Attending your professors' office hours is a great way to set yourself up for success this semester. Office hours allow you to interact with your professor one-on-one, ask questions and get clarification about course information. Students may feel intimidated to meet one-on-one with their professors, but your professors are excited to see you. They want you to do well and appreciate when students take the time to attend office hours. It’s a great opportunity to get to know your professors as people and not just academic experts.
Visiting office hours early in the semester and working with your professors can build confidence as the semester progresses. Here are a few ways to make the most of meetings with your professors.
Identify your needs
Even if you don’t have an academic reason to attend office hours early in the semester, you can introduce yourself to your professor. Meeting your professor now can make it easier to go later in the semester if you have a question or need help. There are many reasons to go to office hours as the semester progresses:
Find out when your professor’s office hours are by checking your syllabus. If you have time conflicts with office hours and other classes, contact 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.
Come prepared with questions and concerns you have about the course. Office hours are helpful for a variety of reasons. You can ask questions and learn about their teaching style early in the semester. Here are some questions you could ask:
Maximize your time
During your meeting, stay present mentally to get the most out of your professor’s time. Here are some things to try during your meeting:
After attending office hours, follow up via email and thank your professor for answering your questions. If you have unanswered questions from your meeting, 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 internalize your learning.