As part of your class grade, professors will include participation as part of the grade and take into consideration on who participates in class and who doesn’t. It could be something as simple as putting in your opinion into a class discussion or even asking a question. Participation also includes showing up to class and being present. It is incredibly easy to get those few crucial points by showing up and simply raising your hand. Not only does it boost your grade, it also helps the professor remember who you are so when it comes time to put in the final grades for the semester, they will possibly be a little easier on the grading, depending on the professor. From personal experience, some professors in the past have mentioned to their students that they highly encourage participation and they will be more inclined to write you a letter of recommendation if you showed effort and participated numerous times during class. There are a few helpful hints that are important when it comes to improving your participation and your overall grade average.
I suggest that almost every class you should try to answer questions, give comments, and ask questions when the professor allows it. Make sure you know what you are talking about when you give comments or personal opinions. Even if it is only twice a class, it will add up. Also, try to make yourself visible to your professor in that way so you are not just another face or a name to check off in attendance! Another secret way to boost your participation in class besides raising your hand in class is to visit the professor during their office hours. They will give you their office hours so you can see them during those times. If you are struggling, seek out the professor during his or her office hours and get help on anything you do not understand or need clarification with. You don’t have questions to ask the professor? That’s okay! Professors are happy just to see you come in and say ‘hello’, and will definitely appreciate the nice gesture and thought. If you follow these recommendations, you will see an improvement in your grades with participation versus not raising your hand in class or not going to their office hours at all. Next time you are listening to the professor lecture and they give you an opportunity to raise your hand and contribute, put them up!
– Sarah M.