24 January 2013

Pointers for Underprepared College Students

Many academically successfully students find themselves in a tough quagmire following graduation from high school: though they’ve managed to attain top grades, they haven’t adequately prepared themselves for the difficult, relatively structureless environment of college. During high school, their teachers took a personal interest and the time to talk to them if their work was below par; their parents regularly checked up on them to make sure that they comprehended and finished their homework; the tests and essays they were assigned were not nearly as hard as those at the college level; and they usually know all of the students in each class they have. Academic life tends to be grand for these students; however, they will have a much harder path to travel once they reach the post secondary education level.

In college they will not easily find friends and their teachers will not pamper them by coming around the classroom to see how they are doing on their assignments or plead with them to catch up on their work. It is totally up to them to take the initiative to have academic success now because they are adults who are paying for their own education. They can experience a fabulous social life and academic success by heeding the pointers discussed below.


It is vital for them to take class attendance seriously. By attending all of their classes, they will avoid having their final grade reduced, hear information that might appear as questions on their exams and have an easier time understanding their textbooks. It is imperative for them to always come to class on time to avoid missing key information, interrupting the class and getting expelled.

Responsibility and Diligence

They must take responsibility for their own success and do what it takes to be great students. They must take notes because they are likely to forget most of what the professor says if they do not. They can make the most of the note taking process by using a tape recorder during the class lectures, sharing notes with their classmates and using shorthand, a method of note taking that involves abbreviating key words while writing them down. It is also up to students to be diligent while they are on the campus. It is crucial for them to ask the professors questions about any course material that confuses them. They must also take advantage of the extra help that is offered to them by visiting their professors during their scheduled office hours and attending the student labs. The labs provide tutors for subjects such as math and writing.

Getting a head start on writing term papers

The students will have many term papers to write until they graduate. Once they are assigned a term paper, they should begin writing it as soon as possible. By doing it now instead of starting toward the deadline, they will have more time to write the paper well and make all of the necessary edits, while reducing their anxiety. Also, they should show the teacher what they have written for their rough draft in order to see if they are on the right track.

Studying properly

It is also essential for them to study well. They can achieve this by using repetition as they read their notes and textbooks; being in a study group; and focusing most heavily on the first few sentences of each paragraph and reading each chapter summary in their textbooks. Developing solid study skills is critically important for these students because, unlike at the high school level, they are without constant adult support and supervision.

Social Aspect

In order to develop friendships in college, the students must make an attempt to become friends with their classmates and exchange telephone numbers; they must take the initiative in social settings to a greater extent than was expected at the secondary school level. For academically successful but under-prepared students, social connections should be tempered so as to reinforce and support academic success; these students should learn to independently develop novel social connections, but also keep their focus on academics to a substantial extent.

Terrence Harrisburg frequently contributes commentary and articles on education, educational policy, online learning and other related topics; for those who may be interested in online learning check
http://www.onlineschool.com/online-schools/ for more information.