Academic Resource Guide - What to Expect

In general, students experience greater success in college when they know what to expect. How to Get Good Grades offers six ideas for what to expect in college. Expect to find the following in college: 

  •  Varying class sizes. College classes can have anywhere from 15 to 200+ students. While most classes have fewer than 30 students, class sizes vary depending on the college and the course.
  • The need for critical thinking skills. College students do a lot of reading, and they are expected to be able to understand and remember what they read. Students also need to know how to draw conclusions, form opinions and evaluate ideas.
  •  More emphasis on tests and less on busywork. Homework grades will often only account for a small portion of your final grade. In many cases, the midterm, a research paper or the final exam will make up the majority of your final grade.
  • The need for personal responsibility. Students have a tremendous amount of freedom in college. You are responsible for monitoring your progress, going to class and doing your assignments.
  • Consequences for low grades. All colleges have academic standards that students must meet in order to stay enrolled. Students who let their grades fall below a certain point are generally put on academic probation. Kent State University requires that students on probation improve their grades by the end of the following term.
  •  Less time in class and more independent study. Expect to do most of your learning on your own. For every hour in class, you should plan to spend two hours out of class reading, studying and completing assignments.

According to the 2011 Higher Education Research Institute Study, almost 71 percent of students believe their academic ability is at least above average. The same study found that almost 61 percent of first-year college students spend less than six hours per week doing homework in 12th grade. Academics in college are more difficult than in high school and to succeed at Kent State, you will need to spend more time on your school work to achieve the same grades that you earned in high school. The consequences for low grades are high, but knowing what to expect can lead to greater success. Now that you know what to expect, be sure to read the pages that follow, which offer several tips for academic success.