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Are YOU Ready for College?

There are many significant differences between high school and college. In order to boost your chances of success in college level courses, it is crucial that you understand these differences and develop strategies for addressing them.

Some Differences between High School and College Classes

​High School

  • Classes are smaller
  • High school class require less outside homework
  • Teachers frequently monitor your progress and offer help if you need it
  • Teachers are often available to students at different times
  • Teachers may remind you of upcoming assignments and tests
  • Tests are usually given more frequently covering smaller blocks of material
  • Final grades are usually based on both test scores and homework grades, so tests aren’t as critical to your final grade
  • Teachers can alter their schedule to accommodate school events
  • Teachers often offer review sessions or study guides


  • Classes can be significantly larger
  • For every hour of class, expect to have to study at least 2-3 hours outside of class
  • Professors expect students to approach them if they need help
  • Professors are typically available only during scheduled office hours
  • Professors expect students to keep track of required coursework and tests as listed on the syllabus that is handed out on the first day
  • Testing is less frequent and tends to cover more material and be cumulative in nature
  • Grades are based on tests and large project assignments so it is important to do well on them. One low grade can seriously affect your final grade
  • Professors rarely change from the syllabus schedule
  • Professors expect students to review course material on their own

​Many high school students believe that college classes are simply more in-depth versions of their high school classes and are unpleasantly surprised when they struggle in their college courses. In reality, the differences between high school and college classes are more varied than that. Not only is the course material more intensive, but college professors expect students to study independently and exercise critical thinking.

Essential Tips for succeeding in college courses:

  1. 1) Attend all class sessions
  2. 2) Take extensive and concise notes
  3. 3) Stay organized with “To Do” lists
  4. 4) Set specific goals for success
  5. 5) Plan your daily, weekly, and semester study schedule
  6. 6) Prioritize your assignments
  7. 7) Figure out what study environment works best for you
  8. 8) Ask for help
  9. 9) Balance your life by scheduling time for fun and relaxing activities