How to Get a Competitive Edge with Your Professors

Many high school and college students began a new school year this week.  Most enter this new year with the intention of doing well academically, but some students simply do not know how to be successful.

I think this is a great list of suggestions to help students get a competitive edge.  It is from the College of Charleston and actual comments from their professors.

  • Ask at least one question in every class.
  • Know that students earn their grades, professors do not give them.
  • Type your work. You are in college now, and it is 2013.
  • Answer test questions consecutively and in complete sentences, rather than stream of consciousness. And not in green ink!
  • Find things you are good at, and like.  Often the two are connected.  
  • Say “I’m having trouble understanding this.” You will get a better response than if you say “You didn’t explain this very well” to your professor.
  • Be clear and honest about what you do not understand. For this short period of time, that’s someone else’s (the professor’s) problem. So don’t fake a thing. 
  • Ask if you don’t understand something. Chances are that 75% of the class is right there with you going “WHAT?!” They will thank you for it.
  • Start writing your paper early. You can’t write an “A” paper in two hours. Probably not even a “C” paper.
  • Learn the difference between “reply” and “reply all.”
  • Engage in public speaking and master personal finance.
  • Know your attitude always matters.
  • Treat college like a full-time job. Make the time you spend in class and the time you spend studying add up to 40 hours a week.   

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