Tips for preparing for the classroom

To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail!
Although all American classes at different schools and institutions differ from each another in a variety of significant ways, there are universal expectations all students in all classroom settings are expected to follow. There are some things that students can do both before and during class in order to increase their chances of thriving.

Before class
• Do your homework!

• Review your notes from the previous lecture and reading for the day.

• Focus on the task at hand before class. Take a moment of silence to gather your thoughts and mentally prepare yourself for the topic.

In Class
• Arrive on time for class.

• If possible, position yourself in the classroom to focus on the subject matter.

• Consider the best location for: Listening, asking questions, seeing visual materials, and discussing (not only with the teacher but also with your classmates).

• Avoid distractions that may interfere with your concentration (daydreaming, looking around the room, talking to a friend, passing notes and dozing).

• Evaluate as you listen and decide what is important and should be placed in your notes and what can be left out.

• Ask clarifying questions (but wait for "breaks" in the instructor's stream).

• Review your class objectives throughout the class period.

• Did your objective/s mesh with the instructor's introductory remarks?

• Make a "to do" list including assignments for reviewing difficult concepts, joining study groups, making appointments with a study pal, tutor, or the instructor.

• One resource often overlooked is a classmate who seems to have a good grasp of the material. If it seems appropriate, seek the individual out for help.

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