The Happy Arkansan’s Guide to Passing a College Course
Can you believe the summer is in it's last month and a half basically? It pretty much sucks, but for those of you having anxiety attacks every night about how difficult college courses are I am here to give you my guide to passing a course. Depending on how dedicated you are you can pass with an A, but at the very least if you do these things you will get a passing grade. Shoot for the stars though, because As are cool.
Set a passing goal
The first thing you need to do is be dedicated to passing your course. If you aren't dedicated and you haven't set yourself a goal to pass you will be easily able to slack off and not do your work. If you set passing goals at the beginning of the school year you will be more likely to want to reach those goals.
Plan like no tomorrow
As soon as you get access to your syllabi–write things down. Syllabi are great because they are literally your course roadmap. You will usually have all your dates pre-determined and in the syllabus so you can sit down and make sure you don't miss a date. This is great because it also gives you an idea of when the most stressful weeks will be.
If you don't go to class it's like you are planning to fail. That is definitely not the type of planning I wanted you to do. Try not to make a habit out of skipping classes unless you are super sick. Don't skip because you want to watch tv or eating with friends sounds better.
- On another note make a schedule you like: If you know you won't like your schedule re-arrange it. If you have 8 AMs see if you can take another class instead, you never know until you look. Don't torture yourself and set yourself up for failure by taking an extremely late class or a class that is extremely early.
Making friends in your class is extremely crucial, especially when you get into your major courses. Being able to have a friend to trade notes with, study with, or make the class more enjoyable is always a plus. Make sure you are able to make at least one or two connections in your classes so that you can become a better student. Also friends make attending class a lot easier to look forward to.
Depending on your study style this may mean different things for you than it does for other people, but do what works for you. If all you need to do is go over your notes the night before the test, fine–if you need to make meticulous note cards for each paragraph of text–you do you. Don't let anyone judge you for your studying techniques.
- Always study harder for the first test: As you are getting used to a teachers style of teaching–always study harder for the first test. After you take that test you can adjust your studying techniques, but make sure you study a really decent amount for the first test.
Leave distractions at home
Always come to class distraction free if possible. This includes distractions of hunger, sleepiness, and friendships or relationships gone sour. Eat before you come to class and get plenty of rest and try your best to leave your baggage at the door. Some baggage is acceptable, and if it's really bad just explain to your professor that you need to take a personal day for whatever those issues may be such as family. If you still feel comfortable coming to class with your baggage, check it at the door and focus in class. Never come to class half-there.
Ask for help
Sometimes you need help and that is totally appropriate! If you need help stop by your professors office hours or send an email. Just because you are a semi-adult it doesn't mean you don't need help!
- On another note never go to the office and say you need help with everything! Your professor will not take you seriously and will more than likely ask you to break it down. If you don't understand anything they will doubt you even came to class (or that you were paying attention.) Professors want to help, but they can't work with everything. Come with some prepared questions and work from there.
Always do the bonus
Bonus is far from normal in college so if your professor is offering you bonus points, get your bonus points! You don't want to be that person missing out on easy points because you don't “feel like it” get your bonus assignments done because they only come once in a lifetime in college.
Never skip assignments
The worst thing you can do in college is skipping an assignment. Something is always better than a zero and honestly there aren't that many assignments in a college course. If you can, do every assignment, even if some are dropped. You never know when a schedule might be thrown off and some assignments might be cut short. Make sure you are getting each assignment you need turned in!
Realize that you need to do outside work
Realizing that going to class alone just won't cut it is so important. You have to be dedicated and you have to do work outside of class whether that is studying with your friends at Starbucks or finishing up papers at home you have to constantly work. There is not a set rule for how many hours of outside work you have to do for each hour of in class time, but you have to do some studying. Do the amount of outside work that makes you feel comfortable and then push yourself to do a little more.
- Remember that breaks are necessary! I promise that after a while of studying you aren't truly studying. You are calling your impressive Facebook stalking abilities studying, but you are really goofing off. Give yourself a break and count it as a break not as studying. Be honest with yourself and get actual work done.
I hope that you found all the tips for passing a college course useful!