When I was in high school, I heard that college was "so much better" and that classes were easier. I'm not quite sure why I believed that. It's just not true. However, you do have more free time. In my opinion, that's the only way it's "easier." If you're aware of the differences between college and high school exams, it can make all the difference in the world. I wish I had known these things going into my first semester of college.
1. There's a lot less exams, so you have to put a lot more effort into studying for just one test.Giphy
Sometimes, classes only have a midterm and a final, so there is less forgiveness and less room to mess up on a test. Invest your time into these exams and your professor (and your grade) will thank you.
2. Exams count for a LOT more of your grade (if you're a good test taker, you're in the clear).Giphy
Yeah, I know it's scary at first. In some classes, exams count for all of your grade. In some, it's 70%. Be aware of these changes because in high school, homework and participation were nice ways to cushion your grade. I remember participation being 25% of my grade in high school and a lot of teachers gave me automatic 100% for that category.
3. Office hours are SO useful when you're confused!Giphy
Don't be afraid to go to your professor! When taking Calc 2 last semester, I went to my professor's office hours ALL THE TIME. He started expecting me every week by the end of the semester. However, it helped a lot with tough concepts. Most high schools do not have office hours so a lot of students disregard them in college.
4. I don't care what you did in high school. Cramming will NOT work.Giphy
It just won't and anyone who tells you differently is lying.
5. Exams are more based on application, rather than memorization of what you have learned in lecture/class.Giphy
This is a very important distinction. Application of knowledge requires you to have a more thorough understanding of the material. Just be prepared for these types of questions. If your professor does not provide practice questions, ask him/her for good ways to prepare or online resources.
Going to college is scary; I think that a lot of people build up college in their mind, expecting it to be the best 4 years of their life. And for a lot of people, it is. But, at the end of the day, your classes come first and if you know what to expect, you'll just be that much more prepared.