• Ways to get an ‘A’ in that course.

    You know the drill if you want to do well in school, study hard. But it isn’t always as simple as it looks. Sometimes, even after giving your best the results on the score sheets hits you way below the belt. This week, Saturday School Life (SSL) shows you that it is not just hard work, but smart work that counts. Here are some surprising, yet legitimate ways you can better, one course at a time:

    1) Get noticed for good

    Engaging in eye service just so you can get in your lecturer’s good graces will most definitely backfire, but getting noticed for good is a totally different ball game altogether. It means asking relevant questions and giving relevant answers in class. It means being on time and on your best behaviour. Ethically, being the lecturer’s friend should not give you any marks, but by being a good student, you’re less likely to lose marks.

    2) At least don’t get noticed for bad

    Perhaps you’re on the quiet side and would much rather stay in your shell. That is fine, people like you get As all the time. It’s better to remain undercover than to get noticed for bad traits. Ethically, lecturers are not supposed to give you scores based on behaviour unrelated to your performance, but education around the world is a subjective thing. If there’s some mistake in your results, it would be more difficult to approach your lecturer if you’re notorious for being late, unserious, or rude.

    3) Go the extra mile with assignments

    Apart from hoping your prior preparations would be enough to see you through, there’s almost nothing else you can do in an examination hall. Not so with assignments. If you can get past the fire brigade approach to getting assignments done, you are more likely to do excellently in a course. This is because you have more than enough resources at your disposal. If the situation demands, don’t just settle for normal assignment formats. Research more materials, reference them properly, find out what makes the lecturer’s intellect tick, and do it!

    4) Have a good relationship with classmates and lecturers

    Relationships run the world. Not the familiarity concept that gets many people in trouble, but the mutual respect that should thrive in an academic environment. Having relationships with lecturers might mean that you’re more likely to be privy to information that others might not be. This does not include illegitimate stuff like being exposed to test questions, but it helps you understand the lecturer more. You could find out if he likes lengthy responses or short answers; his take on a controversial subject in your field of study etc. The important thing is not just to study the course, but the lecturer as well.

    5) Tutorials or no tutorials?

    The issue of whether or not to attend tutorials is almost always a sore spot for students. Some tutorials organised by off-campus merchants tend to go away from the scheme of work. Sometimes other times, tutors can be clearer than lecturers.

    Even if you must attend tutorials, make sure you are at par with what the lecturer taught in class. If the tutorial is organised by the lecturer, don’t miss it for anything. If it is organised by someone who has done the course before, find out if he/she was taught by the same lecturer. If not, be sure he/she is also at par with your lecturer’s style as well as any changes the lecturer must have made.

    6) Back to the Basics

    You know those ‘cliches’ about studying hard, doing assignments on time, attending class, and refusing to cheat? They still apply to academic success. Maybe that’s why they have been around for so long.

    7) Go beyond the scope

    Whether or not you get an A, the true essence of education is what it can do in the real world. So be sure you don’t just limit yourself to what is taught in class.

    Find out more. Be more practical in the knowledge you gain. Even if it doesn’t help you in that course, it sure will in the examinations of life.
    Culled from Vanguard Newspaper

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