How to take advantage of your professor’s office hours

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Many students spend four to five years on a college campus, but never visit their professor’s office. Office hours are posted times when a professor is expected to be in his or her office for students. It is a job requirement meant for all teachers. Technically speaking, students pay for this time with their tuition, so they should make good use of it.

There are many reasons why a student may want to use their instructor’s office hours including a missed class, career advice, and help with a project, test, or research. If you have any good reason to seek help from your professor outside of class, here is how to take advantage of your professor’s office hours.

Do not stay quiet

If you meet with a professor during their office hours, it is your job to lead the conversation. Compile a list of topics or questions to discuss with your professor and use the time wisely. In case you do not understand what your teacher explains in the office, just say so. Your instructor will appreciate your honesty and explain the topic or question in a detailed manner to help you learn.

Come prepared

If you are visiting the instructor’s office for the first time, start the conversation by introducing yourself. In case you feel uncomfortable to talk to the teacher one to one, jot down the queries beforehand and just read them from the list. This will ensure smooth flow of discussion, and you are likely to get relevant answers and resolutions to your doubts and questions. The more you prepare, the better the outcome will be.

Be honest

If you fail to do well in a particular test due to stress or other reason, tell the truth to the professor. Just like you, they are human and will certainly understand your situation. If you display honesty, you are more likely to get help from your teacher. So be sure you don’t hide anything with respect to your studies.

Take notes

Some students think that it may not be appropriate to write while communicating with their teacher. Remember that you are not visiting the professor for a social discussion. You are most likely there to cover pertinent details on particular assignments. It is not possible to remember everything that you discuss with your professor, so be comfortable with some silence between you two while taking down notes.

Go in groups

Sometimes it is better to meet with your teacher in a group if you have similar questions. Teachers are happy to discuss with more than one student, and other students may ask some important questions on the topic that you might forget. In this way, you will get answers to all possible questions.

Making the most out of your professor’s office hours is not always easy. You have to do some homework if you are to use your instructor’s time for you betterment. If you properly take advantage of your professor’s time, you’ll be sure to improve your grades.

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