your book, and it might be easier to find than you think.

  • Review the course book for supplemental resources. These tools are often available as interactive online activities that offer other methods of teaching course material, and are often easier to understand. Look for information about them on the cover of the book, visit the publisher's website, or ask your teacher if you can't find information in the book.
  • Search the internet for information on study topics. There are likely discussion boards, online wikis, or even professional academic posts on the subject that you need help with. Just avoid using opinion-based information unless you're researching a debated topic. Here are some warning signs of unreliable web pages: no citations, a lot of advertising or pop-ups, and information that seems incomplete. If you get information on a web page that has any of these characteristics, don't trust it!


  • If the social studies class addresses topics that are up for debate, the teacher might encourage an open discussion about the points of interest. Be prepared to provide arguments in class to support your positions if you are given the opportunity to participate.
  • Balance study and homework time with physical activity, hobbies, and socializing. You will feel more energetic and focused while studying if you are active and do not feel overloaded with school work.

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