Chuck Allison's UVU Site
Enter to Learn — Go Forth to Solve
Occasionally, especially in lower division classes, and often late in the semester, I get the following question from a few students:

“What can I do to pass this class?”

Anyone who asks this question is either not paying attention or is not ready to be a college student.

I spend a great deal of time and effort in organizing a course and in delivering its content and associated learning experiences. Everything is spelled out in detail up front in the Syllabus, which is always available online, and I go over it on the first day of class. Here is a typical example:

Your performance on the following will determine your course grade:

Programming Assignments 45%
2 Mid-term Exams 30% (15 % each)
Final Exam 25%
Unannounced Quizzes extra credit (up to 5% bonus)

There are no makeup exams. All exams take place in the testing center during a 2-day period. One single-sided, 8½x11 sheet is allowed as a cue sheet for all tests, including the final. A late assignment will be penalized 33.3% per day. Plan your time wisely. You are responsible for all material in the texts, class lectures, and supplemental reading assignments. The final will be comprehensive. Grades will be assigned according to the following schedule.

93 – 100% A 73 – 76% C
90 – 92% A- 70 – 72% C-
87 – 89% B+ 67 – 69% D+
83 – 86 % B 63 – 66% D
80 – 82% B- 60 – 62% D-
77 – 79% C+ 0 – 59% E


There is no question on how to pass any of my classes.

So let me answer all such questions up front:

1) Read the Syllabus.
2) Read it again. And again.
3) Do the assigned reading for the day before class.
4) Come to class.
5) Do all the work on time.
6) Check the online schedule for due dates and test dates.
7) Ask questions often, in class and out (you have my email address). (You can also use the class discussion feature in Canvas to ask questions.)
8) Come see me during my office hours or by appointment with your questions.
9) If you are going to quit the class, drop it. Before the deadline.

This strategy works every time. For everyone. You won’t need to wear yourself out studying for tests if you will follow these guidelines. Research shows that by doing everything on time as you go through the semester, you’ll have the material down and you will do your best. Simple, isn’t it?

Now dig in and have a good semester!