Advice on how to be successful in class

ASU student studying for class wearing a face mask

Classes can be tough, and if you’re anything like most students, you’ll take more than a few challenging courses before you graduate. Instead of reinventing the wheel, take some advice from students who have found what works for them. You never know, their advice could be the thing you needed to help you ace your hardest class.

1. “Keep up on lectures. Take notes and rewrite them if it helps information stick. Make sure you understand the lecture before a new one begins. Also, don't be afraid of tutoring. Sometimes that is the difference between a letter grade.” 

2. “Read the lecture material before class. That way, it's not your first time seeing the material and you’ll have a better understanding of what you know. It will save your grades!”

3. “Please, please, please speak up and ask questions when you don't understand something. Many people are afraid of doing so and end up further behind because of it. I understand it's scary to be the first person to ask questions, but it's definitely worth it to help yourself and your classmates.”

4. “Create study groups. Getting different perspectives on how to solve a problem is extremely helpful. You can also use these groups for answering each other's questions about the course, such as when the homework is due.”

5. “For online classes, I suggest getting color-coordinating folders and notebooks to keep track of your coursework. Be sure to use the same color pens as your notebooks to keep them all in sync. Online classes can be hard to keep up with sometimes, but the color-coordinating keeps everything organized.”

6. “If you are in class, you should turn on your camera so that you don't goof off since everyone can see you. Also, make sure you stretch after long periods of sitting!”

7. “Try to teach someone else what you're learning! Find a classmate who will let you talk through what you just learned. When you have to look into your notes to better explain a concept, you have identified what you need to focus on studying!”

8. “Utilize the “read aloud” function on e-books. I would go on a walk listening to my textbook or clean my room while listening, so that way I could do something that I wanted and needed to do that day while also staying up with my academic responsibilities.”

9. “Especially during online classes, it’s really important to learn personal responsibility! Professors are there to help you, but they won’t know how unless you tell them. There are TAs, online tutoring and other resources for you to succeed. Find ways to organize your schedule and make time for what you find important.”

10. “Go to class! Just go to every class. There is no reason not to and you're probably going to miss something important if you skip. Plus, even professors who say they don't care about attendance do — it shows who respects them enough to actually show up.”

Here’s what we want you to take away from this advice: Doing your best, switching up your routine and engaging in the class are paramount. By spending time focusing on the class, what you do and don’t understand, and maybe even reaching out to a few classmates or your professor can make a world of difference. 

We’re sharing more advice on topics like connecting with professors, making friends and balancing college with your mental health to help you have your best college experience.

Adulting 101

Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.


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