With syllabus day behind us, you’re probably fully aware that if you miss seven classes, you’ll be withdrawn from the course (in twice-weekly classes). You may not realize, however, how much of an impact absences have on your grades. Absences are the highest predictor of academic risk among King’s students. In other words, there is a strong correlation between class attendance and academic success. In an analysis of what factors most influenced student success over three academic years, students’ grades drop a full letter grade after three absences for each subsequent absence in a twice-weekly class. In once-weekly classes, the threshold is two absences.
So what does this mean for you? As you’re planning your semester, make sure class times take priority. Don’t schedule conflicting events or overwhelm yourself to the point where skipping class is a necessity. Say no to other commitments so you can protect your class attendance. Professors often give this advice, but it’s worth repeating: save your absences for emergencies. If you have perfect attendance before an emergency arises, you can miss a class with less risk than if you already have two skips. When life gets in the way of academics, it will be so much easier if you’ve already set yourself up for success. If you’ve needed to miss several classes, be sure to reach out to your professor and firstname.lastname@example.org to get back on track.