Hello friends, it’s a pleasure hooking up with you again on this amazing platform. I trust we’re ready for another jolly ride! a ride to First Class
Today, our focus will be on how to ‘up your academic game’.
We will talk briefly about a few tips on how to boost your grades and quite possibly, hit that elusive First Class cadre.
So, let’s go…
1. Make your lecturer feel significant.
Now, what I’m suggesting is not brainless cronyism but an intelligent evaluation of your instructor’s personality and therefore building an improved version of whatever he or she serves you as his or her student. Your lecturer gets mad at you for not taking notes or listening in a class (albeit on a subliminal level) because he or she feels despised by your perceived disregard for his person.
This may sound like a needless involvement of psychology but trust me, we’re all psychological beings. Mastering the psychological terrain and the accompanying mind games is ‘sine qua non’ for success in any field of human interaction, so is a First Class grade too.
Also, along with the same lines, if you will in any way bring to bear what you learnt from another source on what your instructor taught, do so with such approach as to magnify your lecturer’s competence rather than his deficiency.
Essentially, I’m advising you to stand on your lecturer’s shoulders rather than his toes to reach higher. There is a huge difference. Be better than him with him, not without him. Seeing this cooperative spirit, he’ll have no choice but to reward your cooperation.
2. Your ‘NOW’ may not depend on your ‘PREVIOUS’.
Of course, we all know this but how often do we think it is necessary to evaluate our track record in order to squeeze extra performance out of our given abilities?
Evaluation and correlation do not just work for experiments and machines, they also work for humans! In fact, the basis for the overall assessment for students in higher institutions is the CUMULATIVE Grade Point Average (CGPA).
But the truth remains that, our approach and thinking as regards our ability to influence our performance positively, hardly ever factors the cumulative dimension – at least, based on my observation of students in my immediate environment.
For most students, past questions are as far as this goes. But what happens when one or more of the major variables at play changes – curriculum, lecturer, analogy, application, principle?
So, developing a holistic framework that is adaptive as well as robust for self-evaluation and overall performance correlation is most certainly needed to fit our reality to our desires.
3. Your ‘NOW’ is not enough to determine your ‘NEXT’.
Fatalism and apathetic lethargy are the doom of most folks around. While this does not have to be, they cling to the easier path of staying downtrodden rather than standing up and sticking up.
I’ll admit, there are so many times that feeling utterly powerless after not exactly passing a test that you confronted prepared and confident. But I would also tell you that the sweetest victories I enjoyed as an undergraduate were the ‘bounce backs’ – where flunking is immediately followed by flying.
Too few students leverage on their innate power of resilience, just too few! In my experience, persistent effort does yield results, you just have to make sure you’re not repeating your mistakes (or something just as silly). Having been brought so far by what you do, you can alter your direction by what you choose. So, don’t sit on your butt; take responsibility for your success and move up to First Class!
4. First Class students are very human.
This one is quite funny.
You hear people call academically sound students names like Guru, wizard, Brainiac, Prof and so many other positively embarrassing names (I actually got a few of those during my undergraduate days, and I’m still addressed by some till now). This christening ritual sort of ‘deifies’ these First Class students such that there is this psychological distance we unconsciously create between them and us.
Therefore, a lot of people leave the First Class grade for the ‘gods’ and they themselves settle for the crumbs! Names are powerful entities; its mystery forms the basis for the structure of cognition and identity formation. In other words, the name by which we address a person or a thing will determine how we relate to it. While I do not say we should not acknowledge these guys (which have definitely earned the tag), we should, however, do so without taking the psychological self-disrepute that goes along with it. You should also work towards those goals that make your name change from the neutral to the extraordinary, all humans can.
5. Enjoy the journey.
Yeah, right… You want to make that First Class, you want to make it so bad you can’t afford to see anything else. You put everything else on hold and you scorn all other activities – edifying and unedifying – all are alike and are not worth even a blink of your time. You pile up resentment and discontent, so much that you disconnect from life’s very essence – process.
Your focus is critical to success, tunnel-vision, on the other hand, tends to limit one’s prospects.
Specialization is key to effectiveness, marginalization will, in the long run, make one inept. Get the difference? By the way, when I say you should enjoy the journey, I don’t mean subscribing to wanton revelry. However, what I mean is having an open mind towards all that can be learnt in life – that in itself constitutes true education; that rich and rounded experience that not only improves your life but will ultimately improve your aptitude when it comes to applying what you’ve learnt.
Rote learning, that which emphasizes knowledge excluding imagination and experience will do more harm than good to one’s ambitions.
Do you want to be the best? Give your mind a healthy and balanced diet, you’ll see that the results are splendid indeed.
- Be the best juggler you can find.
Don’t mind me, I just like drawing funny but apt analogies from mundane things. While a juggler may be regarded as a mere Jester and a far cry from the highly regarded intellectual, they actually have the basic principles of thinking in common – applied albeit to different things. It is balance. Balancing 9 or so courses per semester is quite similar to synchronizing the throw and catch of several balls in the air at the same time.
Whatever you’re balancing, balls or several courses, it is important that you let none slip, even the so-called insignificant ones. Imagine clearing all marks in all courses except one, except a one-unit course so unlikable that it makes you so miserable. The misery it gives is so repulsive, you just had to fail it. How beautifully smeared will your result be indeed.
First Class performance is exactly what it is – First Class! No lax, no slip-ups, no loopholes; all bases are so thoroughly covered and irrespective of animosity towards a course or its tutor, the student should ensure a balanced array of results, not a lopsided blotch of great and ghastly scores.
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