Many professors (and students, too!) have different expectations from small and large college classes.

There can be substantial differences between participating in a college class of ten students and sitting in a lecture hall with over 200 other students. Whether you prefer a small class or a large class, college class size should be one of your major considerations when choosing your college courses.

Differences Between Small and Large Classes

The level of class participation varies greatly between small and large college classes.

Some students prefer smaller college class sizes where participation is an essential part of every class and  likely counts toward your grade. Other students prefer classes where participation is not as important.

Although you should always come to class prepared (obviously!), it will be more apparent in smaller college classes if you come to class without having done the reading. If you aren’t completely prepared in a larger class, odds are that nobody will ever notice– unless it’s a test day, of course!

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Your Professor

The quality of a professor can make a huge difference in any course, no matter what the college class size.

It’s worth finding out some background about the professor to determine how engaging of a class he or she will lead. One way to do this is to talk to older students who are familiar with the professor.

If a professor has a reputation for being interesting and encouraging class discussion, then a small class led by this teacher will likely be interesting and engaging. On the other hand, if a professor has a reputation for being completely boring and you’re stuck in a small class with her droning on and on, you might as well be sitting in a 200-person lecture hall.

How Important Is College Class Size to You?

When picking college courses or choosing a college, the size of college classes is a factor that may be more important to some students than others. Some students may not care as much about class size. Other factors like time of classes and grading scale may be more important to them.

If you think that class size doesn’t make a difference to you one way or another, that’s fine. But as you take your first college classes, at least consider the differences between small and large classes to determine if you still feel that way after a semester or two.