What Are the Benefits of Attending Lectures?

What Are the Benefits of Attending Lectures? thumbnail
Skipping class prevents a student from asking questions about the information presented.

Colleges and universities often forgo formal attendance policies in lecture hall settings, due to the impracticality of taking roll with such a large group. This situation tempts some students to skip class and instead count on reading a classmate's notes or listening to a recording of the lecture. But Alexandra Smith reports in a March 2006 article posted on Guardian.co.uk that student attendance ranks as the strongest predictor of success in earning a college degree.

  1. Participation in Discussion

    • One of the most obvious benefits of attending class is the opportunity to ask questions about material presented in the lecture. When listening to a recording or reading someone else's notes, you may be confused about information the instructor expects students to know. Not attending lectures also prevents you from responding to the thoughts of your classmates and participating in class discussions.

    Less Study Time

    • The more lectures you miss, the more time you'll need to spend catching up on the material later. Utsav Akhoury, writing on the Georgia Institute of Technology's website, states that students grasp concepts faster and better when explained by a professor than when they try to learn the material on their own. Extra hours of studying also mean less time to spend on other academic pursuits and social activities.

    Pop Quizzes

    • By attending lectures, you won't miss pop quizzes, assignments or tests. Some professors don't allow make-up work for students who skip class without a valid excuse, which can drastically lower your grade. In fact, many instructors use unexpected quizzes and tests to take roll and see which students regularly attend lectures. By being present for all in-class activities, you also can take advantage of in-class hints about questions or content on upcoming exams.

    Visual Aids

    • According to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute website, class lectures rank as the main way that professors pass on their knowledge to students, and much of this information comes in the form of visual aids. Although an audio recording of a class can provide you with the professor's words, it fails to capture diagrams, graphs and visual media, which often relate to material that will be on an exam.

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