Avoiding Common Student Mistakes — Timing Your In-Class Exercises

Imagine the following scenario….

There is one hour left in your class. Your professor asks you to do two things. First, spend 30 minutes reading a few of the many posts from a blog she recommends. Then, in the final 30 minutes, practice your writing and thinking skills by creating a short blog post on the same general topic and then email your post to the professor.

You start at 11:00 and at 11:40 you email your blog post off to your professor.

What do you suppose the professor thinks when she receives your email 20 minutes early? “Wow, that student is fast!”??? WRONG!

No, your professor will not admire your speediness in a situation like this. Rather, you’ve sent her a clear message that you’re not putting your best effort into your work. If you completed this one-hour task in 40 minutes, you either didn’t read for as long as requested or you spent very little effort crafting your written submission. Instead of finishing early in a situation like this, you should revise your submission to make it longer and stronger. If you finish that, then read more of the assigned material.

If you truly want to succeed at university, put your maximum effort into everything you do. Use all the time allowed whenever you’re assigned an in-class task. You’re at university to work hard and spend your time improving, not to do the bare minimum on assignments and then spend the rest of the time texting your friends.

At university, as everywhere, effort is rewarded.

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