Classes and Coursework: Tips for Success


While you’ll most likely spend less time sitting in class in college than you did in high school, you will probably spend more time studying and doing assignments. College will require new study habits and more time management as the workload increases and you become more responsible for scheduling and managing your time. Click through to read some suggestions for academic success in college.

Go to Class

Simply showing up to class is the easiest way to improve your odds of academic success. But it can be tempting to skip out on classes, especially large ones where the instructor may not keep tabs on attendance. Attending class is usually the best way to learn the material that you’ll need for tests or assignments. Professors might test on material covered in class in addition to what’s in the textbook. What’s more, by going to class you’ll probably learn more and meet people with interesting thoughts and ideas. It’s also a great way to make friends with people who have the same academic interests or who are in your major.

Take Good Notes

Your college courses will be more complex and in depth than high school classes. If you don’t already have strong note-taking skills, it’s important that you develop them so you can refer back to your notes when preparing assignments or studying for tests. College professors often lecture and test on information that isn’t in the textbook.

Schedule Study Time

Juggling courses, social activities and other obligations can be challenging. It’s best to schedule your study time and set specific goals for each session. It’s important that you block out enough time in your schedule to complete necessary reading and assignments each week.

Avoid Cramming

It’s easy to procrastinate studying for a test that is two weeks away, but starting early can prevent last minute cramming. Staying up all night for last minute studying strains you mentally and physically. While you may have been able to get away with cramming for a high school exam, college exams usually cover larger amounts of material and it can be difficult to do well without planning and preparation.

Use Resources

If you are having trouble with a class, reach out for support from the course teaching assistant, the professor, an academic advisor or a tutoring program as soon as possible. TA’s and professors are pleased when students meet with them to master course material or try to understand course concepts in greater depth. Seeking support early can reduce stress and prevent you from falling behind or getting low grades. It’s much better to make a trip to the academic advising office early in the semester for help than to the registrar’s office late in the semester to drop a class you are failing.

Get Help Now

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7. 

You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.