Engineering school is not for the faint of heart. The coursework you’ll be dealing with as you prepare for a career as an engineer is difficult, daunting, and often overwhelming. The curriculum is rigorous, with little room for error. In fact, all types of engineering are widely considered to be among the most challenging STEM degrees out there. Your homework will always be difficult and time-consuming, providing you with constant challenges as you learn to master new material on your way to becoming an engineer. Here are 5 useful suggestions for dealing with engineering homework.

Pay attention to the course material in class. This should go without saying, but being as attentive as possible in the classroom often translates to a much easier time tackling your homework assignments. Don’t be afraid to ask your professor questions. Identify what you’re having trouble with, and ask for a clarification during your next class session. Chances are, it will help others in the class as well, and your professor will be more than happy to explain. If they can’t answer your question during class due to time constraints, you could ask afterward, or visit them during office hours.
Read the textbooks. Not everyone feels like they learn best from reading a textbook, but many engineering textbooks provide useful, practical examples of the problems you’ll be solving, along with explanations and illustrated diagrams. If your primary textbook isn’t helping, you could always try finding a different textbook on the same subject in the library. It will have different examples and a different explanation, which may clarify things for you better than the textbook you were assigned.

Team up with other students. Even if you’re not inclined toward being very social, forming a study group with other students can be worthwhile. Collaborating with one another, you can help each other understand material and work together to figure out how to find solutions to the questions on your engineering homework.

Ask an expert. If you know someone who works as an engineer, they might be able to give you a hand with that extra-challenging homework problem. After all, they know firsthand what dealing with engineering homework is like. You can also go to online forums, like Reddit or Quora, to seek out experts in the field.

Don’t let hard questions discourage you. Engineering school is incredibly rigorous and academically demanding. Even the most gifted and driven students can feel burned out from time to time. If you’re struggling with a homework assignment, don’t let it get you down. It doesn’t mean you can’t succeed, or that you’re not cut out to be an engineer. Everyone encounters a few hurdles on the road to knowledge. Keep at it, and eventually things will click, and you’ll finally master the material.