How to Excel in an American Classroom

Here, we will discuss how to put your best foot forward and excel in American classrooms. Keep on reading to find out all of the best tactics and advice for getting straight A’s!

Get your homework and assignments done

In order to excel, you must always be prepared before walking into the class. This means that you should do all of your homework and prepare for class beforehand. If this feels overwhelming for you then find and review holistic summaries of the material that you are learning in class. Either way, make sure that you don’t fall behind and it’s best to even be ahead of the material. Most class syllabi also have assignments along with their due dates on them as well, so look over them and plan accordingly throughout the semester. Try your best not to turn in graded assignments late, or else the professor might deduct points from your work.

Understand the material

Other than just solely going through the material given to you in class, you should also do your best to understand the topics on a deeper level, so that you can ace your midterms and finals. This means that you should find time outside of class to read up on relevant material and ask questions when you don’t understand something. You might not be the best in the class at first, but if you are determined enough in your studies then you can always improve. Aim for an upward trajectory! 

Participate in class

Whether it be asking or answering questions, you should always participate in class. This will ensure that you are engaged with the material presented to you and help you with the learning process. Moreover, some professors may base part of your grade on participation and if that’s the case, you want to make sure that you are active in class so that the professor will remember you and reward you for your participation. 

Go to office hours

One of the best ways to learn more directly from your professor or another knowledgeable source, like a Teacher’s Assistant (TA), is to go to office hours. Many professors offer office hours as a form of resource, and during this time, you can converse with your instructor or a TA to learn more about the class work as well as their field of study or work, if you’re interested. Additionally, if you attend office hours often enough then they might be able to recognize your effort and reward it through a higher participation grade.

Do extra credit work

If there is any extra credit work available for the class, make sure to complete them. This will give you a little more padding or even boost your grade from an A- to an A. If there is no extra credit work listed on the syllabus then you can also ask your professor about it via an in-person conversation or email.

Form a study group

Study groups can be incredibly useful as you can study together, ask people in the group for help, and share or exchange notes. If you already have friends taking the same class then that’s great as you can just create a groupchat with all of them. However, if you don’t know anyone in the class then our advice would be to make friends on the very first day of class. You can strike up a conversation by asking them a class-related question or compliment their outfit, and then ask them for their social media or contact. Try to befriend them before creating a study group chat as they will be more willing to help out if they know you as a friend first. 

Get help when you need it

There are so many ways that you can get help, whether it be for class or mental health. To help with class, you can usually get free tutoring services on-campus. The tutors are often graduate students who have gone through the same materials that you are going through, so they can easily explain the material or give you advice on how to study it. All you have to do is find your school’s student resource center and figure out the process of using their services as it varies from campus to campus. In terms of mental health, if you are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed about a class, you should talk about it with friends and family or reach out to a school counselor. It is completely normal to feel burnt out or overwhelmed during your time in college, and it is best to just talk it out with someone as you do not and should not have to deal with it alone. 

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