May 4

3 Tips for Paying Attention in Class

Being present in class will help you be successful throughout your academic career. Try these tips!

Sometimes, paying attention in class can be very difficult. We have so many different things going on in our lives and so many distractions, whether it’s social media, a text message or just our own thoughts about the week ahead. Being present in class will help you be successful throughout your academic career. Below are a few tips to help you stay attentive during class.

Do your best to be an active listener

An active listener not only hears the words that the professor says, but also processes them in real time so he or she will remember the information later. Taking notes during class is another way to engage in active listening. Writing down important concepts will help you come test time and allows you to look back if you forget a certain concept. Reading the material before class is another great way to become an active listener. This will help you anticipate ideas, allowing you to get an idea of what to take notes on during the next class. As you actively listen, be sure to mark any concepts or ideas that are confusing so you can look back on that information later.

Don’t sit in the back

Sitting in the back of the class is the easiest way to lose focus and not pay any attention. Students who sit up front generally do better on assignments, because siting up front helps you pay attention and become more engaged with the professor. You don’t have to sit directly in the front, just near the front so your professor is more likely to see you and know your name. Knowing the professor may call on you for a question while sitting up front prevents you from zoning out. Sitting up front also helps minimize distractions that take away from your learning.


Some college students refuse to participate, for various reasons, but engaging in class discussion can help you pay close attention and better understand the material. Be sure to ask questions about the ideas, answer questions brought up by your professor and ask for clarification if you are unsure about a certain topic. Being the student who raises their hand goes a long way, both with further understanding certain concepts and with building a relationship with your professor. If you are confused about a certain topic in class, then most likely other people are just as confused.

Participation and active listening is key to paying attention throughout class and will benefit you come exam time. Hopefully these tips have been helpful and lead you to do a better job of paying attention.

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