Practice English Phrases for School and College

Hello everyone,

Are you a student getting ready to start a new school year?

Whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college, it’s helpful to know some common phrases you might hear around campus.

Knowing these phrases can help you understand what’s going on and communicate better with your teachers and classmates.

Let’s go over some useful phrases divided into different categories for school and college life:

Classroom Phrases

These are phrases you might hear in your classes from teachers and professors:

• “Take out your textbooks and turn to page…”
This means you need to get your book out and open it to the specified page number so you can follow along with the lesson.

• “Does anyone have any questions so far?”
The teacher is asking if anything is unclear and giving students a chance to ask questions about what was just taught.

• “Please hand in your assignments.”
It’s time to submit whatever work or homework was previously assigned, like an essay or problem set.

• “The homework for next class is…”
The teacher is telling you what work needs to be completed by the next session.

• “Class is dismissed.”
This means the lesson is over for the day and you are free to leave the classroom.

Studying and Homework Phrases

• “To study for the test, you should review the material in chapters 5-7.”
This advice tells you which sections of the textbook or course content to go over when preparing for an upcoming exam.

• “I’m having trouble understanding this concept.”
You’re letting the teacher know you need more explanation about a particular topic that is confusing.

• “I have a study group meeting tonight to go over the math problems.”
Many students form small groups to work together and help each other understand class material and prepare for tests.

• “I have a big paper due at the end of the semester.”
A paper or essay has been assigned that you need to work on for a while before the final due date.

• “I’m pulling an all-nighter to get this project done.”
This means a student is planning to stay up all night in order to finish a big assignment or project by the deadline.

Campus Phrases

• “What dorm are you living in this year?”
This is asking which dormitory or residence hall a student has on-campus housing in.

• “I’m heading to the student center for lunch.”
The student center is a building with dining halls or restaurants for students, and may have other facilities like a bookstore.

• “We’re tailgating before the big game!”
Tailgating refers to the popular tradition of eating, drinking and socializing outside before a major sporting event like a football or basketball game.

• “Did you join any clubs this semester?”
Colleges have many student-run organizations, clubs and activities you can get involved with based on interests like sports, arts, volunteering, etc.

• “I have an appointment at the writing center to get help with my essay.”
The writing center provides tutors and assistance for students working on papers and other writing assignments.

• “My work-study job is at the library this year.”
Many students get a part-time job through work-study programs to help cover college costs and gain experience.

Graduation and Academic Terms

• “I’m majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology.”
A student’s major refers to the main subject they are studying, while a minor is a secondary focus of study.

• “My GPA dropped slightly after that tough semester.”
GPA stands for grade point average, the number that calculates your overall academic performance.

• “I have to complete two more general education requirements.”
General education classes are baseline liberal arts courses all students must take outside of their major.

• “I’m going to walk at commencement, but I have one class left to graduate.”
Commencement is another term for the graduation ceremony where degrees are conferred. Students “walk” or participate after completing all requirements.

• “My goal is to get into a top graduate program after I earn my bachelor’s degree.”
A graduate program like a master’s or doctorate follows earning an initial bachelor’s degree, which is an undergraduate program.

• “I plan to take a gap year before applying to medical school.”
Taking a gap year refers to taking a break, often a year off, between completing a degree and continuing advanced studies.

Professor and Academic Advisor Phrases

• “My advisor recommended I look into study abroad opportunities.”
Academic advisors provide students with guidance on courses, majors, enrichment programs like studying in another country, and meeting requirements.

• “I’m going to office hours to discuss my grade on the last exam.”
Professors have scheduled office hours when students can drop in with questions about class material or grades.

• “I asked for a recommendation letter from my English professor.”
Students often need to request formal letters of recommendation from professors or advisors when applying for jobs, graduate school, or other opportunities.

• “I’m doing undergraduate research with a faculty member this semester.”
Many colleges encourage students to participate in research projects alongside professors to gain hands-on experience.

• “I have to get this form signed by the department chair.”
The department chair is the lead faculty member who oversees an entire academic discipline or program at the university.

Hopefully these phrases give you a good overview of the common language used for all aspects of student life, whether you’re starting high school or heading off to a university.

Being familiar with these terms will help you feel more comfortable navigating your academic career.

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

Getting the right preparation can make a big difference in having a successful and rewarding school experience.


Check out these awesome phrases & Idioms books I recommend:

Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

IDIOMS and PHRASES Anglo,Synonyms and Antonyms Anglo,One Word Substitution

Oxford Dictionary of Idioms

3000 Idioms and Phrases+ 3000 Proverbs 

Idioms for Kids

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