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Feb 26, 2017

Unique Ways You Can Be Among the Best Students in Your Class

Unique Ways You Can Be Among the Best Students in Your Class

I don't think there is anybody who wants to be the last in his/her class. In fact, all students aim higher in the beginning but are always discouraged and disillusioned when their outputs don't in any way correspond with their inputs; therefore, paving way for laziness and unseriousness. It is in this scenario you can distinguish between students who are determined to succeed and those who are not. Remember, life is not a bed of roses and most times it does give us what we want so you must adhere to this popular saying, 'when the going gets tough, only the tough gets going.'

The fact that your output doesn't correspond with your input does not make you a dullard. Don't ever say she is more/he is more brilliant than me. God is not wicked to make your brain dull and that of your friend very active. The simple truth is that there are things you are not doing rightly. In this article, I will be exposing the methods I adopted as an undergraduate that made me excel in my academics:

As a student, the first thing you should do is to set a target for yourself. Your target is your aims and objectives. It keeps you on track by calling you to order anytime you are deviating. Your failure to set a target marks the beginning of your failure. Do you want to be the overall best in your school or class? Do you want to graduate with a CGPA of 3.50 and above? Do you want to score nothing less than a 'B' in all courses/subjects?  If yes, then this should be your target.

As an undergraduate, I never liked any grade less than a 'B.' The reason is simple: the grade that comes after 'B' is 'C' and if a student should get a 'C' in all his courses throughout his stay in the university, that student graduates with a CGPA of 3.00 (which is Second Class: lower division). What will I do with that? For me, it is not presentable, so my target was to get 'As' in all my courses and if any course was too difficult, it should just be a 'B.'  The point is that the higher your target, the better for you. Most students will say all I just need in that course is an 'E' (Pharaoh let my people go). This is really laughable and pitiable.

You don't just set a target and leave it. You must work towards achieving it, and this is where knowing yourself comes in. Are you the type that understands while reading in a quiet environment? Do you easily understand while reading at night? Do you understand while reading in the day? What time and where do you easily comprehend what you read? As a student, you are expected to know this.

For me, I don't have a reading time. I can read in any hour of the day and still understand. All I need to have are willingness and concentration. This might not work for you and that is why you must know yourself. You will only make the classroom your sleeping room if you follow your friend who is good at reading at night to night classes.

Nobody forced you to go to school so I don't see any reason you won't attend lectures. To become a bright student, you should attend lectures and always sit in a position where you can hear what your lecturer or teacher is saying.

'The lecturer was too fast' is the major excuse students give when you ask them for their notes. You don't expect the lecturer to be slow. Do you? As one my professors would say. 'I am not here to teach you but to guide you.' Lecturers are not teachers; they are synonymous to guiders. What they do is to introduce the topic to you while you make your research. Only a few of them will give you comprehensive notes. In fact, I have come to realise that I thought myself 60% of what I knew as an undergraduate.

As an undergraduate I always developed my notes after lectures. I went to classes with my rough note to get the main points, made research on the them, then developed my note. The interesting part is that when the semester examination was very close, students paid me in order to get the photocopy of my note. Hard work pays! I made reasonable amount from that and I am cocksure you can do same.

Every teacher/lecturer has his/her pattern of setting examination questions. Ask from your predecessors or senior colleagues the past questions of any lecturer/teacher who has taught them and is now teaching you. When given, revise these past questions and attempt them.  It is not guaranteed the questions will be repeated but it becomes a work over for you if any of the attempted questions is presented in the exam. It also exposes you to the patterns and styles lecturers adopt in setting their questions. This will no doubt show you the areas of concentration while reading.

I adopted this method and it really worked for me so you can give it a try.

If you know what an 'E' or 'F' can do to your result despite the number of 'As' and 'Bs' decorating them, you will learn to pay more attention to your weak subjects/courses.  Remember, no school will admit you if you don't have Mathematics or English. As an undergraduate, all courses are relevant because failing or having a very low grade in any can make you miss your target. Do not let any of them to suffer.

Back then in school, I could easily pass my language courses but was really battling with my literature courses because of the numerous books so I decided to give more attention to the literature courses which I ended up passing very well although I had an appalling performance in one of them. The method I adopted is the 'time stipulation method.' If I read my language courses for an hour, I would read my literature courses for three hours or more. It really helped. Now I can analyse a literary text like kilode.

Yes! Don't be surprised. It is very important you read to know but in course of reading, there are certain areas which need cramming and it will affect you if you don't have the cramming skill.

I read English and Literary Studies and most of the literature courses required contextual analysis- a situation where you are expected to analyse a literary text backing it up with statements made by  characters/persona (in poems) and adding the page/line where it is found. Who on earth will ask you this outside the examination hall? However, for the purpose of the exam, you need to cram all these in order to pass very well.  That is why I said you must learn how to cram but reading to know is very vital.

Nobody is a reservoir of knowledge.  After reading, you can ask questions in areas that are not very clear to you. Most persons think it is embarrassing to ask questions, especially when it has to do with their junior colleague. My dear, learning is a continuous process; it does not matter who you learn from. You can form a reading group where you share ideas with your fellow classmates after reading. It helps too.

The right to prepare is now. Stop the procrastination! Remember, proper preparation prevents poor performance. Don't be carried away by frivolities. You are there to study and you must study to show thyself approved. Reading when it is very close to exam will no doubt affect your overall performance.

Many lecturers out there are destroyers of students' destinies. I call them Sadists. Most times students write very well but are intentionally failed by these lecturers because the students failed to sort or keep to one their unholy commandments. Therefore, until your result is finally published, do not stop asking God to take absolute control. I was always a prayer warrior during and after my exams and God showcased His Sovereignty in my academics.

If totally adhere to, the aforementioned method will cause a turn around in your CGPA and result.



Tammy Reuben Is A Graduate Of English And Literary Studies Whose Love For Teaching English As A Second Language And Providing Students With Useful Educational And Secular Information Resulted In The Creation Of This Blog.