Dear High School Grad: Here’s What to Expect From College

Instead of spending full days in high school classrooms, college students spend significantly less time in the classroom, but more time studying. College students experience more independence, which means more academic responsibility and accountability.

College Classes

As a college student, you’ll choose the courses you take with the help of an academic adviser. Classes may or may not meet every day, and attendance policies will vary widely from school to school and professor to professor. You’re responsible for arriving on time, completing assigned readings, and turning in homework when it’s due. Your job is to pay attention during lectures and note important points to remember for passing the exam or writing a term paper.

Students are also required to buy their own textbooks, which can be costly. Research any e-textbooks to save money, and download the NOOK Study app as a study tool for organization, reading, highlighting, note taking, and researching.

Study Methodology

For every hour you spend in class per week (or for each semester hour of your total course load), you should be prepared to study for at least 2 to 3 hours per week. If you’re taking a full course load of 15 semester hours, studying at least 30 to 45 hours a week is a good objective.

Check the syllabus lists for specific reading material on a given day. The expectation is that you will have read it before coming to class, which means devise your own system for keeping track of assignments.

If you use your laptop, tablet or Netbook during class, Evernote can help you take notes and organize information. As another study buddy, check out Simplenote for effective note taking, list making and sharing capabilities for study groups. It uses Pinterest-like pins and Facebook-like tags.

Tests & Grading

As you walk into a lecture hall, expect occasional quizzes that may or may not be announced. Tests are comprehensive and have significance impact on your final course grade. Professors may conduct review sessions outside of class hours and provide study guides. Exams won’t follow the same formats, which may be a combination of multiple choice, short answer and essay. If you miss a test, it’s your responsibility to contact the professor and discuss how and if you can make it up.

Online Learning

Online education is a practical and affordable academic alternative for students who work full-time or need flexibility. On-campus college students can even enroll in a single online class if the desired course doesn’t fit into their schedule or if it’s full. Full-time students enrolled in an online institution can still earn a credible certification or degree. For example, Penn Foster offers certificate, associates and bachelors degree programs as well as online student communities and active social networking pages that support student interaction within the virtual universe.

Google Drive also provides online students with spreadsheet and word processing capabilities that can be shared among multiple users. Students who want to share notes, ideas, or other information with their fellow students, or with professors, can do so easily with Google’s free apps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *