Study Notes for Students | Your Key to Effective Studying

Know Your Professors

Each course you take has a professor or instructor assigned to teach it. Learn what you can about your instructor and their manner of teaching. Keep one page in your notebook free for questions you may want to ask the professor in a one-on-one setting. Professors usually have blocks of time they set aside as "office hours" when they make themselves available to students for individual discussion or counsel. It is a good idea to get to know your professors and to visit with them at their office once or twice during the semester. You should have some definite questions in mind when you go and some areas on which you would like their counsel or explanation. Don't call on a professor just to shoot the breeze and waste their time. This may naturally happen, but go with an idea of what you want to discuss to start.

As the time approaches to choose your courses for the next term, you will need to put a list together of the possible choices you have. Since upper classmen usually have the first shot at registering for classes, if you are a freshman or sophomore you will need to be prepared to be flexible in working out your schedule. Preparing a list of options beforehand allows you the opportunity to talk with some other students about which professors you may want to try and choose next term. If some professors have exceptionally good reputations as teachers you may want to delay taking a particular course if you are not able to get into their class. Some colleges have ratings online of professors that may be helpful. If you are affiliated with a fraternity/sorority perhaps your upper class brothers/sisters can provide useful direction. You will also want to spend some time with your Advisor to make sure the list of potential classes fits with your overall educational goals and requirements.

Professors and instructors play an important role in how you are able to absorb information. You want the best chance at learning. Do your research and attempt to secure the best teachers you possibly can. Also pay attention to balancing your course load in any given term so that you have a couple of courses that you expect to come easier for you than the others. You don't want to enter a semester with four courses staring you in the face that you know are subjects that have always been the most difficult for you to master. Your Advisor should be able to give you some counsel on how best to avoid this dilemma.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013


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