Having Trouble in School?

falling behind in school, how to catch upHere’s how to get back on track

If you are a student in college or a career training school, you probably have already figured out that it’s a lot harder than high school! The homework and exams may be more challenging than you expected, and the workload may be hard to manage. If you are starting to fall behind, don’t panic. There are things you can do to get back on track and make the most out of your post-secondary education. Try these tips if you are having trouble.

Talk to your instructors
Unlike in high school, the college and career school instructors treat you like an adult. They give you the responsibility for your grades and your education. But just like your high school teachers, they want you to succeed. If you are falling behind, schedule a time to talk to your instructors. Explain the problems you are having, and ask them to help you create a plan to get back on track. They may be able to recommend tutoring or web resources that can help you understand your courses better. If your instructors know that you want to learn, they will want to help you!

Attend every class
Now that you are in college or career school, there’s no one watching over your shoulder to make sure you attend your classes. It’s important for you to have the self-discipline to go to all of your classes. Your instructors pack a lot of learning into every single class, so skipping even one class can set you back. And once you get behind, it can be a slippery slope of missing even more classes. If you do have to miss a class due to sickness or some other unavoidable issue, then be sure to get the class notes from a trusted friend, and ask the teacher what you can do to make up the missed work.

Make studying your job!
While your classes meet at a specific time every day, you do not have a specific assigned time to study. This makes it easy to procrastinate and put off your studying. But in order to succeed, you will need to have dedicated study time every day. The best way to do this is to pretend that studying is a job. Set aside a block of time (two to three hours) every day, and show up every day, just like you would for a job! When test time is coming up, try these steps to prepare for your test.

Choose a seat in the front of class
Do you typically sit in the back of class and try to avoid participating? Have you ever tried sitting in the front instead? It’s amazing how much better you pay attention if you sit in the front. It feels like you’re right in the center of the action, and it’s easier to keep your mind focused on the lesson. It also helps to participate in class. Set a goal for yourself to raise your hand at least once each class period to ask a question or answer a question. Getting involved will help your mind engage with the subject matter. Here are some great tips for improving your classroom participation.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again
Your instructors do not expect you to be perfect! And the good news is that making mistakes is a great way to learn. When you get your homework and exams back, be sure to look at the mistakes you made. Is there something you don’t understand? Can you figure out what you did wrong? Would you know how to answer the questions now? If you take the time to learn from your mistakes, you can go far!

With these suggestions, you should be able to improve your performance in school and ultimately improve your enjoyment of school. Your education is the first step toward your future career, and it’s important to put the effort into achieving the kind of success you want. More than anything else, never give up! With the right attitude and work ethic, you can get back on track!


This article is courtesy of the Harris School of Business. Our programs in medical assisting, dental assisting, and surgical technology are preparing the healthcare professionals of tomorrow.