Want to know my secret to getting good grades? Going to your professor’s office hours! Seriously, you won’t believe how many useful tips your professor can give you and how it shot my grades up in just a week. I’m sure you’ve read your professor’s office hours on the syllabus and maybe you’ve bothered to go, maybe you haven’t. Go as often as you can because your professors will let you know about so much useful information; it’ll be impossible for you to fail! Here are some tips to make the most of your professor’s office hours.
Before You Get There
Get There Early
If possible, try to get to their office a few minutes before office hours start, or you might be waiting in line. I would always get to my professor’s office hours right when they started and I’d be waiting in line behind three or four people. Time is precious in the college world! The earlier you arrive, the quicker you can get the answers to your questions.
No matter what you are discussing, whether it be an unfair test grade or asking them questions about a quiz, always be respectful. They are taking time out of their day to answer your questions and help you with whatever you need. They do want you to succeed, but being frustrated and rude to them isn’t going to get you anywhere.
I’m not saying you have to wear a blouse and slacks, but wear something appropriate that makes you look presentable. Not something you would wear out to the club. Dressing nice gives them a better image of you and shows them that you are serious about wanting to do well. Girls, leggings and a t-shirt are fine, just make sure you brush your hair and smell nice.
If you have a lot of questions you’re going to be asking, bring a notebook and pencil to take notes with. I always say that I’m going to remember everything they say but most of the time I forget something right as I walk out the door. You don’t need to be taking full lecture notes while they talk, just a few here and there will be alright.
What To Do When You Get There
Go Over Test Grades
If you didn’t do so hot on a test, this is a great way to figure out what went wrong and how you can improve. I know it sucks looking at all those red marks on a page, but it’s really beneficial. Going over the questions can show you what you missed, and how you can avoid making those mistakes again on future tests if the mistakes were consistent.
Make Up Work
If you missed an important class, going to office hours can help you get caught up. I missed a few classes due to some family emergencies last semester. When I got back I went to their office hours and asked them to catch me up on the material. They explained the homework, gave me the notes, and even some pointers on upcoming assignments.
Don’t understand the homework? Professors can help you with that too! Sometimes they’ll even just give you the answers to some problems if they’re generous. I’m taking a difficult web design class this semester and the homework for them is near impossible. I went to his office hours to ask about a few problems, and he gave me the answers and explained the reasoning behind them! Never be afraid to ask for some help because you can make up some points in the process.
Study For Tests
The week before the test, I always attend office hours to prepare. I put together a list of questions and terms I’m confused about and just go over them with my professor. They are your best resource for tests because most likely they’re the ones making the test! They know what’s going to be on it. Another tip I suggest is asking them how to study for it. They know the test, so they know the best tactics and resources you should be looking at to study. This has helped me in so many ways and really improved my grades!
Extra Material Recommendations
Are you interested in additional reading material or more resources to explore? Professors have a plethora of knowledge! I’m currently in a creative writing class and my professor is always giving us book recommendations and literary magazine titles to look at. If I’m interested in her recommendation, sometimes she’ll let me borrow the material from her office. Professors are passionate about the topics they are teaching and often don’t get to share all that they really know. They love it when students want to know more about a subject, so if you want extra material, they will supply it!
I take a lot of writing classes because of my major, meaning I write a ton of essays. I sometimes get lost with what I’m writing and need an extra pair of eyes to look over my work. Who better to look at it than the person grading it! My professors have given me a lot of useful tips to improve my work and sometimes be my copy editor and proof my work.
I’ve gotten to know my professors so well after meeting with all of them, and they’re pretty great! Take the time to say hello and get to know them, even if you don’t need help with anything in your classes.
What do you do during your professor’s office hours? Leave a comment below!