Sometimes it is hard to crack how to get better grades in college.  Because there are so few graded assignments in college it can be hard to adjust our study strategies.  To fill these gaps it is important to be more strategic.

One of the great secrets of successful college students is that they take advantage of office hours. Office hours are often presented to students as an opportunity to ask specific questions and get help on assignments. However, what the top students realize is that office hours offer additional strategic advantages.

Going to office hours is perfect opportunity get a deeper understanding of how the professor approaches the topics. This allows students to collect more information that will help them gauge how the tests and project might be graded.

Office hours are an ideal place to meet up with classmates who are proactive and interested in succeeding in the class. These individuals make perfect study partners. Students can study faster and master material quicker when they study in others who share the same goals.

Taking advantage of office hours gives students unprecedented access to their professors. By building relationships with professors, they take advantage of some of the most potent networking opportunities in college. Professors who know students well can write letters of recommendation, provide research opportunities, and open doors for future employment.

Despite these advantages, I often see a lot of college students who are reluctant to attend office hours. I have found that this reluctance often stems from the negative associations students have developed around talking to teachers. There is a pervasive myth in primary and secondary schools that only “dumb kids” have to go in for help. Because there are strong underlying negative associations, students need teachers and parents to help them rewrite this script. It is important for students to understand that the “smart” kid in college regularly go to office hours as part of their routine. If a student is very reluctant it can be helpful to start building the habit by taking a friend because it is less intimidating.

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