College Courses and Time Management

The college schedule is different from a high school schedule.  You are not in class all day, every day.  Thus, you might think you will have a lot of free time, but keep in mind that you need to allow time for many outside-of-the-classroom responsibilities such as studying, work, meal times, and other commitments you may have.  You will be surprised how quickly your time fills up with everyday tasks.

Especially if you didn't have to study much to do well in high school, you might need to adjust your expectations for the amount of time needed to complete high-quality college-level work.  During your first semester, you may want to take advantage of opportunities to develop and enhance your study skills.  Programs and services offered by the Dennis Learning Center, as well as First-Year Success Series sessions aimed at developing good study habits, may be particularly helpful.

Class types and formats at Ohio State


There are many different class types at Ohio State, and they all provide you with a different experience.

Lectures will require good note-taking and listening skills.  Your midterms, final exams, and/or papers could cover material from your textbook, the lectures, or both.  You will need to employ excellent study skills to master the material.  Recitations might accompany a large lecture, but not all lectures are paired with a recitation.

Recitations have smaller class sizes than lectures.  Recitations usually consist of a smaller subset of students from a larger lecture course.  In recitation, you have the opportunity to ask questions, get clarification on the lecture/notes, learn how to solve difficult homework problems, and take quizzes.  You might be required to participate in discussions about the lecture or course materials.  Go to recitation prepared to be an active participant.  Note-taking skills are important in recitation, but what is crucial is that you have done your readings and/or assignments so that you can participate in class discussions.

Laboratory may be a required part of a course (usually with science-related classes).  Recitations and labs are generally taught by either a teaching assistant or lab assistant.  These assistants are knowledgeable, but their responsibility differs from that of the instructor/professor who gives the lecture.  Typically, a portion of your grade will come from the work done in small sections.

Seminar courses are typically smaller classes that may include elements of both lectures and recitations, but are usually taught entirely by faculty.  These classes tend to have a greater emphasis on discussion than a typical lecture course.

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