How to Be a Successful Student


Be Prepared:

• Organize a 3-ring binder with separate sections for each class. Insert the class syllabus and handouts for each class. Have a folder to keep graded assignment.

• Bring all textbooks, your class binder, loose-leaf paper, a dictionary, highlighter / marker, stapler, and pens.
• Do all the assigned homework before class so that you can learn the most from the class lectures. Write out the assigned homework on a separate sheet of paper. Be sure your paper follows the format on essay format.

• Be sure to get the phone numbers of at least 2 students in each class. Call someone if you miss class to find out what you missed an the homework for the next class. Come to the next class prepared with both homework assignments. If you are absent on the day of a test, come to the next class prepared to make up the test if the instructor allows make-up tests.

• For every hour that you spend in class, be prepared to spend about 2 hours studying outside of class.

Participate in class activities and discussions:

• Pay attention to what the teacher says during class. Follow along in the text as the teacher refers to it. Do not do homework during class or talk with other students while the teacher is lecturing.

• Take notes as the instructor talks. Write down everything that the teacher writes on the board. It wouldn't be there if it wasn't important. Do not think you will remember important information without taking notes - you won't.

• Volunteer to answer the teacher's questions. Don't worry about making a mistake or not pronouncing all the words correctly if English is not your first language. Classes are places to make mistakes. That's how we learn. Teachers welcome questions and other students in the class will have the same questions and be glad asked.

• Expect to work in groups. This is a very common classroom activity especially in American schools. Cooperate with the people in your group. Share your ideas even if you aren't 100% sure. Again, this is a place to help each other understand and learn the material for the class.

• Sometimes you will be able to choose your own groups, and other times the instructor will assign you. Try to work with different people instead of always staying with your friends. This is a way to meet new people and to gain new perspectives on the material you are studying.

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