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What are college classes like?

How hard are classes in college ? Do people find them extremely hard or are they comparable to the college classes that you can take while still in high school ?

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Doc’s Answer

Savannah college is an exciting time where you will be treated as an adult and have autonomy over many decisions. Whether you live at home, in your place, or on-campus, your professors and campus staff will expect you to decide how you manage your time, sign up for classes and utilize available resources.

There will be many people at your college who will provide guidance and help, from your college advisor to your professors. Still, ultimately the responsibility of your studies will fall on you. College advisors can help with questions you have about required and recommended courses, but you are the one who will create your schedule and register for classes. Many college advisors will require you to make appointments with them after your first meeting. Your professors will provide clear guidelines and expectations regarding test dates, homework, and grading. They will not always remind you of upcoming quizzes, due dates, or requirements. These dates will be provided in the syllabus that you receive at the beginning of the year. Some professors will not even take attendance, especially in larger classes.

Many high school teachers work together to ensure that large assignments do not overlap with important campus events. This is not realistic on college campuses, so you’ll be responsible for checking overlapping assignments and deadlines accordingly.

Lastly, the biggest difference between high school courses and college courses is the length of time you have to learn the material. In college, you will have to learn the same material (and sometimes more) that you learned in one year in high school in one semester or a few quarters, depending on which system your college operates in. Thus, with college courses, the pace of learning is faster, every class brings a new topic, and you are responsible for keeping up with the material on your own time.

Even if you took AP or IB courses in High School, you probably were assigned nightly homework and reading that helped to refresh the material you learned that day. That homework and other worksheets was probably graded and could of boosted your overall semester average. In most college classes, there will be relatively few assignments throughout the semester. Usually, there will be a midterm exam, a final exam, and perhaps a large paper/project. Those will determine your grade for the class. This way, you have less time-consuming busy work, but you always have far more pressure to do well on each assignment since it counts for such a large percentage of your grade.

Hope this was helpful Savannah
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A. Michelle’s Answer

Savannah - It depends on the college, type of class and your preparation. If you have taken college-level courses in high school, you will have a good sense of how college classes are structured, which should reduce your learning curve. My recommendations are to:

1. Select your classes carefully. Be sure you fulfill any requirements or prerequisites early on. Balance courses that will be more challenging with ones that you find interesting, but not as difficult.
2. Get to know your professors and/or teaching assistants.
3. Keep on top of deadlines and upcoming exams. In college, you are expected to do this without the frequent reminders you probably have received in high school.
4. Take advantage of office hours, study groups and tutoring.
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Scott’s Answer

Hi Savannah -

College classes can definitely be challenging, mainly because you are the one that is completely responsible for your education. I think that many college students thrive or struggle because of this fact. You have to plan to take control of your education. This is involves going to class, reading your textbook, attending office hours, getting to know your professors and peers, and spending the adequate amount of time studying and preparing. This is what makes the transition from high school to college the most challenging. You go from an environment where your teachers provide a lot of assistance and guidance with your education to an environment where you are expected to do it on your own. Keep seeking out the advice of others like you are doing, and I have no doubt you will be successful.
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Jerome’s Answer

They can be challenging, but you get to decide your schedule. If you plan it write, you can take 2 “harder” classes with 2 “easier” classes. There are also a number of resources available (tutoring, study groups, labs, etc) that you can take advantage of. It may take work, but I truly think most can be successful with effort and being proactive in getting work done.
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Dhimant’s Answer

I encourage you to try out some classes at college or university to see how they suit you. Don't miss the chance to interact with current students.
In response to your query, your abilities and knowledge also play a significant role. College classes vary in difficulty - some are more challenging, others less so. But always keep in mind, no challenge is too great to overcome.
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Murph,’s Answer

How hard are college classes? Well it can be subjective, meaning it depends on the person. College Courses can be as hard or as easy as your preparation. If you are not prepared, college courses can be incredibly difficult. If you put in the correct preparation, they can be less challenging. There is no magic tricks to studying or learning the materials. But you can make sure you are prepared to understand, comprehend and participate if you put the right effort in.

When I talk to students about college courses/college life, I let them know that it's not high school. IF you think that college preparation is exactly like high school, then you will struggle. No waiting until the last minute to get the work done, no cramming a day or hours before the exam and no relying on a photographic memory. While these things may provide occasional or temporary success, they are not sustainable for long term success.

College courses move quicker and the expectations are much higher. It is assumed that you have read and prepared prior to coming to class. Again, assumed. The professor provides you with a syllabus for the semester that gives deadlines and dates of when things are due, what the readings will cover, when papers and assignments are due and when quizzes and exams will take place. There are very few if any reminders. So the responsibility is solely on you. The professors expect you to do the readings and be prepared to discuss them in your smaller discussion sections. Professors also expect that you get to class early or on time, take detailed notes and perform at the best of your capabilities. Many professor come in ready to lecture and generally don't stop talking until the bell sounds.

College courses are generally set up in big lectures and smaller discussion sections. The lectures can be as large as hundreds of students and you don't get a chance to ask questions. The smaller discussion sections are taught by teaching assistants who are able to address questions from the lectures and help you break down some of the materials.

How are college classes? Fast. Confusing. Frustrating at times. However, when you do the little things in the classroom to be successful, the pace of the classes slows down and your comprehension of the materials becomes better.

What are the little things you can do to make college courses less complicated?
1. Sitting in front of the class.
2. Meeting with the professor and teaching assistant REGULARLY/WEEKLY to go over the material.
3. Taking good notes and work with the professor and TA if there are parts of your notes that don't make sense. (it happens)
4. For your math and science courses, get tutors. For your writing courses, get tutors.
5. Manage your time, don't procrastinate. If you have 25-100 pages of reading to do, don't wait until the last minute to do it. And don't read when you're sleepy. Depending on how fast your read/comprehend, spread the reading out and re-read the parts you don't understand.
6. Take notes on what you read. Read first to take notes and process. Then re-read for comprehension. (this takes time management)
7. Form study groups to discuss the readings, go over homework/projects and study for exams.
8. Make sure your professors and your TA's know your name.
9. Rewrite your notes every day. This is a form of studying and familiarizing yourself with what you learned in lecture. Don't wait until you are studying for the quiz or exams to read your notes.
10. Find workshops for time management, study skills and note taking.

These are just a few tips to help you not feel so overwhelmed by college classes. No one is going to ask if you understand the material. It's always expected that you already do. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, never be afraid to tell someone you don't understand a concept or you need help. This is what the successful students do. I hope this helped....
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Priyanka’s Answer

The level of difficulty you might encounter in your classes can vary greatly and is largely dependent on factors such as your school, your chosen major, and the specific class itself. However, it's important to remember that success is achievable in any class, provided you are willing to put in the necessary effort and actively participate. Reflecting on my own experiences, I found that some classes were similar in difficulty to the college-level classes I took in high school, while others were considerably more challenging, requiring a much greater investment of time and effort.
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Paul’s Answer

You will need to focus and step up your game.

When it comes to high school, you are required to be there, but in college you are there by your own choice, so the professors are going to assume that you are motivated and have a fair understanding of what is going on.

I would have to say that they will expect you to review the syllabus, read the assignments, know where to find resources, and be prepared for class.

No one is going to tell you how to do things, you must be willing to ask a lot of questions and learn the path to being a successful college student.
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Amalya’s Answer

College education is academically demanding, but not too hard. It requires dedication, time management and organizational skills. It is necessary to make efforts, study as better as possible, and as a student, also be socially active and engaged in different academic projects.
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Michelle’s Answer

There is no yes or no answer to your question because too many varying factors and conditions come into play, however I will tell you that I loved all of my classes in college and gained much from them. Alas ! There was this one course that I wouldn't consider "hard" or difficult, but rather very frustrating. You will see why there is no yes or no answer to this question.

It helps to have a stellar professor for all of your courses. I was in a course that was required of all students to graduate and it was in a subject that I wasn't interested in but I was curious to learn about the subject. I was a great note taker, attentive to all the lectures and read and studied the text book diligently. The professor would come to class and lecture as if he were talking to his next door neighbor, very nonchalant and without notes or structure. Whenever we had a test, I was shocked - nothing he spoke about in class, nothing I took notes on or read in the textbook would ever be on the tests. Needless to say. I didn't do well on those tests and I didn't end up with the grade I was trying for but I passed the course.

Even though I loved all my courses and didn't consider them difficult, this was the only course I found frustrating and it was because of an ineffective plan and structure of the course. I am not saying you'd ever have this experience, but sometimes, you can take a course expecting it to be one way and it turns out to be a big surprise. This was the only course I ever took that was that way. So it's not always about the intensity or work demand of a course, it can sometimes be the quality of the teaching style.

Do not worry about difficulty, however. You will adapt. Keep up your strong study skills now and you will be prepared.
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Roel’s Answer

College courses are a whole new ballgame compared to high school. You'll often find that your college professors grant you more independence than you've ever experienced before. It's crucial that you embrace this freedom responsibly by attending classes and completing your assignments outside of class. This will ensure that you're up-to-speed and ready to engage in the professor's discussions during the next class. Professors count on you to show maturity by doing your work outside of class, so you can come to the next session fully prepared to participate in the discussion.
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