One of the large differences between high school in college is the new extension of personal freedom and how you can spend your time. Class schedules also change drastically. Instead of class starting at the same time every day there is a varying time of classes in frequency, durations, and start times. This can make the decision of going to class much different.
To start this off I would like to say, always go to class. Generally, anyone giving advice on how to succeed in a class, going is an important first step. There are many different kinds of classes and I have only taken a few of them. Attendance is more important in some than others. At larger schools, large classes are a common occurrence. Class sizes in the hundreds taking place in massive lecture halls are generally the easiest to slip on attendance. Some teachers formulate methods to make sure students are going but many do the minimum and lecture leaving the rest up to TA’s. Attending these classes can seem unimportant but you can miss important information as well as the chance to hear the material the professor puts the largest emphasis on as well as many other important things necessary to succeed in class. Teachers provide many resources that allow you to miss class but nothing is a perfect replacement for actually being in class.
or smaller schools, as well as many small classes in large classes, professors can much more easily tell who is coming to class and have an increase in their ability to record attendance. Labs are often very similar no matter what the size of the school. In these classes participation is often a portion of the final grade and there can even be in class assignments students must be in attendance to complete. For obvious reasons, these classes are much less justifiable to miss, especially because many have a maximum number of absences before the class grade is affected.
Simply showing up is not the only part of attending class. For the larger lectures, taking notes is generally the best way to stay engaged. Some professors will read off a power point and some even make those presentations available online afterwards making studying easier. Others simply go off on tangents and capturing their words in your notes is much more important. For classes like this taking notes to stay engaged and listening is important. Also looking in to study guides or course outlines can be useful to see what the professor is expecting you to retain from their lectures. In the smaller classes notes may also be important but listening is necessary when it comes to participation. Some professors require engagement and response to discussions and questions to get participation for the class. The more engaged you are the better you will retain the information and then studying for the exams become way easier.
Going to class is an important part of the college experience but with so much going on around you it can become difficult to keep focus. Staying engaged and listening during class will definitely help your grades and enjoyment of these courses.
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