How to Survive a Boring Class (and Get Good Grades in It)

Students sitting in a classroom listening to a professor lecture.

Flickr user Akido

You were watching a few episodes of GOT last night and it was almost time for getting ready to school before you knew it. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Some students stay up late because that’s the only time when can watch TV shows. Others are more focused at night, so they use the opportunity to study. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t fall asleep no matter how hard you try. When you get to school, you feel beaten up.

Sometimes you get to school well-rested, but you’re still not able to follow the lecture. Some teachers are… well, boring is the only word we can think of. You still want that good grade, though. How do you stay focused on the lecture or lesson and survive it without falling asleep?

Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind: do everything in your power to stay alert. We won’t give you any tips on how to avoid the lecture and taking a rest while the teacher is doing their best. Check the headline again; it’s about what to do when bored in class, surviving a boring class, and getting good grades. To get good grades, you have to put in some effort. It won’t be quite as hard with the tricks that follow.

  1. Find an Interesting Angle

Is your teacher telling you about the Napoleonic Wars? Listen to them. Create an image in your head. How do you think people dressed at that time? Get some facts from the lecture and write them down. Find an interesting angle you could explore further.

If, for example, your physics teacher is explaining a formula, try to investigate more about the scientist who did the research and came down to that formula. Try to think of ways that a particular aspect of physics is present in your everyday life.

  1. Take Notes and Plan a Project

That doesn’t seem like an interesting thing to do during a boring lecture, does it? Well, it will help you survive it, for sure. Focus on what the teacher is saying. You know you’ll have to write an essay for this class. The professor is giving subtle hints you could use. They are emphasizing the most important parts of the lecture, so you can guess what they want to see in your papers by the tone of their voice.

Those notes can help you a lot with the project you need to write for that class.

  1. Do the Homework

If you already know what the homework for that class is going to be, it’s best to work on it straight away. As your professor is giving explanations, no matter how boring they are, you can catch up and write the homework task. You’ll save yourself tons of time, so you can actually rest when you get home.

If you’re allowed to use a tablet in class, you can always get help for your homework from online services like Online Writing Lab by Purdue Owl. While the information is fresh, you’ll write the assignment in a few minutes.

  1. Ask Questions

You have no idea how people used to dress during the Napoleonic Wars? Why don’t you just ask? When the teacher invites you to ask questions, shoot!

Even before that point, while you’re listening to the lecture, think of something you can ask. With this method, you’re tricking your mind to stay focused and think of an interesting question.

  1. Follow Along

As your professor is talking, try to follow along by reading the material from the textbook. Do you notice them telling something that’s not there? Write it down! You’ll probably get that question on a test, and you’ll be one of the few people who know the answer. Lucky you!

  1. Check Out the Lessons that Follow

When you’re bored with a lecture, check the textbook to see what’s coming next. You’ll surely find something interested in it. Then, remind yourself that this lecture will lead to that point, so it’s important to learn progressively.

  1. Change Your Approach

Here’s a mental exercise that will get you through a boring class: change the way you see it. It’s not pointless at all. You are learning valuable things about the world that surrounds you. When you find yourself with people, talking about different things, you would seem silly if you don’t know things from basic education.

Find the purpose. You’re there because you want to learn. Give your professor the respect they deserve. Maybe they are boring, but they are doing their best. Ask a question to help them make the lecture more interesting. Needless to say, you shouldn’t interrupt them. Raise your hand or wait for them to invite you for a discussion.

Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep during a lecture. When you get home, however, that’s exactly what you should do: rest. You need to go to school well rested and ready to face the challenges of the day.



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