10 Tips for Success in Classes
1. Attend Class
Your college tuition is paying for classes – attend them. Make sure they are the number one priority in your schedule. Do not schedule other obligations during class time. If you must miss, reach out to someone in the class about the material you missed.
2. Research Your Professors
There are several ways you can learn about how a professor teaches, and you can tailor your classes to best fit your personal learning style. Do well in classes that are test heavy? Pick a professor that emphasizes exams. Enjoy class projects? Sign up for classes with them. Use resources such as Rate My Professor or other students to find your class fit. Take those preferences and build your schedule around the professor rather than the class.
3. Join a Class GroupMe
Joining a GroupMe for classes has more benefits than just comradery. You can find a study group, ask specific homework questions, or even get reminders about assignments.
4. Sit in the Front
How many times have you sat behind someone in class and caught yourself glancing at their computer? To make it worse, they will be browsing shops online, iMessaging, or watching videos. Even if you are trying your best not to look, it’s really hard to ignore. Save yourself the internal battle and sit in the front. Not only will you be less distracted by those around you, but you will also feel more obligated to pay attention due to your proximity to the teacher. It may be intimidating, but it’s worth it.
5. Prepare Your Notes Beforehand
Most professors will post their slideshows or lecture notes online before the topics are covered in class. Save yourself some writing – print them out or transfer them to a software, such as One Note, and take notes directly on the slides. Not only will this save you time, but your notes can be customized to your learning style.
6. Write Down Examples
What are the things you remember best from class? Is it the long definitions? Or is it instead the interesting, engaging stories your professors tell? Usually, professors will use stories to better explain a topic in class. When they do, write it down. When you review your notes and see the example, you will remember the material it related to much better.
7. Go to Review/SI Sessions
Teachers, GTAs, and SI leaders all have meetings to discuss course material. If you go to a SI session or review session, there is a good chance you are going to get clearer information on what to expect for the exam/for the class. Often times, they will have a practice exam or practice questions that closely mimic the real test.
8. Go to Office Hours
Office hours are one of the most beneficial things you can do during your time in college. You can build a repour with professors who are experts in their field. If you need references down the line, the relationships you build are crucial. Take the time to ask homework questions, ask for clarification, or just pop in for a chat.
9. Be Organized
Its easy to become overwhelmed between classwork, friends, school organizations, and personal time. The best way to combat this overwhelming feeling is to get organized. Everybody has their own method, whether that be a handwritten planner, online calendar, sticky notes, etc. Find your fit and stick with it.
10. Have Fun
Sign up for classes that excite you and make you want to attend class. Make sure you schedule time for yourself – incorporate time for meals, friends, and new adventures. You can only do your best in class when you feel your best.