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How to get the Most out of your Lectures and Tutorials

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As university students, we are often told that lectures and tutorials are essential to our learning. However, we don’t always know how to make the most out of them. Here are 21 tips on how to get the most out of your lectures and tutorials:

Make a plan

Before each lecture or tutorial, take a few minutes to make a plan. What do you hope to achieve in this session? What do you need to pay attention to? Having a plan will help you focus and make the most of your time.

Arrive on time

This one is pretty self-explanatory! By arriving on time, you’ll avoid disrupting the class and can Settling in before the lecture or tutorial begins will also help you focus when it starts.

If you’re running late, try to slip in quietly so as not to disturb the rest of the class.

Sit near the front

You’re more likely to pay attention and stay engaged if you’re sitting closer to the front of the room. If you find it difficult to focus, try sitting in the front row or close to the lecturer/tutor. I find that I tend to zone out less when I’m closer to the action.


Lectures and tutorials are opportunities for you to ask questions, share your thoughts and get clarification on concepts. Don’t be afraid to speak up – chances are, others are thinking the same thing!

Take notes by hand

Studies have shown that students who take notes by hand learn more than those who type them out on a laptop. This is because writing by hand helps you process and remember information better. So next time, leave the laptop at home and grab a pen and paper instead.

Be active

It can be easy to zone out during a long lecture or tutorial, but resist the urge! Staying active and engaged will help you learn more effectively. Try standing up and moving around every so often, or doodling in the margins of your notes to keep your mind from wandering.

Connect new concepts to what you already know

To better understand and remember new information, try to connect it to something you already know. For example, if you’re learning about a new country in history class, think about how it compares to ones you already know about. Or if you’re learning a new word in Spanish class, think of an English word with similar meaning.

Ask questions

If you’re confused about something, don’t be afraid to ask! Chances are, others in the class are wondering the same thing. Asking questions will also help you stay engaged and focused.

Summarise key points after each lecture or tutorial

After each session, take a few minutes to jot down the main points that were covered. This will help you remember what was discussed and identify any concepts you need to review.

Discuss with classmates

Talking to your classmates is a great way to consolidate your understanding of the material and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. It’s also a good opportunity to make friends and network with people in your field.

Review your notes soon after each lecture or tutorial

Reviewing your notes shortly after each session will help you remember the material better. If you wait too long to review, you’re likely to forget some of what was covered.

Connect with your lecturer or tutor outside of class

If you’re struggling with the material or have questions about assignments, make an appointment to see your lecturer or tutor during their office hours. This is a great opportunity to get one-on-one help and clarification.

Do the readings before each lecture or tutorial

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to do the readings before each class. The readings will give you a foundation for the material that will be covered in the lecture or tutorial.

Take practice quizzes and exams

Testing yourself on the material is a great way to see what you know – and don’t know. By taking practice quizzes and exams, you can identify any areas that need improvement. You can also get a feel for what the format of the real quiz or exam will be like.

Get enough sleep

This one is important! Getting enough sleep will help you focus and concentrate in class. It will also help you better retain information. So make sure to get a good night’s sleep before your next big test or exam!

Eat healthily and exercise

Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will improve your focus, concentration and overall energy levels. This will in turn help you learn more effectively. So make sure to fuel your body with nutritious foods and get some exercise every day!

Create a study schedule

Creating a study schedule is a great way to stay organised and on top of your workload. By mapping out when you’re going to study, you can make the most of your time and avoid last-minute panic.

Find a quiet place to study

When it comes to studying, location is everything! Make sure to find a quiet place away from distractions like TV, music or social media. This will help you focus and get more out of your study sessions.

Take breaks

Studying for long periods of time can be draining, so make sure to take breaks! Get up and stretch your legs, grab a snack or chat with a friend. Just make sure your break doesn’t turn into an all-day procrastination session!

Reward yourself

After you’ve put in a solid study session, make sure to treat yourself! Go for a walk, watch your favourite TV show or enjoy a delicious meal. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s something you enjoy and that will motivate you to keep going!

Turn off your phone

This one is also pretty self-explanatory. When your phone is on, it’s tempting to check notifications or reply to messages. This can be distracting for you and those around you. So, save yourself the temptation and turn your phone off before the lecture or tutorial begins.


By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success in your classes. Just remember to be patient, stay organised and find a study method that works for you!

Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.
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