Wayne State University

Aim Higher

University Advising Center

Six Signs of Academic Difficulty and How to Fix Them

If any of the following descriptions fit you, then you are having difficulty that needs to be addressed promptly:

  1. I don't understand the syllabus.
  2. I can't keep up with the reading assignments.
  3. I don't get the connection between the lecture and the textbook readings.
  4. I get low or failing grades on quizzes, tests or writing assignments.
  5. I don't consistently complete assignments on time, because I don't know what to do or how to get started.
  6. I feel lost and confused about the subject matter.


  • Be honest with yourself about whether you are spending enough time studying for the class, and about how you are studying (with lots of distractions? poor attitude? skimming the material?).
  • Set goals and develop plans to ensure enough study time.
  • Figure out what you do and do not understand about the subject.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Academic Success Center as a source for tutors, Supplemental Instruction sessions, and workshops in study skills, notetaking, test-taking, etc.
  • Locate a productive place to study, (eg., the Undergraduate Library).
  • Ask the professor for tips and strategies to help you understand the material.
  • Make use of the resources offered in the Academic Success Center