College Lectures 101

This blog post is provided by the Unigo Expert Network, a group of top education experts from across the U.S. answering questions submitted by students and parents about college admissions and succeeding after high school. To have your questions answered visit

“High school classes haven’t been that bad, but I’m not sure how I’ll fare in lecture halls with hundreds of other students. How can I stand out to professors and keep from feeling overwhelmed?” – Steve A., Decatur City, IA.

Being Assertive Makes Large Classes Smaller Craig Meister, President, Tactical College Consulting

Make a point to introduce yourself to the professor during weekly office hours -- periods of time professors set aside for students to ask questions and clarify course content. Don’t just attend the professor’s office hours during the beginning of the semester -- attend as many of these weekly sessions as you can in order to build a personal relationship with the professor and better understand his expectations. Your commitment to your education may impress your professor so much that it could lead to recommendations for future educational, research, or professional opportunities.

The Myth Behind Large Lecture Classes – You Can Succeed! Emily Snyder,  Owner, Managing Director, Know Your Options

Colleges and universities are focused on structuring courses to maximize student learning.   Usually, in addition to attending the lectures, you will be expected to meet twice weekly with a small group of your classmates.  Lead by the professor’s teaching assistant (more informally known as a “TA”), your regular participation in these “resuscitation classes” will show your professor your commitment to the course.  Most importantly, they are your opportunity to have your questions answered and better understand the course work -- all of which will help you get the grade you are working so hard to obtain!

Practice Concise Note-Taking and Visit Your Professors Kathryn Favaro, Independent College Admissions Counselor, Favaro College Counseling

It is important to arrive well-prepared for your college classes. In order to be academically successful, dedicate a notebook and binder to each class. Practice taking organized, concise notes. Listen for key points and support them with explanations. Avoid copying lecture slides word for word. Form a study group with a few students in each of your classes. You can review your notes and materials together. Visit your professor during office hours in order to stand out and develop a relationship. Office hours are also a fantastic opportunity to receive one-on-one advice, explanations and feedback from your professor.

Get the full story from 35 more experts -- including the Dean of Admissions at University of Pennsylvania, Wesleyan University, and more -- at To send your question to our experts, visit

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