So You Were Given a Syllabus… Now What?
As your fall classes start at Iowa State, your professors are probably going to hand out a class syllabus that will give you a good overview of your upcoming semester. Each syllabus is slightly different depending on your professor, but they usually contain key information that will prepare you for the challenges ahead. So, resist the urge to just shove them into your backpack after class and do these three simple things first:
- Save your professor’s contact info. At the top of the syllabus, professors usually list their office hours and how to contact them. If you take a minute to copy that information into your phone or your planner now, it’ll save you the headache of digging through papers later in the semester when you have a question or want to share that cool TED talk.
- Write. Down. Your. Due Dates. Usually, the syllabus will include a list of dates when important assignments are due and a breakdown of when tests are. Write these ASAP in your planner or your phone calendar! Once you’ve done this for all of your classes, you’ll be able to see how the important dates all lineup and will be 100 percent prepared for the entire semester.
I color-code my classes and update my calendar every time I get a new syllabus.
- Remember important class policies. Things like attendance or required class materials vary from class-to-class. Designate a note on your phone, a page at the beginning of your notebook, or a section in the front of your planner for class-specific policies. This way if you get sick and have to miss class, for example, you’ll know how each professor would prefer you contact them and make sure that the absence isn’t going to affect your grade.
Taking the time to record these things now in a place you can easily refer back to will make your entire semester easier!