How To Raise Your Hand in Class

Raising hand in class
Getty Images | David Schaffer

Do you get the urge to sink into your chair when you know the answer to a question that your teacher has asked? Of course you already know how to raise your hand. But do you avoid it because it's scary?

Many students find that their entire vocabulary (and ability to think) disappears when they try to speak up in class. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. But there are a few reasons why you should build up that courage and express yourself.

For one thing, you'll find that you become more self-assured every time you speak up (as painful as it may seen at the time), so the experience gets easier and easier. And another good reason? Your teacher will appreciate it. After all, teachers enjoy feedback and participation.

By raising your hand in class, you're showing the teacher that you really care about your classroom performance. This can pay off at report card time!


Hard (scary sometimes)

Time Required

From 5 minutes to 5 weeks for comfort

Here's How

  1. Do your reading assignments before you go to class. This is important for giving yourself a strong sense of self-confidence. You should go to class with an understanding of the topic at hand.
  2. Review the previous day's notes right before class. On the margins of your notes, write down key words that will help you locate a certain topic quickly. Once again, the more prepared you feel, the more at ease you'll feel when you speak in class.
  3. Now that you've done all the necessary reading, you should feel confident about the lecture material. Take excellent notes as your teacher lectures. Jot down key words in the margins of your notes if you have time.
  4. When the teacher asks a question, quickly locate the topic using your key words.
  5. Take a moment to breath and relax. Sort your thoughts by creating a mental outline in your head.
  6. With your writing hand, jot down a brief outline of your thoughts in response to the teacher's question if you have time.
  7. Raise your other hand in the air.
  8. Don't feel pressured to blurt out your answer quickly. Look or think over your outline. Answer deliberately and slowly if necessary.


  1. Don't ever be embarrassed by your answer! If it's partly right, you've done a good job. If it's completely off-base, the teacher will probably realize that he/she needs to re-word the question.
  2. Keep trying, even if you turn red and stammer at first. You'll find that it gets easier with experience.
  3. Don't get cocky! If you get lots of answers right and you get proud and cocky about it, others will think you're obnoxious. That won't do you any good. Don't alienate yourself by trying to impress the teacher. Your social life is important, too.

What You Need

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Your Citation
Fleming, Grace. "How To Raise Your Hand in Class." ThoughtCo, Sep. 9, 2021, Fleming, Grace. (2021, September 9). How To Raise Your Hand in Class. Retrieved from Fleming, Grace. "How To Raise Your Hand in Class." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).