Do you know how your students manage the pressures and responsibilities of their college courses? In a recent survey of thousands of college students, we asked students, “After completing assigned coursework, what else do you do to ensure college success?”
college student success

#1 Review lecture notes

Most college students appear to appreciate the value of taking good notes during class lectures. In fact, 83% of our college respondents told us they review their lecture notes from class sessions to ensure success in their classes.

Author Ginny Gaylor explains in her article, “How to pay attention in class—tips for college students” on the CengageBrain blog, that there are some vital steps to ensure students pay attention and take effective notes in class. This will help prepare them for future studying sessions.

  1. Practice active listening. This is when you are not only hearing the words being said, but you are processing them and will be able to remember them.
  2. Take notes. Writing down the highlights of what is being said will not only help you be an active listener, but should you forget something, it gives you a record for later.
  3. Sit up front. You don’t have to sit in the front row, but being near the front means the professor is more likely to see you and know your name. And this kind of attention may keep you from zoning out or, worse, falling asleep.
  4. Sit in the same seat. This may help trigger your memory, but don’t sit in the same seat for different classes or you may confuse something you learned in Math with something from Spanish!
  5. Participate in class. If you ask a question in class, you want it to be a good one, which means you have to pay attention. Voila!

#2 Use online resources

Whether via mobile or PC, most of us consult the internet for information multiple times a day. Why wouldn’t you do the same to help master course concepts?

From our survey, 63% of college students say they use online resources to get ahead in class. This may mean conducting additional research on a subject matter, utilizing an online database to find research paper sources, or any number of options.

Many students likely find it difficult to go just a few hours before reading and researching personal interest items on their phone or computer. Encourage your students to use their online deduction skills to improve their grades!

#3 Create and review reading notes

And for the third most popular tip for excelling in class, 56% of students said they create their own separate notes from the reading that they do independently. This method allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the material and gives them beneficial material to review later on.

Notes taken in class may be more likely to simply be copied down PowerPoint slides from the instructor. But when students can take their time to read, think critically, and put the material into their own words, they are more likely to absorb vital course concepts.

How do you recommend students prepare to excel in your course, specifically? Share your insights below!