When a student fails a course, there are only three plausible reasons why they were unable to succeed. One: The teacher did not accurately convey the information the student required in order to pass. Two: the student received the information, but was unwilling to put the time and effort into passing the class. Three: the student was not equipped with the knowledge of how to study for the particular class.
For college students, freshmen especially, university life is filled with a world of new faces, foods and facts. Classes are structured very differently than they were in high school, and students are expected to make the necessary modifications to their lives in order to succeed in their academic ventures. But what if they don’t know how?
Colleges offer “First Year Experience” programs to get incoming students acquainted with the ins and outs of living on their own, but nobody prepares these young adults for the dramatic shift in their scholastic pursuits. Colleges should offer students of all levels the opportunity to learn how to study for specific classes so as not to teach students that if they don’t know how to study, their only option is failure.
Now this is not to say that every student is incapable of simply reviewing their notes for an upcoming exam. Nor is this to say that there is anything wrong with not knowing how to study. There could be multiple reasons as to why students are not studying, or are not studying successfully. Some students choose not to study, and others may never have had to study until they got to college because their high school courses were not challenging enough for them. Regardless of the reason, students should be taught the appropriate ways to thrive.
Different classes require different methods of studying as well. For example, a student in a math class may do practice problems to prepare for an upcoming exam, while a student in a Spanish class may need to go over vocabulary flashcards. There is no “one size fits all” method to studying. There are, however, proven methods for specific classes, such as taking detailed notes or reviewing material frequently, according to the Chadron State College website.
In order to succeed, one must be given the tools to do so. During syllabus week, in addition to of reviewing school policies and procedures, perhaps professors could outline the best ways to study for the course they teach. Some classes require ardent note-taking and an always in-tune listening ear, while other classes require a more hands-on approach.
As it is expected and accepted that professors are masters of their subjects, they are no doubt aware of the best ways for students to succeed in their field and should be willing and able to outline the path to success within the first few days of the class.
Some professors offer to assist students during their office hours with any issues or problems they may have had in studying for an exam. While this is a beneficial practice for both student and instructor, some of these hours spent reviewing could most certainly be avoided if the student were already well-equipped with study strategies from the start.
Coming to college presents enough challenges for students to overcome and adjust to. As universities take pride in the accomplishments of their student body, it only makes sense for them to aid students on their roads to achievement in any way they can.