What are Office Hours

During the first two years of college, students are required to take their core education classes such as math, physical science and history. In the beginning, depending on the school you attend, most of these lecture courses are taught in huge auditoriums. While it’s great that there will be plenty of students your same age who are experiencing the same new things you are, the downside is that unless you’re that obnoxious kid in the front row who asks questions every other minute, you will be virtually invisible to your professor. But that doesn’t have to necessarily be the case. If you want to be more than just a number, want to improve your grades or need advice on a certain subject, it is imperative that you attend office hours. Office hours are a block of time apart from class that professors and teaching assistants set aside to answer students’ questions regarding exams, assignments and other class work. Below are several ways office hours can benefit you in your college career.

One of the main reasons to attend office hours is so that you can have a more personable, one-on-one setting with your professor to discuss your questions, issues or concerns pertaining to the class. The better a professor knows you by face, or better yet, by name, the more likely he or she will help you when you’re struggling. This can include anywhere from giving you that "A" even if you’re a few points short, to giving suggestions on how and what to study for their specific exams, or even letting you review old exams to get a feel for what your exam will be like.

If you and your professor develop a good relationship because you frequently attend his or her office hours, you can most likely count on your professor to write you an honest and well-written letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are needed to apply to internships, graduate school and career jobs. While some professors do have the ability to write letters of recommendations for students they don’t know, they write it generically, which can hinder your chances of being accepted to whatever program or job your applying for. If a professor likes you enough, some are even known to keep you in mind and approach you when a certain opportunity arises.

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