The most definite way to make sure you succeed in college is to attend your classes. Showing up for class is a great way to stay on top of course material so you don’t feel like you have fallen behind and need to cram before a final test or project. In order to get all you can out of attending class, it is important for you to be fully present and engaged while you are there. These seven tips can help you pay attention and stay alert during class.
Go to class with enough sleep.
If you can, getting enough sleep is the most effective way to stay alert during class. Sleep deprivation can slow even the most basic cognitive functions, including memory retention. If you are well rested for class, your brain will automatically be able to focus more effectively and process concepts more actively.
Take thorough notes the whole time.
Writing notes is another great way to keep your brain “on” during class. You will stay on track with what is being taught as your translate it into your own words on paper. Or you may prefer a laptop — there are pros and cons to both. Either way, as you follow along and take notes, you will notice that you are able to recall the information because you have been exposed to it twice — once as it is being taught and again as you took your notes.
Print out presentations with room for notes.
It may be hard to take notes when a professor uses a slideshow or presentation as part of their teaching tools. Many times, you may be so busy writing down what is on the slide that you are not listening to the professor. Ask your professor if it would be an option to have copies of the presentation sent to you to print out before class. Then you can print the presentation with room in the margins for notes where you can record the verbal explanations your professor is saying out loud in class.
Sit in the front.
On the first day of class, the front row center seat is usually avoided like the plague. However, if you are serious about class, forget what people think and make this your permanent seat. It is much harder to become distracted during class if you are sitting just a few feet from the professor. You will also not be able to see as many of the other students that could distract you.
Don’t dress too comfortably.
If you dress like you do for bed, then you are more likely to go to sleep. Go to class dressed for success, and you will be more likely to succeed. See how that works? It’s all about your mindset. Be sure that you sit up straight and have an alert posture, because this will increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain and trick your body into having more energy.
Ask questions when you have them.
Actively listening, processing information and asking questions as you go will keep your brain on topic and engaged in a critical thinking process. This will also help you if a certain topic is particularly difficult for you to understand. It will be to your benefit if you ask the questions as you go rather than getting lost as you build on the concept.
Do the assigned reading beforehand.
This may not seem necessary, but it really will help you to pay attention and engage with class discussions. Participating in class is linked to higher success. If you are clueless about the material being taught because you didn’t do the readings, it will be much easier for you to completely checkout during the lecture. It is hard to pay attention to something that you don’t understand or have any background knowledge about.
These tips can help you be a successful student at South College! We are happy to come alongside our students to give them the tools they need to improve their careers with a degree. Are you ready to get started?