Generally, grades are the measure of college success and your grade-point average is an objective indication of how you are doing.
If you are aiming for good grades, there are a few tips that will help you as you move along in your academics. It is important you know that getting a good grade is not easy to come by. However, a quick perusal of some principles that will be outlined below will be a sure guide to making good grades in the University
1. Stay Organized
You may have been one of the lucky few who has never needed a planner before, but the university is all about multitasking, and you can easily get overwhelmed with due dates, meetings, and other demands on your time. Here are some tips for getting organized:
- »Use a planner or other organization system.
- »Stay current with due dates/course calendars. It’s not enough to have a system — you have to use it. So once you have some sort of system, get in the habit of using it (and it will soon become second nature).
- »Keep homework, tests, and class papers in central location. Don’t just throw old homework assignments or tests in the back of your car or the floor of your dorm room. You’ll need these for studying for future tests, for meeting with your lecturer to discuss them, and for figuring your grade in the class… so, keep all your class materials in a central location.
2 Attend Classes Regularly
Going to classes might be an obvious point but in fact, it is the most important aspect of getting good grades. How do you truly learn if you do not attend your classes regularly?
Attending lectures and seminars frequently can be very tough, but if you desire a good grade you have to make going for your lectures a habit. This habit will keep you disciplined and focused. It will help you absorb the topics as they are being taught in class. There is also a chance for you to ask your instructors on any part that seems confusing to you.
Going to classes will also help you keep abreast with the class information. You know when a quiz is coming up, you know if an assignment is given and the deadline for the submission.
Paying rapt attention and listening to the lectures as if you are learning the subject matter for the first time. You need to make that first time learning really worth the while. However, that first time learning is not enough at all.
3. Study Extensively and Engage in Research
Do not say that because you have attended all your lectures and seminars, you are ready for the semester examination.
Although attending lectures is important but the hours you put in outside of the classroom is as well important. It is pertinent that you should be spend at least three hours outside of class for every hour in it. And for some classes, you’ll find you need a lot more time than that to master the material. So, here are some suggestions:
- »Study early and often. Breaking your studying into shorter periods of time will make less of a chore — and give your mind time to absorb the material before moving on.
- »Develop and practice good study habits. Make it a habit and studying will become second nature to you.
- »Know how you best study, learn material. Some people need complete silence to concentrate while others like a little noise. Find what works for you and stick with it.
- »Study with friends to gain support, but… don’t turn it into a social event. A study buddy can be a great tool, as long as you actually get some studying accomplished.
Extensive research about your academic interest will help you form a critical mind, you begin to develop your own opinions, and you are likely to impress your tutors with this
4. Early Preparation/Time Management Skill
By early preparation, you can tell quickly your weak areas and you will still have much time at hand to improve on those areas. This will ensure that no matter where the instructor is going to test you on, you are well covered
On time management skill, even if you do not procrastinate and you are the most organized person in the world, time can be one of your biggest enemies in the university. But don’t worry here are some tips for using time wisely:
- »Tackle harder work first. Yes, tackle the harder stuff first so that you are sure to have enough time to complete it. You’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment completing the work in this order.
- »Take breaks as reward for work. Reward yourself for completing a major task by taking a break and chatting with a friend or watching some television. Not only are the breaks good motivation to help you complete something, you’ll also be more refreshed to tackle the next bit of work after a break.
- »Break larger projects into smaller, easy-to-accomplish pieces. If you have a massive term paper due at the end of the semester, break up the work into smaller chunks and assign deadlines to each part.
- »Do not overextend yourself; learn to say no. Besides all your academic work, you will also be asked to get involved in all sorts of clubs and organizations while in college — and at some point, you will have to learn to say no to some requests of your time.
5. Learn the Art of Presentation/Rules of Writing
Learning how to present your ideas through the use of a perfect presentation also contributes to your academic standing. A presentation that is devoid of poor grammar, spelling, blunders, and is well-paragraphed, with ideas flowing one after the other will show your lecturers that you know what you are doing.
You need to brush up your writing skill as this will help you convey your opinions effectively. In fact, it will help you breathe a life into a very dull subject.
Many classes require one or more writing assignments, from short responses to term papers, and you’ll do better on these assignments if you follow these rules of good writing:
- »Organize your thoughts before writing. Stream of consciousness works in a diary or journal (and may have worked in high school), but it’s best to map out an outline before you start the actual writing.
- »Understand requirements for paper. Every professor has a specific way he or she wants a paper organized, and it’s best to know them before you start to write. Be sure to understand the reference system and all the mechanics of the paper (font, margins, cover sheet, footnotes, etc.).
- »Write a draft (and get feedback when possible). Especially for larger papers, you’ll have a higher quality paper (and a better grade) if you can show the professor a draft early enough before the deadline to make changes.
- »Rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite. Learn that editing and rewriting are your friends. No one is a good enough writer to whip out the final draft in one sitting. The best writers go through a process.
6. Master Your Lecturers
Every lecturer (professors inclusive) has a different personality and system for running his/her classes, so it makes sense as early in the semester as possible to learn what the lecturer wants. Here are some ways to master your lecturers:
- »Understand course expectations. Most lecturers give out a class syllabus during the first week of classes — and it is your responsibility to know deadlines and all the requirements for the course.
- »Understand professors on personal level. Rather than viewing the lecturer as some figurehead at the front of the class who decides your fate in some abstract way, get to know your lecturer as a person. Visit him or her during office hours, or stay after class.
- »Communicate with lecturers when you are struggling. Especially at larger universities, the lecturer won’t know when you are struggling, so if you are having problems with the course work or the tests, schedule an appointment to meet with the lecturer and get the help you need.
7. Make sure You Use the Recommended Textbooks
Lecturers assign textbooks for a reason — and it’s not to make you broke; it’s to supplement the lectures and discussions from class. Do buy all the textbooks — and follow these tips for using it:
- »Read all assigned material. Sounds obvious, right? When a lecturer assigns a chapter, read the whole thing (unless told otherwise), including the opening vignettes, the case studies, and tables and exhibits.
- »Know what’s critical. At the same time, know what parts of the text are most critical. For example, in one of my classes, the vocabulary is most critical, and the textbook emphasizes the point by having all the terms and their definitions printed in the margins of every chapter.
8. Be a Good Test-Taker
Exams are the major portion of your final grade, so it’s important to become a good test-taker. Here are some hints:
- »Know what to expect on exams. Every lecturer has a style of test development, so obtain old copies or ask the professor directly. Know the types of questions that will be asked — as well as the content that will be covered.
- »Read questions carefully and plan answers. Take your time at the beginning of the test to read through all the instructions and make a plan of attack.
- »Pace yourself so you have plenty of time to complete all parts. And know the point values of questions, so you can be sure to complete the most important ones first in case time does run out.
If you don’t understand something, or need clarification of the question, ask the lecturer. Don’t wait to get the exam back and find you answered a question the wrong way.
9. Become a Fast Note-Taker”
Another reason for attending class is recording the class notes. These notes are vital clues to what the professor thinks is the most important material for you to learn, so besides taking notes, learn how to better use them to your advantage. Here are some specifics:
- »Be an active listener in class. Don’t read the newspaper, gossips with friends, or text your roommate during class. Instead, listen attentively and actively — and ask for clarification when you need it.
- »Take good notes in class. Whether taking notes from scratch or following a professor’s outline, the key for you will be to get the most important details down so that you can refer back to them when you need them.
Rewrite or organize notes outside of class. This suggestion may sound a little extreme, but the writing-to-learn literature shows that you can increase your understanding and retention of material by rewriting it.
10. Maintain Good Health
- Maintaining a good health is very crucial to your success as a student. You do not burn yourself out all in the name of getting a good grade. Proper time management can help you avoid this.
- You need to include the time you will spend on exercise in your schedule. Exercising helps, you keep fit and stay sound.
- You also need to eat the right kinds of food that will fuel your brain and improve your assimilation level.
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