Here are the questions you need to ask and answer at the beginning of each class:
1. Will this be among the 20% of most valuable classes, to which I should devote my best energy, or will it be one of the 80% that are (comparatively) low-value?
Many things go into this determination. Some classes you will enjoy immensely, but won’t really benefit you practically in ministry down the line. Others will be helpful but not so enjoyable.
If you don’t know the answer to this first question going in, most of the time you should be able to determine it within the first two weeks of class.
2. What do I need to take from this course?
The answer could be information, skill, or exposure. What value will it have for your future ministry? This is a separate question from #3, below.
3. What do you need to get a good grade in this course?
Is the grade based on test, papers, attendance, assignments, or some combination? Which things are you going to really give yourself to and which ones can you afford less attention?
Next week: the real story on grades