Many students feel that sitting in a giant lecture hall filled with
hundreds of other students is an excuse to fall asleep rather than pay
attention to the material being presented. However, no matter the size
of the class, all courses
generally carry the same weight in a transcript. This makes it crucial
to teach yourself how to learn in any class environment, including those
that make you feel like you’re sitting at a concert waiting for a show.
1. Think about why you’re there in the first place.
If the lecture class is required for your field of study, the
information taught in this lecture will be necessary later on, and
you’ll be glad you paid attention. Furthermore, if you’ve decided to
study something that hundreds of other students chose to sign up for as
well, it makes it even more important to stand out.
2. Your college might be playing a trick on you!
Many huge lectures are known as “weed out” classes for their tendency
to dissuade students from pursuing popular fields of study. Schools
fill introductory classes to their capacity and present material that is
monotonous or extremely difficult in order to create the illusion that
all classes in this field are similar. However, succeeding in a “weed
out” class is a right of passage for taking smaller, more focused
classes later on.. Many of those “weeded out” students simply couldn’t
learn in such a big atmosphere. If you’re serious about that field of study, you have to prove to your school that you’ll thrive no matter how the classes are structured.
3. Don’t go to class only to ignore the lecture.
Most college freshmen who take lecture hall classes are thrilled by
the idea that they can get away with sleeping in class without being
woken up. And lately, since colleges are offering wireless internet in
many of their classrooms, students use lectures as an opportunity to
open up their laptops, catch up with their online social network
friends, and go through all their emails to pass the time. However,
coming to class only to ignore it is a serious waste of time, energy,
and tuition money. If you’re not at college to learn, you might want to
consider this before spending all the money your family has saved up for
4. The most important tips:
Show up on time, or early. Sit up front where you know the professor
can see you. Try to make eye contact and absorb what she is saying. Use a
notebook and a pen, and don’t even bring your laptop – the brain
retains information more effectively when it is written down. Take thorough notes of the words
and explanations the professor is using to describe any images or
slides she may show; don’t only write down the words shown on her
PowerPoint presentation. Once in a while, raise your hand and ask a
question. It never hurts to try to get the professor to remember your
- Lily Faden, Examville Blog Contributor