Academic Success


Academic Success





Practical Steps to Academic Success

Everything you want in Life is out there waiting for you to ask. In fact, you may be surprised that everything you want, somehow, also wants you. But are you willing to take the necessary actions to go get it? Apart from possibly finishing top of you class, however, the beauty of academic excellence is that it also positions you more properly for student’s politics, business, influence, etc while on campus and beyond. Starting strong and finishing strong academically at the high institution is about understanding the cycle of academic excellence made us of three (3) phases. Overall, success is tied to understanding the times and phases of life and knowing what to do at each phase.

1. Learning Tips for Academic Success

Be a student to the core: allow everything to teach you but be guided in choosing what to believe. At the onset of every semester, there are some pertinent questions. How many courses am I offering in this semester? What do I know about each of the courses? How many of my senior colleagues have I asked to speak to me on what they think I should know about each of those courses, or perhaps how it was in their time and how they scaled through? How many previous lecture notes/handouts/relevant materials have I collected from the people who just graduated from that level? How many past questions have I gathered in each of those courses either through inheritance or by photocopying from my colleagues who already have them? From all the information I have gathered, which lecturers teach which of the courses?

How does their lectures look like? What are their individual lecturing and assessment patterns? How does their quiz(s) normally look like? How do they normally like putting their questions in exam? If you have 80% positive answers to these questions, you are already “starting strong” towards academic excellence. Conversely, if you have little or no answers to these questions, that’s a poor beginning already. It doesn’t really matter how intelligent you were in Secondary school. Furthermore, when the lectures start, some more questions becomes imperative:- Usually, lecturers differ in who they are, how they teach and what they want. Do you understand the peculiar pattern of each lecturer? For instance, some may like teaching off head without any rich note thereafter, others may like dictating note while the rest will just want to teach directly from textbooks and handouts.

How much are you able to work with and follow each lecturer up according to his/her sources of information and teaching pattern? Lecturers while teaching usually drop some hints on when the quiz might be coming up, how the quiz will look like, how his questions might be framed during exam, and in fact how things work in that particular level and what you must know and do if you must pass. How serious do you normally take these hints and how well do you factor them into your studies and preparation for the quizzes and exams? If you have 80% positive answers to these questions, you are already “moving strong” in the lane of academic excellence. Conversely, if you really don’t care much about them, you’re on a weak journey to the unknown.

2. Studying Tips for Academic Success

Different courses may require different study materials, some may require just lecture notes, others may require handouts, text books, or even lecture notes of previous sets. Additionally, all studying must always be reconciled with past questions. If there are peculiar ways you think your note should be organized against the exam, why not organize it on time? If there are things you were asked to read up, why not read them up and add the key points to your note once and for all? If there are diagrams or other useful stuffs you might need to look up from textbooks or online, why not do that on time and add the summary into your note?

If you do this you will start studying an organized note on time both for knowledge and for the exam straight away. I mean you should even look at the past questions and allow that guide how you make your note against the exam. Furthermore, how do you retain the things you read? Here is a very simple formula for “Retention”. Time births consistency and consistency births retention. If you make out enough time for reading, you will be able to consistently go over and over again through each of your course materials within the semester, and when you consistently study a particular thing, retention becomes inevitable.

If you have a problem with retention, then you are probably always inconsistent in reading, and inconsistency comes from lack of enough time for a particular thing. If you become consistent with reading, the chances of your retention increases. Again, find a way to discuss each of your lecture notes with your classmates. The ultimate and greatest way to make something stick to your brain permanently until the exam day is to attempt to explain that particular thing to someone else.

3. Tips for Successful Exam Preparation

First, never write an exam if you have not solved and understood the past questions of at least the last 5 consecutive years. In OBJ and sub-objectives exams please don’t kill yourself trying to answer all the questions serially. Go round the entire script and answer the ones you know very well and are very sure of the answers, first. Come back to the beginning and go over and over the entire questions again. On the second and third round, you will discover that some questions will not actually be as difficult as you thought the first time. You will discover that there will always be more understanding of each question when you come back to it a second time.

During theory exams, write the ones you know very well first. Then come back and make sure you make an attempt at every other remaining question. Never leave out any question attempted or unanswered. The additional rubbish attempt you made in that question that nobody knew the answer, can give you an additional 3 marks that will change your 68 mark to 71 mark and you will become the only person who may have an ‘A’ in that particular difficult exam. If a theory exams says attempt 5 questions, the first rule in passing or getting a good grade in that exam is ensure you answer up to that 5 question even if it means re-writing the questions back in questions you clearly know nothing about.

4. Concluding Tips for Academic Success

After exams, there are myriads of things that can still make you fail, cover your papers in prayers until you see your results. Remember, you may not be perfect but repeat this cycle every other semester. This formula will work no matter your department or faculty. Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

5. General Life Success Tips for Students

Whatever you truly have passion for in Life, the school is the best time to practice it, make mistakes, learn and become better at it. If you have a calling into ministry to be a pastor or a priest in Life, the school is an opportunity for you to be very active in fellowship and church activities. Even to the level of becoming fellowship president, student pastor. They will all help to prepare you for the journey ahead.

If you have a call into politics and leadership, the school is an opportunity as well for you to contest at class level, departmental, faculty or even SUG. Even if you don’t contest support someone, whether you win or not, there are experiences that you can never get except you get involved.

If you are a business minded person make sure you start a business before you graduate even right in the school environment. He who must learn to fly one day, must first learn to crawl, stand, walk, run, climb and dance. You can’t just fly into flying.

If there are areas in your life you want to see changes, write down names of people who are already doing well in that dimension, honor your way into their lives and catch that grace. Nothing is as easy as it looks, but the power to shape your destiny is your hands.

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. Nothing is impossible, even the word itself says ‘I am possible’

Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career. No man becomes great by doing it all himself or trying to get all the credit for doing it. You can have anything you want in this world, if you want it badly enough and you’re willing to pay the price. Actually, to dream is free but to actualize it, you gotta pay a price.

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About Charles Ugwu

Charles E. Ugwu, is a Medical Laboratory Scientist, and an opportunity enthusiast for all Medical and Health Professionals.

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