How Can You Better Understand Your Professor’s Teaching?

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It is essential to understand your professor’s teaching style because this will help you better understand the material. There are many different types of instructors, and they all teach differently. For example, an instructor that teaches through lecture might not use much class time for discussion or hands-on activities. Or the professor explaining the details may not always be relevant to the subject at hand and hence have a slow pace with the subject. 

Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention in the classroom to score on your tests and exams, have a complete understanding of the subject, and retain information and knowledge for future implementation. Here are some tips to help you understand your professor’s teaching style and score better on your exams: 

1. Take notes: In a lecture, some teachers may layout notes on the board while others may only talk and not write anything down. In this case, it is best to take notes from them as you think they would want you to because then you will better remember their teachings. It can get a bit difficult when a professor goes back and forth between the chalkboard and the textbook because it’s hard to keep up with what is being said and can create confusion. Ask your friend next to you if they have an idea of what might be going on or if they have any questions about what is being taught so that you both understand where the other person is at in understanding the material being taught. 

  • The professor who speaks at a higher pace should be given more detailed notes to follow the lectures.
  • If a professor tends to go off-topic, then there is no need to take down every detail. Only write down key points and relevant facts that the professor could test in the future.
  • In an enormous lecture hall, it isn’t easy to focus and take down important information from what is being taught by the professor. It would be easier to record lectures for later use when studying for exams/quizzes/tests.
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2. Pay attention during lectures: This might seem like a given, but this can be harder than it sounds, especially if you’re not an auditory learner (receiving information through sound such as lectures, recordings, etc.) or if you prefer studying materials on your own rather than with others – also known as solitary learning – and need to work extra hard to make sure you stay focused in class and don’t drift away from what the professor is saying (which will thus likely reduce any chance understanding and retaining knowledge during lectures) or even miss essential details.

3. Online aid: Use online resources like Wize course library or YouTube videos for supplementary information about topics covered in lectures/classrooms. When you’re studying, look at the lecture notes online to expand on the information given by your professor. You can also watch YouTube videos of lectures or TED talks that are related to the subject material. These resources will help you better understand what is being taught in class and help clarify some concepts that may be hard to picture. 

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4. Read the textbook and class materials before coming to class: read on the subject that will be covered in the course before your professor begins with it. It’s the topper’s way of knowing and understanding the complex topics and what requires more attention for you to understand. Although this takes away time from sleeping, it is effective because you can see what material was covered on previous days and better comprehend what the hell your teacher is going on about in the lecture. You can also find a review sheet or a past exam in the library and go over it before you head to class. 

5. Ask questions in class: Ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand from your professor or classmates. This one is a no-brainer: If you do not understand something – ask. Teachers are there to help you succeed, and that means answering all of your questions. Other students and peers may answer some questions in the class, but there is no harm in asking your professor for clarification. Asking “what happened to” or “is this important to know” can give you a better idea of what you should pay attention to and what to study as time goes on (before an exam). Unless the question is very specific or embarrassing, they will answer to their best ability and know what topics might come up on tests and exams, so they will likely try to cover all the information needed for success in their classes regardless of what matters.

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6. Attend office hours: get individual help with complex concepts that you did not understand or have difficulty implementing. Please take advantage of office hours, usually posted outside professors’ offices or on their websites. In addition, it may help to take advantage of office hours or independent studies offered by instructors. You can have a chance to talk with your professor about course material and strategies for learning it, as well as clarify any misunderstandings you might have. Sometimes, going over all required tests or exams in a relaxed setting can also be an excellent way to learn! You may ask one another questions and explain how something works differently from others’ understanding. It could create more insight into what you need to know from each topic discussed to go home and study accordingly.

7. Read the professor’s syllabus before the first day of class: Make sure that you are on the same page as your professor to get the most out of your course. There should be no problem if you ask about something not listed on the syllabus; for instance, what additional projects will there be, or whether you have to write a paper instead of taking the final exam.

  • Find out what is going to be stressed in class.
  • Does the professor use a particular method of teaching, e.g., lecture, discussion?
  • What do you need to know about your subject, and how will it be tested?
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8. Discuss: Remember that you are not alone – there is a community on campus for every major! It may also help to talk with other students who have taken the course previously about their experiences with the professor. In some cases, instructors will post lecture notes online that cover all of the material described in a lecture. These notes might be helpful as a review of the course before class. If you want to check if someone’s messages are relevant, ask them about their lesson interpretation. 

Conclusion: the professor leads your class, and the tests will be based on what the professor thinks is necessary and relevant to the subject. It would be best to coordinate your studies according to your professor’s perception of the issue to get good grades. Or, otherwise, be an all-rounder and carry out an in-depth analysis of the subject that leaves nothing to chance, so you are best prepared for any question on the test.