The Big Picture. College is full of unique experiences. For many, it’s the first time away from home and parents. There is nobody there to make you do anything so your first priority is to police yourself. Your teachers will not prod you to do your work. Their paycheck is not contingent upon whether you study for your classes. It’s all up to you.
The First Class. Your first classes will consist of introductions to your professors and course outlines detailing dates for lectures, homework assignments, papers and exams. It might seem juvenile, but you’ll need to have a calendar that incorporates what you need to do for each class every day. Don’t attempt to trust these important details to memory because you are setting yourself up for failure. Keep class materials in separate binders so that organization is optimal. Equally important is getting all of your professor’s contact information and office hours. If you need additional help with assignments, this information will be invaluable.
Don’t Skip Class. The most important step in determining how to study for college classes is to understand that you must actually go to class. It goes without saying that one of the highlights of college is that you don’t have to go to class if you don’t want to. Many professors don’t take attendance and those that do have a maximum number of classes a student can miss at the student’s discretion. When you don’t go to class you undermine your ultimate objective to get good grades. If you’re not in class, you can’t take notes, ask questions or participate in discussions. And here’s a clue for you: the class you skip almost always contains the information you need for an exam and it’s generally information you can’t get from the pages of your textbook. This is how professors tell who is in class and who isn’t without taking daily attendance.
Studying Is Your Job #1. Unfortunately, most students these days must have a part-time job too. Budgeting your time is very important. For every hour you spend in class each week you should spend two hours each week studying. If you’re taking a twelve credit hour class load each semester plan to spend 24 hours each week studying. When possible, it is better to study in a formal setting such as the library. Studying in your dorm room can lead to distractions. Formal settings are best when trying to study for college classes. If you can, plan study sessions with other students from your classes. There is focus in numbers!
Break Up Then Make Up with Facebook and Twitter. Once you have mastered how to study for college classes you’ll understand why this step is necessary. It is impossible to get good grades if you are giving your attention to these two. Don’t get too worried. Facebook and Twitter will still be there when you’re done with your studying and you’re getting good grades. You’ll appreciate your time with them all the more when you’ve gotten good grades on your assignments and exams.