Syllabus week is well known across college campuses. Although it can be known as a blow off week, it can also be one of the most valuable weeks to set your semester up for success. Once that piece of paper is in your hands, you can either choose to crumple it up, or use it to plan your semester out accordingly. Here are five tips I suggest when you’re first handed your college syllabus.
Write Down your Professor’s Contact Info
You’ll want to take note of every way you can reach your professor in case you have questions. This includes an email, phone number, office hours, room number, the works. I usually write it down in the note section of my planner, and in that class’s designated notebook. Having that information in three places really guarantees that you’ll have it at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Check the Grading System
Always make note of what type of grading system the professor uses, whether it be an A or A-. For new college students, the scale makes a difference! On an A grading scale, an A and A- are still both a 4.0. But on an A- grading scale, an A is a 4.0, but an A- is going to be a 3.7, which can really affect your grade. Make sure you’re aware of what type of grading scale your professor uses so you aren’t surprised with your grade at the end of the semester.
Write Down All Future Due Dates
Get your planner out and start taking note of all the due dates for upcoming assignments. I like to get into the habit of this so I can plan for busy weeks and large projects that will be due. Color coding each class’s assignments also helps distinguish which classes are going to need more attention than others.
Be Aware of All Policies
Understand your class’s late work and attendance policies so you know exactly what’s expected. These policies can either make your grade, or slowly diminish it. If you’re expected to attend every class, you might want to rethink how many sick days you can take.
Keep It in a Designated Folder
That bad boy is going to hold your entire life for the next few months. Make sure to store it away someplace easily accessible in case you need to reference it again. I always put mine in my folder that I used for that class so that I always had it on me just in case I needed to remind myself of an assignment or office hours.
How do you keep your classes organized? Leave a comment below!