Wayne State University

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University Advising Center

Tips for Meeting with Your Professor

Meeting with your professors is very important to your success as a student. Often students don't know just how to go about it or are intimidated by the idea. What follows are some guidelines to follow to get started.

During the first 4 weeks of the term
After reading the course syllabus or outline thoroughly, make notes on items that are unclear. Make an appointment with your professor. Get clarification on items you noted from the syllabus and assignments for the term. Let your professor know what your goal is for the class and get feedback on reaching that goal.

Before the first assignment is due
Bring a draft of the first assignment for your instructor to review. Possible questions to ask include:

  • Am I going in the right direction?
  • Does this meet your expectations? If not, what should I do differently?

Before the first quiz or exam
Review the format of the exam as well as the type of material that will be covered. Possible questions to ask include:

  • How much time will I have to complete the exam?
  • Are old exams or review documents available?
  • Will more emphasis be placed on essays, short answer, or multiple choice?

At Midterm
Ask your instructor for an update on your standing in the class, revisions to the course syllabus, expectations for the remainder of the course. Be sure to review the coursework and lecture notes completed to date. You should be able to summarize what you have learned so far.

Near the end of the term
Review with your professor the format for the final exam and material that will be covered. Possible questions to ask include:

  • Will the final be cumulative or only on material covered since the last exam?
  • Will the final grade be computed on a curve or will straight percentages be used?

Benefits of talking with your professors

  • Personalizes your learning in the classroom.
  • Less stress as you get a clear picture of expectations and how to meet them.
  • Impressive letters of recommendations from professors who know you.