Whether you are a freshman or a returning tertiary student, you probably realize that you need a game-plan to boost your grades before things start getting hectic. Otherwise you will end up in the cycle of always playing catchup as the lectures just fly over your head and the assignments start to pile up. The good news is that you do not need a complex mathematical formula to come up with an effective plan (it isn’t rocket science, duh!).
Here are the 5 simple steps to help you prepare and get ready to have your best academic year yet!
1.) TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY
Pulling all-nighters doesn’t deserve the respect it’s getting. It isn’t a sign of hard-work, it’s merely an indication that somehow you have procrastinated up until the deadline for submission is the following morning. The very students who always complain about there not being enough time to complete stuff are the ones who start the week without drawing up a simple schedule around their days. They end up focusing on some subjects too much, compared to others, or worse, keep postponing easy homework until by the end of the week they have a huge ton of things to do all at once. Since these tasks are rushed, the lack of careful attention often shows in the final submission. You should know that the university syllabus was designed by people like you, who have the same 24 hours in a day, so they probably know that you will have ample time to complete your work and still have a bit of free time to spare on weekends, PLUS a good-night’s sleep; which brings us to the second point.
2.) Have at least 6 Hours of sleep (You Need It Anyway!)
Ever wondered why some days you just feel drained-out even though it’s the first period in the morning? Probably you didn’t have enough sleep. You are not a machine! Your body, regardless of the gallons of coffee and energy drinks you consume to stay awake, does need rest at some point. And it just so happen that the minimum you can go at it, proven by research, is exactly 6 hours, no less. Also, it’s important to keep your sleeping time and your body clock consistent. Click here for a more in-depth article about how to stop falling asleep in lectures.
3.) READ UP BEFOREHAND
Even if it’s just for a mere 10 minutes of browsing your book, or an even quicker Google Search, coming to lectures prepared should be your new daily ritual. It helps you get a feel of what to expect and thus ask the right questions should the opportunity arise. You will go into lectures with far more confidence than most of your peers who just so happened to stumble there. Even if the subject matter is desert-dry, you will discover that you become far more interested in what the lecturer has to say instead of, say, thinking about that cozy bed you left in your room.
4.) Tackle Tasks One at a Time
After a day of lectures you might feel discouraged when you think of the sheer amount of work you have to do. This very “feeling” is the start of the procrastination trap, beware! When you have attended everything, the first task immediately afterwards is to jot down a list of every homework, assignment and project you have to do. This way it becomes easier for you to know which ones demand your urgent attention, and which ones can be pushed back last. The mere act of planning out your strategy to tackle different tasks will give you the drive and motivation to start.
5.) Consult, Consult and Consult!
Here I have used the words consult 3 times for a reason. The first consultation is yourself. Take the initiative to go over your lecture notes and research the concepts which are not clear. Thereafter the next thing to do is to consult with your classmates; ask them questions about what was being taught in class, or maybe have a look at their notes and compare them with yours to fill in the missing gaps. Then for those concepts where self and peer consultation fails, who else is better to consult than the person who taught you in the first place? Most universities have made it mandatory for lectures to set aside some time for consultation in their offices; use them!
So there you have it. These are the 5 things that are guaranteed you crush this academic year on another level. As you have read, none of them is really that hard to implement as consistent habits all through the year. If you think I have left anything out, feel free to leave a comment below and SUBSCRIBE for more articles like these posted weekly!