Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. ~ Henry L. Doherty
- Attend Every Class and Be on Time: When you miss class, you miss lecture notes, class discussions, homework explanations and assignments. You may also miss quizzes and tests. If you do miss, get a copy of a fellow class member's notes. You may also even want to arrive early.
- Lean How to Adapt to Different Instructors: Every instructor is different. Part of the college experience is learning to learn regardless of the instructor's teaching style. You are responsible for your own learning.
- Be prepared for Each Class: Have your assignments done before you go to class. Lectures will be easier to follow, and you will better understand class discussions. Read before class what you are going to cover in class. Be an active listener. Do not be afraid to ask questions in class. If you have a question, chances are 90% of the class will have the same question.
- 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. It is easier to see the board and to ask questions. Also, smile at the instructor - make eye contact. The instructor will often respond directly to students who make eye contact.
- Communicate with Your Instructors: Most instructors will give you their office hours, etc. Do not hesitate to contact an instructor when you have a question, concern, or problem. Most instructors will be happy to help you.
- Bring Your Book to Class if the Lecture Follows the Text: This can help you stay focused. You can also add notes in your book as to what is important. This will help in studying for tests later.
- Use a system for taking notes: (see Note Taking Skills) If your instructor uses PowerPoint presentations and posts them online, print them up before class - you can add information to them in class.
- Listen for Cue Words: 'this is important;' numbering reasons, etc. 'This may be on the test;' 'for example;' 'Summarizing.' All instructors give clues to what is important and what may be on tests. They may repeat the information more than once. They may pause before giving information to make sure everyone is listening. These are cues that the material is important and will probably be on the test.
- After Class: Spend 5-15 minutes going over notes as soon as possible. Clarify, summarize, and think about the major concepts that you learned. Mark information that you think may be on a quiz or exam. Also note concepts you did not understand so that you can ask questions or spend extra time studying.
- Set up a Study Group: If you set up a study group, you will help members of the group reinforce what you are studying. The teacher in any situation always learns the most. You can also compare notes to make sure you did not miss anything. Get a class buddy that you can share notes with, or call if you need to clarify something, or if you miss class.
Adapted from How to Get Good Grades in College by Linda O'Brien
Other Websites to Visit:
- Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs web page at http://www.uic.edu/depts/ace/lecture_notes.shtml
- Center for Teaching and Learning at Idaho State University at http://www.isu.edu/ctl/cls/handouts/index.shtml
Classroom and Study Skills Home Page
Learning Strategies Home Page