So, how does college match up to high school?

Use these tips to know what to expect.

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.

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


• 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.

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.