Friday, 11 May 2012

Nine Steps To Makin a First Class In Nigeria

I saw this article on and I felt it was pertinent for me to share it with my readers here. you will definitely learn something from this.

It is true that the method of assuming academic success is not applicable to everybody. However, there are specific principles that you can follow in order to guarantee academic success during your time at the University. The department or course notwithstanding, earning a reputation for yourself with that CGPA or aiming to be the best in your faculty or the university depends on most of these frequently overlooked but important cues. It's quite a long post. grin If you care-read and learn or contribute.

#9 - Take Extensive Notes

Probably the most tedious of our top 10 9, maintaining a consistent habit of taking good notes is hard to do. In our present world, many students find it difficult to maintain their focus long enough to record the information given out during lectures. The advantage being that when time comes to write a quiz/test/exam, you'll be glad you have that pile of notes to review and refresh your brain with. Taking good notes is an act of learning in itself. This small but potent act goes a long way to creating the foundation for a quintessential and unparalleled understanding of the material being covered.

An excellent method is also to scribble down everything that seems useful in some manner, almost as if you were transcribing the lecture. Later, transfer and rewrite the notes into an understandable form in another notebook. This will cement the information into your mind, moving the material from your short term memory into your long term. Time and again, we seem to understand a lecture when it is delivered. Unfortunately though, a week later or two we seem to lose almost every point that was made. Note taking is one of the best ways to consolidate short term memory into long term.

#8 - Obtain Old Exams Question papers and Assignments from your senior colleagues to procure a satisfactory idea of what subject matter the instructors are most likely to test you on.

They are even more useful because you can attempt the exam/assignment as a check of knowledge, identifying weak areas that you must take into further consideration or re-study. Last semester, I was studying gluconeogenesis in Medical Biochemistry and a senior colleague of mine happened to pass by. He appeared interested and proceeded to supply me a couple of past questions. One was “Gluconeogenesis is not necessarily the reversal of Glycolysis. Explain”. Propitiously, in my end of semester examination, it was asked exactly as I was given in Number 2. It was worth 10 marks.
One common tactic many students use for science laboratory classes is to find a graded laboratory notebook from a previous year. Laboratory work is notoriously difficult with respect to time limitation and what is expected from a student’s lab report. Having a format to follow along with is a phenomenal help. Knowing where to avoid mistakes is fundamental as well.

#7 - Begin Studying For Tests and Exams EARLY

Between academics and your social life, time is not something you will have in ample quantity throughout your stay in University. One cardinal act you should always make time for is studying early for exams. There's nothing worse than leaving all of the studying for the night before an important test or exam. The stress causes you to panic and you won't perform as well as you normally would if you had studied early enough. Studying a little bit during the semester will not only make you better prepared but will also remove most stress you'd have if you leave your studying for the last minute.

Early exam studying allows a student to identify weak spots in their understanding and to prioritize their studying accordingly. Just imagine studying until the early morning of the day of your exam only to find you've completely ignored a section that you have little or no understanding in. Don't let that happen

#6 - Use Your Time Wisely in between classes as well as before and after school. There are many opportunities to sneak in some studying or homework that many students either don't realize or just don't use. I've known people who would study on the keke during the ride to and from school. I've also known people that would combine the time waiting for a lecture to begin with their study time!

Just bring your notes and instead of pinging or chatting endlessly with friends. You get a workout for your body and for your brain! Always keep your notes handy and use any spare time for simple review to make sure you're on top of the material. All of those small moments you fill with studying will really add up to a solid understanding. You'll discover that you will require less studying when exam time arrives. That's huge.

#5 - Get Your Questions Resolved
Information in your field of study is cumulative and the last stuff you learned will be instrumental in understanding the next stuff! So anytime you don't understand something or have a question about the subject matter, get your question answered as soon as you can. Whether by asking during class, after class, or by asking a fellow student - do it. You need to stay on top of the subject matter in order to be ready for the next stuff that's coming. Don't let the holes in your understanding be knowledge pits for the future!

#4 - Get To Know Some of Your Classmates
This one can be extremely demanding for many people these days. Meeting people is becoming increasingly difficult in a world of social stigmas and fears of disapproval. I'm not going to tell you how to meet people. But when you do, the benefits will become apparent. Having someone to lean on for notes from a lecture that you missed, being able to bounce questions and ideas off of somebody, and most importantly having someone to check your assignment answers with before you hand it in, are all spectacular reasons to swallow your nerves and start saying "Hi! My name is...." to the people in your class...and don't have too many female friends (winks).

#3 - Explore Other Class Resources
Many class outlines will have "optional" reading listed along with the required textbook. This is often a HUGE opportunity for easy marks and guaranteed success in the particular class. Lecturers are humans just like me and you. Their job is to relay the required material and then test you on it. If they're using the required textbook as reference for the learning part, where do you think they're going to get the material for the testing part? If you say "the required textbook", you're probably wrong! Lecturers will often take exam or test questions out of their favorite textbooks, resulting in quality assessments from a trusted source. Those favorite textbooks are often listed as optional reading material on the course outline. Also don't forget the mighty Internet. Use Wikipedia and Google as well to find extra (often better!) resources on whatever it is that you're struggling with.

2- Pre-Read Lecture Material
One night I was bored. Very bored. I grabbed a textbook for a class whose lecture I had the next morning and I began reading from the point we stopped at in the previous lecture. It was difficult to understand and took a lot of focus to push through it but the next day in class while listening to the teacher, it crystallized in my mind and was easy from then on. It had the added benefit of being committed to my long term memory giving me a better understanding of the material. It makes sense if you think about it. I was essentially learning the material twice. First, alone. Secondly, with the help of an expert. These combined into a solid understanding that I still possess to this day.

I suggest that you do this for every class. Also, you may use this technique for anything that you deem to be very difficult or abstract. That way you'll have a great head start on understanding and mastering the hard stuff, leaving plenty of time for filling in the gaps with the easy stuff!

#1 - Go To Class!
While going to class sounds too simple to be a primary concern, this is one of the most effective study habit. Going to class not only keeps you disciplined and focused on what you're at this University to do - it allows you to absorb the subject matter simply by sitting through the lectures. If you're an auditory learner, this is tremendous because listening to the explanation in the lectures will create an understanding that should be convenient enough to pass the class in itself!

If you're a visual learner then watching the notes being written on the board or reading through the slides (if available in your university) during the presentation will give you the necessary understanding to pass the class.
Going to class also ensures you have the latest news on assignments, tests, quizzes, and exams straight from your lecturer’s mouth. You don't want to be that student that shows up for class once a week only to find there's a scheduled test on that day!
You can make it. See you at the top.

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