What to Do When You Miss (or Skip) Class

No matter how hard you try to make it to every class (and let’s face it—there will be many times when you won’t try very hard at all), there will be times that you just don’t get there.

Maybe you desperately needed sleep. Or you have a severe case of veisalgia. Or you just really didn’t want to go. Whatever the case, you’ll miss a few classes here and there. If you don’t want to let it affect your grades, you’ll want to do a few things.

Contact Your Prof

First—but only if you have a legitimate reason (illness, appointment, family event, etc.)—e-mail your professor and let them know why you weren’t able to make it. Many professors have attendance policies and will lower your grade if you miss too many classes. Don’t let this happen. You can head it off early by appealing to your professor’s sense of generosity and hope that they won’t count your absence as an unexcused one.

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Ask Your Classmate

After you’ve done this (or not, depending on your reason or lack thereof), ask a classmate if you missed anything significant. It might not be a bad idea to set up a system early in the semester with one of your friends—if you miss a class, they’ll get you a copy of their notes, and vice versa. This won’t help you much if you had a quiz or a test, but it can be useful if all you missed was a lecture (if you missed a test, you’re probably screwed, and it’s time to start begging).


Most students think that after they take these two steps, they’re done. However, if you really want to make sure that you’ve minimized the effect on your grade, you can go a bit further. After you miss is a class, spend some extra time on your next homework assignment and make sure to hand it in on-time. If you can impress your professor with both the timeliness and the quality of your work, he or she might be willing to forget that you missed a couple classes. You’ll just have to prove to them that it hasn’t affected your ability to keep up in the class.

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Missing (or skipping) class is a fact of life in college. It happens all the time, and you can be assured that if you don’t miss an obscene number of classes (or a quiz or test . . . there’s no way to make that up to a professor, even if they let you take your quiz later), you’ll be fine.

Don’t stress about it; just be ready to deal with it.