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Expectations of mastery, not merely recall
For UF courses, simply memorizing the material isn’t sufficient. You need to fully understand the concepts, synthesize concepts to make sense of the material, and then be able to use those concepts in new situations (e.g., not necessarily the same situation you discussed in class or saw on the homework).
College courses require more independent learning
You’ll spend a lot less time in class compared to a H.S. class, which means you’ll be expected to learn more from the complementary materials outside of class (readings, videos, assignments, etc.)
New class formats
You are probably used to classes of 20-30 students. At UF, you will have to adapt your study strategies, or learn new ones, to prepare well & get the most from the classes and material in fully online classes, large lectures, online/ hybrid classes, or flipped classrooms. In 2020, this is particularly important as most courses are online.
More grading weight placed on a few exams / large projects / papers
In many classes, a small percentage of the grade will be made up by attendance/participation/quizzes, but it is very common for the course grade to be derived mostly from 3-4 exams/projects/papers.
Lack of structure
In H.S., you often had to be at school at the same time each day – morning through afternoon. In college, you may have three morning classes one day, two afternoon classes the next, and only one class the next day. You may even have classes without assigned meeting times, that you must manage on your own. As a result, and with more to do outside of class, you’ll need to structure your own time for studying.
A more competitive peer group
You were admitted to UF because you have excelled in your classes; however, so did all the other students who were admitted to UF. So you have to be ready for a peer group that also excels.