There are many times throughout college when you will benefit from meeting with your professor during office hours, including when you have questions about class content, are confused about practice problems or readings, or want to review a paper or exam. Attending office hours, whether in person or online, can give you valuable time to better understand class content and your professor’s expectations and can have a big impact on your academic success. 

Get to know faculty and build a professional and/or mentorship relationship.

Office hours are your chance for individualized time with your professor. Click here for conversation starters for faculty during office hours when your goal is to build a working relationship.

Clarify and ask questions about course content.

If you are confused about class material, ask your professor to explain it differently or walk through it slowly with you. Ask questions that you have about the text or what has been covered in class.

Get study ideas.

There are many strategies that can be used for any class, but some subjects have specific strategies that work particularly well  that your professor may suggest.

Ask questions about the syllabus, upcoming assignments, and due dates.

After carefully reading the syllabus and any assignment prompts, confirm important dates and information with your professor if you are still uncertain.

Review an exam or a paper.

Many students do not do as well as they expected on papers and exams at least once in college. Office hours is an appropriate setting to talk about what you did wrong, what went well, and how to improve on your next paper or exam.

Talk about grades.

If you are unhappy with or have questions about your grade, office hours are the appropriate place to talk about it.

Work through practice problems.

Ask your professor to go step by step through practice problems with you and verify the correct answers. If you are having trouble solving them correctly, use this time to ask your professor to show you where you are making errors.