Sunday, 11 June 2017

Tips on how to do great in a course

     An adage goes: "He that fails to plan has planned to fail." If you intend on doing well in a course,  you should have strategies on how to tackle it.
Outlined below are helpful tips on how you can go about this:

1. Start early:
 Before the beginning of the semester, you should know the courses you will offer,  the recommended textbooks and past questions. While others are still returning and recovering from the holidays, you should have started going through your books.  This does not necessarily mean that you should get all that textbook into your head but going through it would give you an idea on what you are most likely going to face.

2. Attend lectures:
   Although people have different ways of learning, it is nevertheless advisable to attend lectures as much as possible. Lectures can make a course easier to understand than mere reading it in a textbook. They give you an idea on what the lecturer expects from you in exam,  you will be able to ask the lecturer questions and sometimes, all that you need to pass an exam is to write what the lecturer gave in class.  If you cannot attend lectures,  at least get the notes from those that went for the lecture.

3. Get help! :  If you find a course difficult,  do not be ashamed or afraid to meet your course mates,  lecturer or any other person that has better understanding of it.  If the person you meet does not know or refuses to help,  meet another person.  One tough  topic you have been seating on for hours can be made easier within minutes  by just an explanation.

4. Develop passion: Have you noticed that you hardly hesitate to learn new things concerning the things  you are passionate about? So it is with courses! You tend to do better in courses you are passionate about. You want to do well in that painfully boring difficult course? Then be passionate or make yourself passionate about it,  at least till you are done with the course. They say, "Fake it till you make it ". Convince yourself by saying things like: "I love this course! ", "This is great course even if I don't see it as such now.", "This course would help me in future one day" . Then put in your best like your whole life depends on it.  You will be surprised on how much better you will eventually do in that course.

5. Discuss:
 Edgar Dale said "We retain 10% of what we read, 70% of what we discuss with others and 95% of what we teach others." By discussing what you have learnt with your course mates, it would not only stick better  but it would alert you to your mistakes. Sometimes it was those group discussion prior to exam that made you realise what you missed in your personal reading. Even explaining a difficult topic to your course mate can make you understand the course more.

6. Read to know and not just to pass: As much as possible, read your course to really understand it.  This can be painstakingly slow and mentally demanding, so it is best to do this before or early in the semester. Do researches and read widely especially books related to the course.  Not only would you gain more information that would help in presenting a better work in assignments or exams,  you will not easily forget what you have an in-depth understanding of compared to what you cram.

7. Be informed: No man is an island. Stay abreast of what is happening in class so as to know any information  concerning assignments to be submitted, expected tests,  scheduled practicals or classes and exam venues.  One vital piece of information can save someone from missing an exam.

8. Think positively: "Reach for the stars and if you don't get them,  you will land on the moon" . Believe you will pass and discard every thought of failure. People have successfully passed this course,  so why can't you? Aim for the highest possible grade,  impossible as it may seem.  You will see that even if you do not get that grade,  you will get close to it.  Believe you will pass it this time even if you did not pass it before. Have faith in yourself, in God and think big!


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Mimie Walks