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How Can I Make The Best Use Of Class Time?

Studies show that students who attend college classes regularly do better than those who don't. (Well, duh.) Attending class, however, involves more than just listening to what the instructor has to say. Here are a few of the strategies that some of the students we interviewed have developed to make valuable use of in-class hours:

• Use class discussions to identify other students with whom you might study or discuss class content at another time. Once you identify such promising partners, especially at the beginning of the semester, exchange e-mail addresses in case either of you has to miss a class.

• Sitting toward the front of the room can help you concentrate. If consistently done, it is more likely that the instructor will recognize you in and out of class. Here are the views of two of our students:

"It depends on the class, but for the most part I like to sit near the front and to the sides. I think that when I'm on the side of the classroom I'm less distracted on both sides. So I'm better able to focus. But I like to sit in the front as well. It's better --you pay attention more."

"If I feel I need to, I'll sit in the front. And it does help you. I mean, sitting in the front you're forced to just take notes. You know, in the back you just kind of do whatever you want to."

• Asking questions and joining in class discussions provide means of understanding the course material more fully.

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