Ah, the first day of class. You get the rush of getting to know your professor and your classmates, and what the class will be about. For college student is the day to get your syllabus, the bible of the class. Your syllabus contains important information that will be extremely useful during your term in that class. Some students forget about it, and let it die n the bottom of their backpacks. But truth to be told, using your syllabus can help you get good grades and be on the good side of the professor.
Using my syllabus as a guide for the class is what help me get an A. I went back to it and see what chapters I had to read for the week, when the exams were being held and the guidelines for the papers and projects. Here is my way of taking advantage of the syllabus:
Grab Your Planner: and write all the deadlines down. I write them down in red, and that way I can know right away that I have a deadline coming soon.
Readings: it is so common for students to buy textbooks for classes and never use them, and it is because the university sends you the books that are normally required for that course. Some professors decide to go with another edition, with a book that is completely different from the one that was assigned, or they will send PDFs to you. On your syllabus you will find the information about the book you will need, as well as the edition and printer.
Furthermore, you will have the readings that are assigned each week. Sometimes you will have to read chapter 6 before chapter 1, and chapter 8 right after reading chapter 9. Keeping track with your syllabus will save you a lot of time.
Contact Information: at the begging of the syllabus, you will find the professors information, as well as office hours. Write them down in your notebook or planner and be sure to have it handy, You might need it to ask your professor about the upcoming exam or to send him/her a paper that is due.
Deadline Spreadsheet: on top of using your planner, you should create a spreadsheet with the deadlines of all your classes and hang it near your studying place. My planner includes homework that is assigned during class, meetings, gym and my to do list for the day. It is normal that a deadline will get lost or that I forget to check my planner. When I go to my desk and see the spreadsheet, it is easier to have all the deadlines on track.
Projects: with a packed semester o quarter, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Syllabus normally contain the information needed for your projects ,and that way you can start them as soon as the first day and be on top of your gamehow do you use your syllabus? do you find them usefull or completely useless?