Published: April 12, 2022

office hoursThe end of the semester is almost here, and a great way to prepare for finals is to visit faculty office hours. Office hours are a space for you to ask questions and get clarification if you need it. Visiting office hours now and working with your professors can help you get ready and feel more confident before finals. Here are a few ways you can make the most of meeting with your professors. 

Be prepared

Find out when your professor’s office hours are by checking your syllabus, and make a plan to visit office hours in the next week or two. If you have time conflicts with office hours and other classes, reach out to your professor directly to request a meeting at a different time. Be sure to provide times you are available and ask what works best for them. 

It’s important to come prepared with questions and concerns you have about the course content. This is a great time to ask your professor for clarification on a theme or other ways you can prepare for exams or final projects. Here are some questions you could ask:

  • Do you have any tips on how to best study or prepare for the final exam?

  • Are there any major concepts I should prioritize when I study for the exam?

  • Are you willing to review a draft of my paper before turning in the final product?

  • Can you explain how a concept we discussed in class relates to the reading material? 

  • Can we go over the questions I missed during midterms?

Consider asking questions based on importance and relevance to what you need to review for the rest of the semester.

Maximize your time

During your meeting, make sure you stay present mentally so you can get the most of your professor’s time. Here are some things to try during your meeting:

  • Ask questions that have the most importance to you first.

  • Take notes that help you better understand your questions.

  • Be respectful and stay engaged.

  • Set up a follow-up meeting with your professor if you need additional help.

Follow up

After attending office hours, follow up via email and thank your professor for meeting with you. This can be a busy time of year for many of us, and thanking them for their time to answer your questions can go a long way. If you had questions that didn’t get answered during your meeting, you can also include them in your follow-up email. 

Don’t forget to compile the notes you took during office hours and add them to your study notes where necessary. Try to apply them to new practice problems to help you internalize your learning.

Find more resources, tips and events to help you take a break and de-stress at colorado.edu/finals.