How to Use Your Professor as a Study Resource

By Brittany Loeffler on May 11, 2019

Believe it or not, your professor is more than just a teacher standing in front of your classroom. They are experts in their field of work, most of them even have published articles and books specifically about what they are teaching. When you feel stuck in a class and finding that you need some extra help, your professor is a great study resource!

Attend your professor’s office hours to use them as a study resource and better understand the material with one-on-one sessions. They are full of knowledge and have resources and connections of their own to help you study and pass their class. Here’s how to use your professor as a study resource.

professor as a study resource

via Pixabay

Attend Their Office Hours

Every professor has office hours scheduled throughout the week. They usually announce it the first day of class and print it right on the syllabus for you. Most students overlook the opportunity to sit with their professor one-on-one and decide to silently struggle with the material. Don’t be one of those students.

Take advantage of a professor’s office hours so you can ask specific questions and have more intense conversations about the course material so you have a firmer grasp on concepts. This will also make you stand out from the rest of the class and could even boost your grade up.

Ask Specific Questions

Never show up to a professor’s office hours unprepared. Pack up your notes and write down specific questions you would like to ask them. Think of your professor as Google, but specifically for their class. If you don’t understand a certain topic or concept, simply ask them to explain it further and maybe even in a different way. This is also a great way to learn what you still have to study and what you understand.

They Will Recommend Extra Material

If you are really serious and interested in your professor’s class, they may recommend some extra reading material for you to look over while studying. When completing a research project for a professor and you aren’t sure where to begin, they can point you in the right direction to get you started. This will give you a huge advantage in passing tests and writing remarkable papers because you will have strong resources to study and quote that your other classmates will not.

They Can Critique Your Work

Have you ever worked so hard on a paper that you thought was outstanding, but received an average grade? It can be disappointing and discouraging for future papers. Before you go ahead and outline your entire paper, meet with your professor to talk over your ideas. This is a great time to ask about your thesis and whether it is strong enough for the required paper.

Your professor can help you tweak your thesis, if needed, to set you up to write a strong academic paper. They may also provide you with some research material to help make your argument.

More Networking Opportunities

Since professors are experts in their field, they know a lot of people. If you are interested in pursuing their field as a career, your professor is a great resource to get your foot in the door. When completing a research project for their class, ask them if they know anyone you can speak to about your thesis and possibly help with your research. These connections can go a very long way when it comes time to graduate.

Put Together a Study Group

While your professor is a great study resource, they may have other students who are asking the same questions as you. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a study group together and meet with the professor to go over class notes, concepts, and upcoming tests and projects. Not only will you have more face time with the professor, but you may also learn from other students in the group.

Before a big exam or project, you can meet with the students and go over study guides and material that your professor has provided your small study group. While it may seem time-consuming, it will be worth it once you receive a high grade!

Using Your Professor as a Study Resource

Never overlook your professor as a study resource. They are full of knowledge, especially because they are experts in their field. With open office hours, professors are waiting for students to come and meet with them. Prepare specific questions about confusing material when meeting with your professor. Before a big project or paper, your professor can critique your idea and help you form a strong argument and thesis and can even point you in the right direction regarding your research. Don’t be afraid of asking your professor for extra help when it comes to studying, they are happy to help!

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