Active Listening vs. Passive Listening
Passive listening is mechanical and effortless. If you are awake and your ears work properly, you can listen passively. It does not require any special effort. You hear what your teacher says and you might be able to tell the difference between major and minor points of the lecture, but that is about it. Lack of enthusiasm and a "care less" attitude during class characterize a student who is a passive listener.
Active listeners, on the other hand, really concentrate on the content of the lecture and not on the lecturer or any random distractions in the room or their mind. They do more than focus on facts, figures, and ideas and actively associate the material presented with their own experiences. The content heard at every lecture is converted to something useful and meaningful for the student. You must pay special attention in class because, unlike when reading a textbook, you only get one chance to hear and understand the information presented to you.
Active listening will turn the classroom experience from something boring and dry into something personal and enjoyable.
Active Listening Can Boost Your Effectiveness
Active listening will make you a more effective student. If you think at four times the rate that you speak, a passive listener, concentrating just enough to keep up with the speaker, will only be applying one quarter of their mental capacity to the content of the lecture. Active listeners, applying more of their mindís attention and capacity (possibly all of it) to the subject, will be up to four times more effective.
By applying a few active listening techniques, you will benefit in many ways:
Class time will go by much faster.
You will develop a healthy, productive attitude towards class.
You will increase your memory and retention for the material
You will relieve yourself of undue study time and effort.
You will strengthen your mind and increase its capacity.
You will always know what to study, come test time.