How the University of Alabama is Different From High School   back

The University of Alabama
Center for Academic Success
124 Osband


  • Tests usually cover only one chapter.

  • Tests and quizzes occur frequently.
  • Teachers usually explain everything that will be covered on tests (often several times).
  • Tests may require only basic memorization.
  • Reading assignments are short.
  • Studying means reading over the material before the test.
  • You are in school for seven hours a day.
  • Other people (parents) see to it that you study.
  • Parents probably see to it that you get up in the morning and go to bed at night.
  • There may be restrictions on your social life.
  • Teachers usually take a personal interest in your well being.


  • There may be only two or three tests during the whole semester.

  • Tests may cover five, six, or seven chapters (100-200 pages).
  • The instructor may not go over material in the textbook but will expect you to learn it on your own.
  • Tests require a thorough understanding of theories, concepts, procedures, etc. Rote memorization will not get you an A or B. You really have to understand the material as well as the professor.
  • You will be tested over outside readings that are not covered in class.
  • To do well on tests you cannot just study the night before. There is too much material to learn in a few hours. To do well in college classes you will have to keep up with the reading and homework assignments. (Ninety-five percent of college students must learn this the hard way.)
  • In college you will be in class only two to three hours per day. To do well in college you must utilize your free time for reading, studying, etc.
  • In college you will be responsible for your own learning. No one is going to force you to learn anything. If you want to do well, it will be entirely up to you.
  • In college you must learn how to manage your own time. You will have opportunities to do many things; a lot of them will be more fun than studying. Mature students will learn how to manage their time. It is possible to be a good student academically and still have fun.
  • Some classes at The University of Alabama are large. Professors may not know who you are unless you make an effort.
  • In college you will not be required to go to class, but students who go to class make better grades than those students who do not go to class. (Many students find this out the hard way, also.)