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How to be Successful in the First Two Weeks of School

August 11, 2011

Submitted by Staff Report on August 11, 2011 - 8:39 am

By Cooper Nelson

The first two weeks of class are a crucial time to set the tone for the semester. Here are some tips to set you up for success in your classes.

  • Use the GCU-issued planner to keep an account of your homework and stay up to date. Each incoming freshman will receive a GCU planner at Welcome Week. This planner includes a calendar with blank slots that can be used to keep track of upcoming assignments and tests. 
  • Sit in the front of the class. Sitting in the front of the class allows a professor to notice you, giving you the opportunity to be involved in classroom discussion - and a good start to earning a good grade. It also makes it easier to see notes and slides. 
  • Introduce yourself to your instructor, become familiar with how they teach and what they expect from students. Each instructor has a unique teaching style they exude in their classroom. It would be wise to become familiar with the way your instructor teaches and grades so that you are not surprised when their style is different from your own.
  • Don't procrastinate. Do your homework early in the week; don't put it off until the night before it is due. Procrastination is the worst enemy of new college students. Don't lull yourself into believing that you can get all of your work done the night before; this type of thinking leads to unfinished assignments, lower test scores and unneeded stress.
  • Create a routine when you will study and do homework so that you don't have the chance to fall behind. College is an exciting time for young adults. All of this excitement may lead to diminishing amounts of time reserved for homework and studying. A good way to combat this is to create a routine of times reserved each night for homework and studying. This could be as simple as an hour a night, five days a week, with flexibility for times when you may have more homework or finals.
  • Get plenty of rest. Falling asleep in class can lead to you falling behind in your notes and inevitably in your homework and studying. Being tired also leads to poor homework and studying habits. College is a fun and exciting time, but it also plays a huge role in determining your future, so make sure to get plenty of rest to remain at the top of your game.
  • If you know that you will struggle in a class, then go to the tutoring center for help before you fall behind. If you know that you struggle in a subject, or maybe this is your first time taking a course, be sure to book sessions with tutors at the CLA to ensure that you don't fall behind and have to claw to get back to a good grade.
  • Try your best on every assignment; don't cut corners. You will most likely not understand every assignment or be able to comprehend every aspect you need to know for a test. This is OK. Remember to try your best and not cut corners. Doing the work will at least allow you participation points and points for the parts that you do know. Not doing the work will get you a zero.
  • Listen in class and take notes on what the professor deems important. Test taking is hard, but professors will present enough information to do well on tests and assignments, and in a way that showcases what is important for this course. The best way to obtain all of this information is to listen well in class and make sure to take good notes. 

Click here to visit the Center for Learning and Advancement and view all of the available resources and tools for GCU student.