How to be Successful without Really Trying - Study Strategies - Part 2: In-Class

Updated: Aug 7

By: Mason Weupe

Welcome to the first installment of the series!

Here we will learn some techniques to help us conquer the classroom. The idea here is if we take the time to pay attention and effectively record information in the classroom, (we have to be there anyway) then we do not have moments days later in which we are wondering what even happened in class or if we even showed up.

First, let's have something to record notes ready to go. For example, a notebook with the title of the class, the year/semester you took the class, and your name on the front would be a good start. Similarly, for digital notes, you can create a folder for the class and start a new document every time there is a lecture. This is critical because we want to be able to locate our notes later. Not naming the document or using loose sheets of paper leads to you losing the notes and making life much more difficult. So now that we have our notebook (and hopefully a pencil) or our tablet/laptop (and hopefully fully charged) we can start focusing on the lecture.



Now, I suggest sitting towards the front of the class. For assigned seats, ask your teacher to sit closer to the front. I know you may want to be cool and sit in the back with the star quarterback, but that won’t get you into your dream school. Seldom do I see a school ask “Are you popular?” on a college admission application. Sitting in the front is multi-dimensional. You are more likely to pay attention since the teacher is right in front of you (though I must admit I have fallen asleep in the front row before, you’ll learn from my mistakes right!). Front row seats will make it more difficult to socialize, thus increasing the capacity of your attention. You, also, have a higher chance of getting the teacher to notice your dedication to learning (maybe later on giving you that grade bump you need because the teacher noticed your effort to learn in class). Sitting in the front also makes it more likely that you will ask questions when needed. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it; your grades are more important than the one second of embarrassment you may feel because you spoke up in class. I promise.



So there you go! In summary, have a note-taking modem ready, sit toward the front of the class, and ask questions when you need to. Not too bad, right? It may not seem like a lot but doing the small things on the front end will result in MASSIVE benefits on the back end when you are studying.

Come back next Sunday for another strategy!


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