All students are dreaming about good grades. However, academic success doesn’t come overnight. Well, at least if there’s no a tutor who can direct your efforts. Luckily enough, you have such a tutor, and she’s ready to give you a helping hand☺
At the moment, my task is to warn you there’s no “magic pill” that will make a brilliant student. But there are a number of tips that might significantly increase your chances of success.
From a Confused Freshman to a Senior Year Star: Winning Rules to Get Good Grades
Follow these simple rules to get good grades always.
Rule 1: Stay Disciplined and Always Attend Your Classes
A rule of thumb is to stay disciplined, no matter what. I know that some classes are dull, and you might spend time on more interesting things. But the trick is to prioritize and never miss an opportunity to learn.
However, let me urge you not to attend classes just for the sake of attendance. The task is to make the attendance productive, and it is achieved as soon as you:
- Absorb the material.
- Participate in classroom discussions.
- Sit close to the front. Don’t know exactly how it works, but teachers consider such students to be more motivated and reward them with better grades☺
Rule 2: Make Sure You Understand What Your Professor Is Expecting from You
Understanding learning requirements is half success. Mastering your professor is another half. While the latter recommendation might sound strange, it actually means that:
- You understand your professor(s) at personal level. Your task is not to become a teacher’s pet, but to lay the foundation for productive cooperation by getting to know your professor’s personal qualities, interests etc.
- You contact your professor when struggling. The best way to get out of the mess is to communicate the problem to your professor and ask for his/her assistance.
Rule 3: Organize Your Working Place and Time Wisely
Your working environment is a reflection of what is happening in your head. A mess on your table and shelves most commonly means a mess in your head. So, you’d better clean your working place before studying.
By the way, having a simple and orderly place saves your time, as there’s no need to look for a book, a rubber, a ruler or any other supplies. I bet you’ll appreciate this piece of advice at the end of the academic semester, when there’s too much on your plate!
Rule 4: Eat the Frog
Eat the frog, even if you’re a vegetarian. Well, this nasty advice actually means doing some unpleasant thing first.
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first” (Mark Twain).
If writing an astronomy research paper is your “frog”, eat it first… If mathematical calculations are your “frog”, eat it first…Well, I hope you’ve got it.
Rule 5: Never Give Up
Even the most brilliant students have difficulties with studying from time to time. Paraphrasing Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra, we can say that
“Learning is just a simple game between up and down…” So every time you’re faced with some academic problems, remember there’ll come a minute when “things go around.”
Make patience and optimism your most valuable learning asset.
Rule 6: Take Every Opportunity to Learn Something New
Your learning should not stop once you leave the classroom or close the book. Life itself offers a myriad of opportunities for learning and you should never ignore them. That’s why I strongly advise you to visit libraries, museums and concerts, travel and communicate with people. Actually, communication is a wealth of knowledge, so making friends is not only pleasant but also very useful.
Rule 7: Make Friends with People Who Have Achieved Success in Your Field of Study
Making friends with people who have already succeeded in your field of study is a good idea for at least two reasons. In the first place, they’ve accumulated valuable knowledge and experience and will hopefully share it with you.
At the same time, people who exercise your profession can help you to start a career in the field. Did you know that 80% of jobs aren’t posted online? If this statistics is a revelation for you, then it is time to make friends with those who can recommend you a job or to an employer once you get a diploma.
Rule 8: Be an Active Listener
Every time you communicate with someone, there’s an opportunity to learn something new. Unfortunately, quite many people miss their chances due to poor listening skills. That’s why I recommend you becoming an active listener, a fully concentrated on what is being said. There’s a huge difference between “hearing” and “listening”, you know.
Rule 9: Follow Formatting and Writing Rules
Having good ideas is great but hardly enough. Even the most brilliant thoughts may come unnoticed if your writing is chaotic and contains numerous errors. Just like people are judged by their cloth, academic works are scored by their adherence to formatting and writing rules.
Rule 10: Polish Your Verbal Communication Skills
In addition to honing your writing, I strongly recommend to polish verbal communication skills. These skills are important in virtually every situation: making friends with someone, negotiating, asserting one’s point of view, resolving conflicts etc. The good news is that life provides us with ample opportunities to polish verbal communication skills. But if you think those opportunities are insufficient, practise your speaking in front of the mirror and you’ll be impressed by the results achieved.
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