Academic Resource Guide - Success in Class
The publication How to Get Good Grades in College offers the following tips for students:
- Attend every class. Skipping class means you miss lectures, notes, class discussions, homework explanations, and assignments. You may even miss quizzes and tests.
- Do every assignment. Think of homework as something you must do. Once you get behind, it can be very difficult to catch up. Complete every assignment even if it does not affect your final grade. Be aware of how you are processing various assignments– i.e., are you understanding the material or simply memorizing the material? Solve problems in your homework without looking at the solution or an example first.
- Learn how to adapt to different instructors. At the beginning of the semester, learn what each instructor expects in regards to homework, class participation, and attendance.
- Sit in the front of the class whenever possible. Research shows that sitting in the front of the class is directly related to higher grades. In the front of class, there are fewer distractions. It is easier to pay attention, hear the instructor, ask questions, and see the board or overhead.
- Be a good group member. Whether you are working on a class project, at a job, or in an extracurricular activity, you need to be able to work and get along with other people. Do your share of the work and do it well, and have a positive attitude. Be supportive of other group members, and be open to new ideas.
- Be on time. Arriving early means you will be more relaxed, and you can use the extra time to look over your notes, talk to your instructor, or talk to classmates. Do not leave class early; instructors often use the last 5-10 minutes to summarize the lecture or discuss assignments.
- Participate in class. If you do, class will be more enjoyable and you will learn more. Participating shows your instructor that you are interested in the class. Preview the material before class by skimming the chapter and creating a list of questions to ask.
- Communicate with your instructors. Use your instructor’s office hours and do not hesitate to contact them whenever you have a question, concern or problem.
- Take notes to help you pay attention. Recognize important information and take notes. Identify key words for your notes, and go over them as soon as possible.