5 Tips on How to Survive a Three-Hour Lecture

Three-hour lectures can be difficult and tiring for multiple reasons. It is very hard to concentrate on a subject for three hours and sometimes you will be going through 2-3 different chapters all in one lecture. Additionally, you will be surprised how quickly you move through the course outline when you have a three-hour lecture once a week. I have taken multiple three-hour lectures since the first year, so here are 5 suggestions that can make it easier to keep up with the academic challenges of a three-hour lecture.

  1. 1. Try Sitting in The Front of The Class

    Getting distracted in three-hour lectures is surprisingly easy, so sitting close to the front whenever possible will make you pay attention or at least try and stay awake because of continuous eye contact with the instructor. Additionally, you will be able to avoid the distracting laptop screens of students who are shopping, watching a football game or other unrelated activities. This will help you to better concentrate on the class material!

  2. 2. Coffee is Your Best Friend

    If you have a three-hour lecture in the late afternoon, or in the evening the chances are you are going to find it difficult to keep your eyes open at some point during the lecture. This is when a sip of your favourite coffee or tea might come to your help. You might want to bring your favourite caffeinated beverage in a thermos to keep it warm for three hours. Also, make sure that you do not overdo it with caffeine because you still have to make it through the lecture sitting in one place.

  3. 3. Bring Snacks

    Regardless of if you have eaten before the lecture or not, you may start to feel hungry as the lecture continues, and it might be even more difficult to focus if you are feeling hungry. So, bring healthy snacks that you can eat during the break. If you are allowed to eat during the lecture, try to choose bite-sized and non-crunchy snacks as to not distract others.

  4. 4. Use Your Breaks Wisely

    Usually, the three-hour lectures are separated into two parts by 5- or 10-min breaks depending on the course and your professor. Use your breaks to stretch, refresh up, or even get some fresh air if you have enough time. Try to avoid social media and texting to give your brain a break too!

  5. 5. Make a Friend

    Things escalate quickly in three-hour lectures. Missing even just one lecture might mean that you are 2-3 chapters behind the course material. Since your class is only held once a week, midterms and assignments will be approaching faster than you think and having a study partner or arranging a study group is especially helpful for this type of lecture. Additionally, going into a three-hour lecture with your friend will feel like a whole other story than sitting there all by yourself.

How do you survive your dreaded three-hour lectures?