University Lectures: The Official Dos And Don’ts

University is very different from school or college. For one, you’re treated as a grown-up. Lecturers expect more from you and there’s more independent thought and study involved. It’s no place for messing around and chatting to your friends.

Don’t be the fool passing notes in class. Listen up.


Don’t be late for lecture unless you have a really good excuse. Not only does this show a lack of respect towards the lecturer, but you’ll be disturbing all the other students who managed to get there in time.

Make sure you have a good alarm clock! Learn the secrets to being on time. Always allow more time than necessary for the journey; you never know when a road might be closed, or you run into a friend en route.

There are apps you can download to help with time management if you struggle. For example, TIME Planner works as a time organiser, scheduling in your time and sending reminders.

Be mindful of others

Lecture theatres tend to be set up in long rows of seats. Make sure to slide across to the end of the row to allow other people to sit with you. You don’t want to look rude by sitting in the first seat you come to and blocking the other places for your fellow classmates.


Remember your manners in the lecture and don’t sit whispering to others. Not only is this rude to the lecturer but it’s also distracting to your fellows. You want to be making sure you take plenty of notes to enable you to write assignments on the subject later in the semester.

Turn your phone to silent! Not only will it cause you major embarrassment if it goes off, but it’s also extremely bad-mannered.

Note taking

Learn the art of efficient note-taking during lectures.  Handouts come in handy but don’t rely solely on them; take notes and save them afterwards to programmes like Google Drive or EverNote.  You won’t need to write every single word down, just the main points and particular phrases that you think are important.

If you struggle to write quickly, you could always use a Dictaphone to record lectures and play them back later at a slower pace. Remember: by putting the notes in your own words after the lecture, you’re more likely to understand them down the line when you come to using them.


Remember how annoying it is in the cinema when you’re sat next to someone pulling out noisy bags of sweets or crisps? Don’t munch throughout your lecture. Also, smelly food is a definite no-no!

If you need a snack to eat, make sure it’s a quiet one that won’t drive everyone crazy hearing you eat it. Most lectures are only a few hours long at most, so if you need to eat, it may be better to wait for a break.

Missed lectures

If you are planning to miss a lecture or do so accidentally, get one of your classmates to give you the notes.

Don’t fall asleep!

Make sure you get enough sleep during the night so you’re not yawning through a lecture. Remember that you chose your course; try and enjoy the learning that goes with it.


Lectures generally aren’t a place to ask questions; keep them stored up for a seminar, or to ask the tutor later on. If the lecturer is open to discussion or questions, make a note of any queries that strike you and wait until the right moment.

Lectures are put on for your benefit. They are a chance to prepare for exams and course work, so make good notes and listen attentively. Know how to make the most of your lectures, and there’s not exam you can’t conquer!

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