Students often skip psychology classes for a variety of reasons. Psychology courses are often taught lecture-style to large groups of people, so students sometimes think they can just skip class and make up for it by reading the textbook.
Some students do manage to pass a class with this strategy. However, it is certainly not the best way to get the most out of your educational experience.
Tempted to skip your next psychology class lecture? Here are ten great reasons why you should try to attend every class session.
1. Lectures Provide Important Information That Isn't In the Textbook
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While textbooks are a valuable part of learning, test questions are actually far more likely to come directly from your instructor's lecture materials. If you aren't in class to hear these lectures and take notes
, you're going to have a much more difficult time passing class tests. Also, lectures are a great way to gain supplementary knowledge that makes what you learn about different psychological topics much more memorable.
2. It's Important to Actually Learn the Information, Not Just Pass the Class
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Even if you're not majoring in psychology
, having a solid understanding of the human mind and behavior can serve you well in your future profession. Focus on actually learning the information and making it a part of your underlying knowledge base, not simply remembering things long enough to pass your exams.
3. Being Present in Class Gives You the Opportunity to Participate in Discussions
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Class discussions provide another important dimension to psychology lectures. Students are able to ask questions and share ideas, while instructors are able to answer common questions and provide valuable examples to illustrate different psychological concepts. If you aren't present for these discussions, then there will be gaps in your understanding of the topic.
Attending your psychology classes also gives you the chance to participate in these discussions. Many students find that taking an active role in discussions is a great way to learn more effectively and to retain more information.
4. Attending Class Helps You Get to Know Your Fellow Students
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Even if you're enrolled in a lecture-style class with hundreds of other students, getting to know your college peers can be very beneficial. Finding a study partner or study group can be very helpful, and it's always a good idea to know a few people in class who can answer questions or fill you in on what you missed if you do happen to miss a lecture.
5. Building Relationships With Your Professors Can Pay Off Later
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Don't expect your psychology professor to write a recommendation
for you later if you barely attended his or her class. Regular class attendance gives your professor the opportunity to get to know you better. When you later ask for a recommendation, your professor will feel that he or she is familiar with your work and temperament well enough to provide one.
6. Lectures Can Boost Critical Thinking Skills
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Instructors often utilize class lectures and discussions to make important connections between different concepts, relate theoretical information to real-world situations and challenge students to think critically about what they learned. If you are not present for these important discussions, your abilities to critically analyze and evaluate information may suffer as a result.
7. Attending Class Helps Improve Self-Discipline
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Dragging yourself out of bed to attend an 8AM class might be difficult, but establishing good habits now will help you later on when you enter the workforce. Not only does being present for your psychology lectures help demonstrate that you are committed to your academic studies, it also means you won't have to put in extra time studying later on in the week to make up for the lectures that you missed.
8. Students Who Don't Attend Classes Are More Likely to Fail
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College and universities have noted that the students most likely to succeed in school are those who attend their class lectures regularly. Students who habitually skipped lectures not only have lower grades in that particular course, they also tend to have lower overall grade point averages than students who are present for class sessions.
9. Information from Class Lectures Is Very Likely to Show Up on Exams
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One of my own professors was very fond of reminding us that if she talked about something in class, then we should expect to see questions about it on the exam. In fact, many professors draw fifty percent or more of test questions directly from their own lectures. Even if your instructor is very textbook-oriented, skipping class means you might miss out on information that you really need to know for the exam.
10. Attending Your Psychology Classes Can Be Fun and Interesting
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Even if it isn't your favorite subject, psychology classes are often very interesting and are a great way to learn more about yourself and those around you. Instead of passively attending lectures, however, focus on becoming an engaged student. Ask questions, discuss topics with your classmates and think actively about the information you are learning during each class session. The first step toward really enjoying your psychology classes is to develop a genuine interest in the subject.
Of course, everyone misses the occasional class now and then due to sickness, scheduling conflicts or other personal obligations. Don't fret if you need to miss class. Instead, inform the instructor of the reason for your absence and ask one of your classmates for a copy of his or her notes from that day.
Park, K. H. & Kerr, P. M. (1990). Determinants of Academic Performance: A Multinomial Logit Approach. The Journal of Economic Education, Spring, pp. 101-111.
Schmidt, R. M. (1983). Who Maximizes What? A Study in Student Time Allocation. American Economic Review, May, pp. 23-28.