Analyze your Courses

Do you sometimes feel that you don't understand what to focus on in your readings? Do you wonder what you should study in order to prepare for tests?

Course analysis helps you step away from the day-to-day details and think about the overarching themes and structures of the course.

Begin by asking:

What are the themes of the course? What does the professor hope that I will know or be able to do by the end of the course? How do the pieces of the course fit together?
Why are we reading this article/book/chapter? What am I expected to know or understand?
How will I be graded in this course? In what ways does the grading system help me understand the priorities of the professor?
Resources for Course Analysis
  • Course syllabus
  • The professor's spoken expectations
  • Class notes
  • Readings and other course material
  • Past test/assignments from this professor
  • Reliable students who have taken this professor or this course previously