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How to Read your Professors More and more students are trying to figure out just what goes on in the mind of a professor. The reason for this is that the sooner you find out how their brain works, the sooner you will know how to tailor your assignments to their needs. That is the foundation of a good grade. Here are some ways that you can get inside your professors mind.

Ask questions It is good to be inquisitive. When you see things on the syllabus you may have some things that stand out. Ask the professor about them. Make sure that you ask students that took the class before what they did to make him/her happy. They have gone through all of the stress for you and that will only make your life that much easier.

Take notes Professors often map things out for you during lectures, so instead of watching the paint peel from the wall, you should probably be taking notes. Most professors will even ask questions that will be directly on the test. If you aren’t paying attention, then you won’t be ready come test day.

Spend some extra time with your professor While you may not like your professor, if they sense that you are genuinely interested in the subject matter then they will be more apt to help you out. It can never hurt to have them like you more. Also you may find that they become an important resource when you look for letters of recommendation later on down the road. If they take you under their wing then you will find life is much easier than you thought it would be in the class.

Learn from the first test Whether it is a test, essay, or just an assignment, you will see some of the quirks in your professor’s personality. As they come out, make sure you take notes. You don’t want to make the same mistake twice. Your first assignment and test should be your lower grade because it is really where you are trying to guess what your professor is looking for. By the end, you will be an expert in understanding your professor.

Take what they say with a grain of salt Your professor may seem like the toughest clown around but he ain’t no John Wayne when you get down to his soft side. He will probably be a lot more flexible than you thought as soon as you get to know him and he gets to know you. Professors have to put on this facist face at the beginning of a semester so they can keep students in line. They just know that if they are too soft then everyone will be stepping over the lines. Better to just come across as cruel and efficient at the beginning.


Make sure you use these tips to get inside of your professor’s brain before the semester ends. You will find it is much easier to succeed and do well on tests. It’s all about understanding the human side of your professor and in the end it will be worth it because you will have gained a friend and strengthened your network. Photo Credit: ywel,


How to read your professors