Attending class is necessary to achieve academic success. Even on days that you can’t give 100% of your attention, it is still much easier to study something that you have already heard and seen before than material that is completely new. Going to class and paying attention every day can be difficult, so here are some tips on how to make the most out of your classroom time.
To get the most out of every class, you need to ensure you are prepared. This preparation can include things like taking notes on readings, looking over lecture materials beforehand (if they are available), and bringing the right materials to class. Being prepared can also include something as simple as getting enough sleep the night before. You don’t want to be dozing off while the instructor is talking.
You want to make sure that you are not distracted from focusing on the information that is being presented in class. One of the biggest distractions is your phone – make sure it is on silent and out of sight. Don’t tempt yourself by leaving your phone face down on your desk. Another distraction that you want to try and avoid is being hungry or thirsty. Make sure to eat before attending class to avoid daydreaming about the delicious food that you are going eat when the class is over. To avoid having to leave to get a drink of water, bring a water bottle.
Think about where you are sitting
Where you sit in class can have an impact on how you will learn. Most people pay closer attention when sitting at the front of the room. Some focus better when sitting near the middle or back. Get to know what works for you and change your seat accordingly. If you sit next to your friends, be sure that they are focused and are not distracting you. If they are, switch seats to a spot where you will be able to concentrate more effectively.
Take good notes
Make sure to take notes in class, even if you think you will be able to remember the information. Always write down your notes as opposed to typing them. There is plenty of research that supports how taking notes by writing is much more effective than on a computer, or any other electronic device(https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/take-notes-by-hand-for-better-long-term-comprehension.html). Write legibly and keep your notes organized. If you write too fast or messy in class, it is a good idea to re-write your notes when you get home. This is also a great way to review what was taught and to add in extra information from the textbook or readings to clarify what you did not understand or missed during class.
Active participation in class is crucial to getting the most out of your experience in class. This can include things like participating in class discussions and asking questions where necessary. If you are not comfortable asking questions in front of the whole class, make note of you question and ask your professor or teacher after class.