How to Adjust to College Classes

Going to college or university is a totally different and new experience from high school for many young students. The new set-up of classes creates a challenge.

Steps

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    Learn how college operates. Typically, university classes are split into 3 different types:
    • Lectures: A talk on a certain academic subject presented by a professor or other expert in the field. They last from half an hour to two hours in duration, often with an audience of over a hundred people.
    • Tutorials: A small group of students meet with a tutor to discuss the topic of the previous lecture. Often the tutor gives worksheets or questions to work on for the next tutorial.
    • Practicals: Students in more applied subjects like sciences and engineering will take these. They involve experimenting and building things. {They could also be called laboratory or lab courses}.
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    Studying at college requires students to learn more independently. You must take responsibility and use diligence and initiative to succeed.
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    Establish a regular sleep pattern, sleeping during class or missing class completely because you slept in will not help you succeed.
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    With your lecturer talking to you non-stop, you may find it hard to focus. Taking notes is a good way to help you concentrate but don't take too many.
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    If the teacher provides lecture notes, it's a good idea to structure your own additional notes around the missing details in these notes.
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    Asking questions in a packed lecture theatre can be intimidating. If you have a question, there are several avenues available to you:
    • Longer lectures commonly have a short break in the middle during which you could approach the lecturer with a question or you could wait til the end.
    • In the first lecture, the lecturer will inform you of the times when (s)he will be available for consultation and you should take note of them. Most encourage you to send them an email with your questions.
    • Tutors will also be glad to help, they are especially good if you have concerns about assessment.
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    Many colleges now provide recordings of lectures and other resources on the web. However, you should still attend lectures.
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    College students are also set weekly readings sometimes crucial to the material covered so you must keep up with these or risk falling behind.
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    A weekly review for each course is a good idea, as it allows you to compile and summarize all that you've learnt from your readings, lectures and tutorials.
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    Making friends with your fellow students in tutorials and lectures can benefit you immensely and means you have a group of people with whom to study and solve problems.
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    If you are really struggling to adjust, many colleges and universities offer free counselling sessions. There are also advisors for study skills, course selection, help with disabilities and much more.

Article Info

Categories: College and University Study Techniques