For some students, getting straight As is as easy as following off a log. For the rest of us, top marks are often tantalisingly close but still out of reach.
It’s true that there are a handful of clever-clogs who really do not have to do an ounce of work or revision and still claim an A every time. But the reality is that those who pick up straight As on their papers do so because they are prepared to put in the hours and the work to get their reward.
This is not rocket science. There is no magic formula that guarantees good marks every time. However, while there is no magic formula, there is a formula – and it’s one any student can follow and eventually reap the rewards on their coursework and term papers.
To start with, do not put off doing assignments you’ve been given. Telling yourself you’ll do it tomorrow or over the weekend is a big fat lie. You know the first time you’ll open a book is the day before the paper is due. So, stop procrastinating. Make a timetable of due assignments and prepare a work schedule around them.
Go to your classes. This may seem like a statement of the blindingly obvious. But too many of us prefer a few more hours in bed than actually making the effort to get along to lectures and classes. The books contain everything you need to learn and more. But the essence of what your teachers want you to know will be discussed in class.
And once you’re in classes or lectures, listen to what’s said. By all means, take notes but don’t obsessively take down every single word – think as you’re listening and note only what you consider most pertinent or important. If in doubt, talk to your teachers after class – they’ll be impressed that you were even there and happily offer as much advice as you need.
Eat properly and get regular sleep. Again this may seem like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but the temptation of nights out and skipping meals to save money can be overwhelming. You’ll learn more if you’re fully awake and your stomach isn’t grumbling. Trust us on this one.
When you’re working flat out to complete an assignment, give yourself a regular break. Don’t spend hours on end at the library or locked in your room without taking 15 or 20 minutes away from your books or laptop. Get some fresh air and drink plenty of water before diving back in again.
There is no great secret to success in studying. It’s all about hard work but also about finding a learning strategy that works for you. Once you’ve pinned that down, A grades are yours for the taking.