Why should you get ahead on your homework? Find out!

 Whether you’re going to an accredited college or university part-time or full-time, you’re going to have to complete homework assignments.  By getting ahead on your homework, you can earn higher course grades and a higher comparative grade point average (GPA), academic scores that could help you to earn scholarships and awards.

Generally during the first one to two days of your college or university courses, your class professors will either verbally communicate the course syllabus to you or they’ll provide you with a written copy of the actual syllabus.  Some accredited colleges and universities also list the course syllabus on their websites.  Depending on the accredited college or university you attend, details included in your course syllabus will vary.  However, typical items included on college and university syllabuses are:

  • Title of the course
  • Professors name and contact information (e.g. email address, business telephone number)
  • Goals or objectives of the course (e.g. ability to analyze research documents, interpret graphs)
  • Prerequisites or other courses and/or reading material you need to complete before you take the course
  • Whether or not the course is a classroom course or an online course
  • Method that assignments must be submitted by (e.g. email, in person) – of course, if you’re taking an online college or university course, you’ll generally submit your assignments online
  • Grading scale that the professor uses for the course (e.g. 96 to 100 is an A)
  • Required laboratory or clinical project work to earn a passing grade in the course
  • Textbook/s used in the course and the chapters the class will cover each week

Using College and University Syllabus to Earn Higher Grades

During the first week of class, be sure to ask your professors questions about the syllabus that you don’t fully understand.  For example, you might ask your professors to explain how classroom participation impacts your final grade.  You’ll also want to study your syllabus so you can start reading the first one to two chapters of the textbooks your professors will be teaching out of.  Even if your professors don’t teach chapter-by-chapter, you’ll get a clearer understanding of the course material if you stay one to two chapters ahead of classroom discussions.

To make getting ahead on your homework easy, start working on homework assignments as soon as your professors announce them.  This way if your professors give you two weeks to complete homework assignments, you can do a little of the assignments each day, instead of waiting until the last minute and cramming to get the work finished. 

Furthermore, set aside as little as 10 to 15 minutes each day to read 5 to 7 pages in the next chapter of the course textbooks.  Also set aside a specific time each day when you will sit down and read new chapters and start completing homework assignments.  For example, you could read parts of upcoming chapters from 6 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. each day. 

If you don’t plan on selling the textbooks to your college bookstore at the end of your courses, consider using a highlighter to mark sentences and phrases you think your professors will likely review during class and/or include on quizzes and examinations.  Should you plan on selling your textbooks to the college bookstore, think about writing the key points on note cards and keeping them in a file marked with the course titles.  For example, you can keep your communications note cards in a file titled “English” or “Language Course.”

As you take notes during class, pay attention to how many key points your professors discuss that you’ve already highlighted in your textbooks or written on note cards.  Soon you’ll become intuitively aware of key data points your professors focus on, making it easier for you to study and earn top grades.

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