How to Succeed In BIG Lecture Classes

A class of over 100 people can seem daunting, but with these tips success is within reach!

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Taking a large lecture class is almost inevitable as you start your college career. Most of the lectures are intro-level classes that must be taken in order to proceed with your degree (aka: pre-requisites).

Lumberjack Karringtan Bell shares her advice on how to make a connection with your professor in what seems like a sea of students, and how to ace the test when learning seems less than personalized.

“One of my main concerns starting college was how I was going to get through those terrifyingly large freshmen classes that have 150 plus people in them”

I’m not going to lie, overall they were difficult, especially being a freshman not really knowing what I was in for. During my first semester in college, I was honored to have 2 lecture classes — one of them being at 8am 😒, that was rough but I digress. I was one of about 250 students. A positive of being in a lecture class is that its easy to go unnoticed, but then again, both of my professors assigned clicker questions and out of the blue attendance quizzes, making skipping class very difficult.

The real deal is, when it comes down to actually doing well in classes that large, it’s about the work you put into them.

#LumberjackTip: A great thing about NAU is that the professors sort of hint to you what you need to do to be successful in lecture classes when you start out as a freshman so listen up!

If you’re anything like I was, just starting out and sometimes still struggling with even how to get around campus, here’s some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way so you don’t find yourself three exams deep praying for your magical fairy “curve” mother to save you.

The easiest thing you can do is SHOW UP!!

It will be tempting, but don’t SKIP CLASS! It’s easy to just hit that snooze button for those 8AM classes, but college is a whole new educational world. You probably only have certain classes each day, it can become challenging to keep up with the information if you keep missing class.

Also, if your teacher does offer attendance points those are EASY POINTS that can potentially be a good buffer and help your grade at the end of the semester 👌🏾.

Always be taking notes✏️!

When you skip class in college, not only are you wasting your money, but more importantly, you’re wasting this amazing opportunity to LEARN.

Taking notes is a great way to focus on the information being given in class that day. #FunFact — NAU sometimes offers student jobs as notetakers, so if you don’t think your the best notetaker you have other options to still get the needed material. I personally like to hand write my notes because I feel like I retain information better that way. On the days I don’t feel like taking notes I record the lecture on my phone, or you can use any recording device and then play the recording back and take notes later! I’ve also found that turning your notes into flash cards can help when it comes to studying for quizzes and tests. Basically, use this time to find what study habits best work for you!


This cannot be stressed enough. The meeting doesn’t have to be anything major, just a simple introduction at the beginning of the semester can make a big difference.

Talking to your professors during their office hours is a resource that is very underutilized and underestimated.

Your professors understand that lecture classes are hard to handle at times, (especially those BIG lectures).

To account for this, they have office hours for a reason. They are willing to help you if you are willing to ask for it.

No matter what, always remember that you are more than a number to your lecture professors at NAU.

They really do have your best interests at heart and are here to help you succeed and teach you about their passions along the way!

If you have questions or need help, don’t be afraid to ask! 💙

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It’s always a great day to be a Lumberjack! Join the conversation and share your #NAU story.

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