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Academics

How to Make the Most of Your Syllabus & Plan the Semester

This article has been syndicated from Julia Does, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here

Syllabus week = Quite possibly the best week of any semester. Everyone loves it because it’s the “slow” week and the intro back into classes. Everything is fine––until you get that famous sheet of paper (or sometimes packet).

Your syllabus. 

Now, it can be easy to hate the syllabus, because it’s basically outlines all the work you’re going to have to do this semester and all the stress you’ll have to endure. But that reason right there is the reason it can also be your best friend. It’s basically an outline of all the work you’re going to have to do this semester right in front of you for free, simply put and dated. Hooray! A class syllabus is a great tool for planning your semester, as long as you look at it the right way. Here’s how to get the most out of that jam-packed piece of paper.

Notice the weights of the grades

The cool thing about different classes is that depending on the subject and professor, the grades can be weighted in different ways. I’ve had classes where in one, the homework was worth 20 percent of the overall grade. In another that same semester, the homework was completely optional and worth no credit.

This can be super helpful when you’re crunched for time and need to prioritize your work. It can help you determine how much time to put into a project, or how much homework to do. I recommend doing all your homework, because it benefits you, but if one night you’re stressing about two assignments and one isn’t even credit bearing, focus on the other one. Plan your study sessions around what is worth the most.

Look at office hours

I truly think office hours are under-appreciated and here’s why: professors are required to take time out of their week to help you out, and not a lot of people use them. If you are stuck on something, or just need something clarified and don’t want to ask in class, office hours are the perfect time to get that straightened out.

The professor will likely be happy to see you so they don’t have to sit and do nothing. A professor will have their hours on their syllabus, so you can mark them in your calendar if you ever need to go!

Read the full post here

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