How does college match up to high school?

DKS staff

Use these tips to know what to expect.

High school teachers

Teachers check homework and remind students of incomplete work.

Teachers provide students with information missed when they were absent and approach students if they need assistance.

Teachers draw connections for students, helping to lead them through the thinking process.

College professors

Professors do not always check homework or remind students of incomplete work, but they will assume students can perform the same tasks on exams.

Professors expect students to seek help and information they missed or do not understand.

Professors may lecture nonstop, expecting students to identify key points and keep notes.

Testing in high school

Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.

Make-up tests are often available, and teachers frequently rearrange test dates to avoid conflict with other events.

Teachers frequently conduct review sessions, highlighting key points to study.

Testing in college

Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.

Students, not professors, need to organize material to prepare for the test.

Make-up tests are seldom an option, and if they are, they must be requested.

Professors usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or activities.

High school classes

Students often have very little time between classes.

Students spend five days each week in class.

Students are more or less told which classes to take, and their schedules look packed.

Teachers closely monitor attendance, and classes rarely exceed 40 students.

College classes

Students often have hours between classes.

Students spend 12 to 18 hours a week in class.

Students arrange their own schedule, and schedules tend to look lighter than they are.

Professors may not formally take roll, but they still know whether students are attending class.

Grades in high school

Grades are given for most assigned work, and homework or attendance grades can usually boost overall grades.

Extra credit projects are often available to help students raise their grades.

College grades

Grades are rarely provided for all assigned work, and tests usually make up most of the course grade.

Extra credit cannot usually be used to raise a grade in college courses.

Guiding principle in high school

Students are usually told what their responsibilities are and are corrected if their behavior is out of line.

Guiding principle in college

Students are to take responsibility for what they do and don’t do, as well as for the consequences for their decisions.