Just because you go to class doesn’t mean you’ll automatically remember the information, perform well on exams, impress the professor, and score a good grade. Knowing how to excel in class is very important. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a few tips to make it easier:
1. Show up on time.
One of the most important ways to excel in class is also one of the most obvious: don’t show up late. Showing up late guarantees you’ll miss material and, depending on your professor’s attendance policy, may even lower your grade. So err on the side of caution and show up a few minutes early.
2. Ask questions.
College classes are designed to be difficult. That fact can be intimidating, especially to freshman, but remember: it’s okay if you don’t understand all the material all the time. Just ask questions if you’re ever lost or confused. Professors love to elaborate and clarify. Better yet, asking questions may even boost your participation grade!
3. Take notes.
Even if you feel comfortable with the material covered in class, it still pays to take notes. Taking notes improves data retention, keeps you focused on the task or lecture at hand, and even boosts comprehension of the material. Why? Because people learn better when they engage with the material in multiple ways. In other words, hearing a lecture uses one part of your brain while writing it down uses another. You remember more when those powers combine!.
4. Sit in the front.
Sitting in the front of class means you’ll always be able to see the board and hear the professor. Better yet, sitting in front means the professor can see you. That means no sleeping, goofing off, or playing games on your phone. It forces you to stay engaged with the material throughout the entire class. Come test time, you’ll be thankful you sat where you did.
5. Make use of your professor’s office hours.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions in class, or have missed classes, or otherwise need help with the material, head in to your professor’s office for one-on-one help. Most professors have at least two office hours per week, giving you ample opportunity to schedule visits.