Now that the fall semester is finally in gear with an entire month already passed, the rigor of Ramapo's academia picks up. For some, a college academic career is doing the bare minimum to fly by. However, for others, it is about standing out above the average and getting noticed by professors to earn a respectable grade. If you match the potential of the student that wants to shine, here are some tips to get ahead in class.
1.) Ask questions. Clarifying concepts, assignment guidelines, deadlines and other important aspects is helpful not only for yourself, but for your peers as well. Sometimes, asking questions can potentially become integrated into class participation points if it's regarding topics related to the subject of the class, too.
2.) Manage your time and don't wait. Procrastination is a huge fault, especially for those who are committed to jobs, athletics, internships, Greek life, clubs and more. Conquering work as soon as you can by managing your time in a smartphone app, agenda book or other similar method helps you keep track of your day-to-day obligations.
3.) Don't just fulfill your deadlines, exceed them. What better way to impress a professor than handing in a paper a week ahead of time?
4.) Take advantage of office hours. Luckily, with Ramapo's professor-to-student ratio as a small liberal arts school, it is easier to create a relationship with professors and faculty members. Visit your professors during their announced office hours, even if you don't have a particular question. It's all about visibility.
"One of the biggest reasons it's easy for me to get my professors to notice me is the small class sizes. It simply wouldn't be as effective if my class were twice the size, which can still be very small compared to other schools," explained junior Mike Samlall. "I've known professors well years before I've taken my first class with them, and it's because I'm able to reach out to them easily, and our campus is small enough where they remember my face outside of class."
5.) Make a point to make at least one comment on the course material in each class session. Participation is often a large part of a grade in discussion-based classes and can be useful in lectures.
"When I want to be noticed in class, I simply try to contribute to the learning or discussions. Even if I'm in a lecture instead of a seminar, I ask questions and try to learn the material from different perspectives. I feel that it shows I'm paying attention, I'm interested and that I and the rest of the class are understanding the material better," Samlall added.
6.) Don't forget about the syllabus. Make sure you are consistently referring back to the syllabus given out during the first week of classes to double-check that you didn't miss an assignment or forget about any upcoming exams and/or quizzes.
7.) Make it fun. Even if a class only meets a general education requirement, it's all up to you to make the most out of it. A class will not be enjoyable and easy to get engaged with unless you find a reason to.
"Participation is definitely key for me when it comes to getting noticed in class," junior Aimee George said. "But I also think that when you really bring out your creative side, whether it be through discussions or class projects, fellow classmates tend to remember you more for your work."