Asking for Assistance from the Instructor

Many students hesitate to ask for clarification if they don’t understand something. Most often, it’s because they don’t want their teachers or fellow students to think they aren’t smart enough to grasp the material. The best students, however, are the ones who aren’t afraid to ask questions when they are unclear about something.

If you do have questions during a lecture, be sure to ask them at the proper time and in the right way. Some instructors prefer to wait until the end of the lecture to take student questions while others are happy to answer questions at any point during class. When you’re posing a question, try to be as specific as possible about what is confusing you and what you would like the instructor to do. For example, you might ask the instructor to go over an event again or complete a few extra example problems.

With this in mind, it is important to note that instructors have to get through a certain amount of material during class, so your instructors may not be able to give you all the assistance that you need during class time. If you are still unclear about a topic after asking questions in class, you should seek out extra help. Ask if the instructor offers extra help sessions (many do) and attend tutorials if possible. You can also ask your fellow students for assistance or see if your school or university offers tutoring services. The most important thing is to address any problems right away before they turn into huge issues that will negatively affect your course grade. Once you have a better understanding of the problematic topic, be sure to update your notes accordingly.

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