Suggestions from Instructors

Suggestions from SUNY Orange Instructors on how to be a successful student:

  • Develop a Positive Attitude.
    • Think positive thoughts – I can do this!
  • Attend Every Class.  If you miss a class, contact your instructor and find out if it is possible to make up what you missed.
  • Tomorrow may be too late to make up missed work. DO IT NOW! If it is not possible to make up a missed assignment, do not give up!  Meet with your teacher privately to talk about what you can do to make progress.
  • PARTICIPATE.  Be active in class discussion.  Share what you have learned.
  • Take Better Notes. Compare notes with a classmate or work with a tutor to improve your note taking skills. Participate in a student support initiative workshop to develop skills.
  • Do Your Homework.  Learn to manage your time and see homework as a priority.
  • Get All the Help You Can.
    • Ask question whenever you don’t understand something.
    • As soon as you notice you are having difficulty, seek extra help.
      Try one or more of the following:
      • Meet with the instructor during his or her office hours.
      • Go to the Math Lab, Writing Lab, and/or Reading Lab.
      • Sign up for a tutor through the Tutorial Center in the Library.
      • Study with a classmate who thoroughly understands the material and is willing to work with you.
  • Determine your learning style. One way to learn more about your learning style is to complete the VARK questionnaire†. © Copyright Version 7.0 (2006) held by Neil D. Fleming, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Get To Know Your Teacher.  Check the course syllabus to see how your teacher likes to be contacted.  Arrange a meeting with your teacher outside of class time.
  • Prepare Well For An Exam.
    • Do your work on a regular basis so that you won’t find yourself cramming or unprepared when exam time comes.
    • Create summaries of your class notes to use as reference material when it comes time to studying for an exam.
    • Aim for excellence and, at the very least, your work will be satisfactory.
    • Make a list of topics that will be covered on the exam.
    • Begin studying for your exam as soon as possible to avoid last minute cramming.  Only a brief review should be necessary on the day of the exam.
    • Get a good night’s sleep, eat well, and relax.
  • Have Strategies for Taking An Exam.
    • Arrive to the exam rested and a few minutes early.
    • Bring all necessary materials.
    • Relax and maintain a positive attitude.
    • Read all the instructions and each question/problem carefully.
    • If you don’t understand something, ask your instructor for clarification.
    • If you get stuck while working on a problem, move on to another problem and come back to that one in the end.  Don’t allow any one problem to consume more time to solve than it should.
    • Learn from the exam as you take it.  Answering questions you know may help you answer questions that you are uncertain of.
    • Show all your work and provide clear and thorough explanations when necessary.
    • Answer all questions to the best of your ability (don’t leave any answer blank).
    • Don’t leave early, check your work as much as time allows.
  • Know Your Progress and Grades. † Following this link will take you out of the SUNY Orange Web site. The college cannot be responsible for the content of this external web site.

Teachers notice that students who are most successful do the following:

  • Take personal responsibility for learning.
  • Attend class regularly and arrive early for class.
  • Do all of the homework.
  • Write thorough summaries of class notes after each class, including explanations and examples.
  • Set aside some time everyday to spend with schoolwork; do problems, rewrite notes, review topics, etc.
  • Review topics that have been covered.
  • Read the topic to be covered in the next class.
  • Ask questions immediately when a topic is not understood.
  • Work with classmates or friends outside the classroom.
  • Meet with the instructor for extra help outside the classroom.
  • Get a tutor to meet with on a regular basis.
  • Seek help with test anxiety, if necessary.
  • Eat well, exercise, sleep enough, etc.
  • Schedule a little time to relax and have fun.