I love university. But I enjoy my social life, and I easily get distracted by whatever is happening in the world. But when it matters I manage to pull myself together and ace the exam. Here is how I leverage relationships, study tips, science and the software I use.
8. Know the requirements
Teachers are required to report what the outcome of a class will be. The outcome is what you will need to know by the end of the class and what will be asked on the tests throughout the semester or at the exam. This is also otherwise known as the grading rubric
This is particularly useful if you have a teacher who’s not very good at their job. They might at least have a grading rubric that you can follow to the letter. You can also use the grading rubric to contest the test results.
7. Stick to the requirements*
This is important for extra points. Sometimes it can happen that the teacher includes questions in the exam that are not part of the requirements. Or maybe even a question that you couldn’t possibly know. If this happens and you do not know the answer then technically you can ask for that question to be removed from the exam and increase your overall correct points that way.
6. Use the system to your advantage
If you know you’re in over your head, but you don’t want to get a bad grade, then fail the class and take it again next year. This is not always possible and you should only use it as a last resort. It might be a good idea to talk it through with your student advisor or school administrative worker first. Know the system before you abuse it.
5. Schedule your semester in advance
I use Google Sheets to plan my semesters. Check out this free spread sheet that I use for my own classes. It’s simple, free and it gets the job done. I also pin it into my chrome toolbar.
4. Accountability and losing money
This is probably one of the most powerful methods you could use. In order to be more productive my classmate and I made a monetary bet. We would each choose a goal we would have to accomplish by a certain date OR lose 50 bucks. This way we were always ahead of our homework and had extra time during the semester when things might’ve gotten tight.
3. Use effective study methods
If you think highlighting and re-reading are good study methods then science might suggest you’re wrong. Studies show that practice testing and spaced studying are the best methods for memorizing material. For more information see our article how to study effectively.
2. Be really self-centered when studying
Studies show that we have really good memory when it comes to information concerning ourselves. This means if you can associate what you’re studying with something personal it will leave a strongery imprint on your memory.
1. Make Smart Friends
On top of finding the smartest people in your own course. You should also check out the seniors and get friendly with them. People like helping and if you ask for advice then people are more than glad to share their wisdom. They can tell you the pitfalls to avoid and any quirks the professor might have. This way you won’t have to make the mistakes your seniors made.
Wrapping it up
There are many tricks to get straight As in college. The most important pieces of advice would be:
- Know the requirements, find the grading rubric.
- Accountability. Put some skin into the game to motivate your lazy self.
- Surround yourself with good people.