Strategies for Success

Success at OSU starts with doing well in classes. But, some of the strategies that worked in high school may not work in college.

View the MSLC's tips and tricks for OSU Math courses handout!


College is Challenging

  1. College courses move faster. They cover as much material in one semester as might be covered in a whole year in high school.
  2. The material college students will be learning is more complex and more cognitively challenging.
  3. Instructors expect students to work and learn more independently. There's not much hand-holding
  4. Incoming students find themselves in a more elite group. Lots of students at OSU were straight 'A' students in high school. We even have lots of valedictorians. So just being an "average" student at OSU means working harder and smarter than being an "average" student in high school.
  5. Students have to motivate THEMSELVES. No one will be here to ask every night, "Have you done your homework?" Plus, you'll have many more distractions.


Three Strategies for Success

  • Work smart.
  • Get expert feedback.
  • Visit the MSLC early and often.

Work Smart

  • Do it today, not tomorrow. Putting off work is the number one problem that gets students in trouble.
  • Use time wisely. You won't learn unless you put in the time, but you should use your time to greatest effect.
  • Use the strategies that work. Just as athletes can improve their performance by watching videotapes and changing the way they swing or shoot a ball, you can learn more difficult material faster and produce better work if you use the best strategies. The MSLC can share strategies for learning math.
  • You need to adopt attitudes that succeed. Have a positive attitude. Work hard. Don't expect to get everything right the first time. Realize that learning takes time and effort.

Get Expert Feedback
Your roommates mean well, but they aren't the best source for information and feedback. Instead, you should get feedback from experts. Here are three ways to do that.

  • Ask questions in class. If one student has a question, chances are other students do, too. Be brave. Ask. It's the best way to learn.
  • Visit your instructor during their office hours. If something in a lecture or the textbook isn't clear, or if you have a question about an assignment, go to office hours. Instructors hold them to help students.
  • Take advantage of the experts at the MSLC. Our tutors in math and statistics go through special training in order to affectively identify and help you with your math difficulties.

Visit the MSLC Early and Often
We get busy, especially around midterms and at the end of the semester. Students who visit early get the most one-on-one time, and have enough lead-time to let material sink in.

  • Establish a routine. Visit the MSLC a couple of hours every week. Don't wait till the day of the exam. Students can't learn the whole course in one day.
  • Be a repeat visitor. Students can come to the MSLC every day!