How does one make first class in the university?
Most students enter the university with all enthusiasm and euphoria due to the feeling and excitement of a new environment and the prospects of making new friends coupled with freedom from parents/guardians.
Some students make up their minds on time about what they want to achieve during their stay in school while others just go with the flow.
The majority of freshmen would want to graduate with a first class in the university, but at the end of the day, just a handful are able to achieve this.
Achieving a first class in the university gives you an edge over your peers while seeking job opportunities. With a first-class also, you have a higher chance of getting a scholarship for postgraduate study, especially from world-class universities.
There are certain things one needs to do to ensure they are on the right track. This article breaks down some tips that would be helpful to any student that would want to make a first class in the university.
GRADING SYSTEM USED IN THE UNIVERSITIES
Below is a table displaying the university grading system.
|CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average)
|CLASS OF HONOUR
|4.5 – 5.0
|3.5 – 4.49
|SECOND CLASS UPPER DIVISION
|2.5 – 3.49
|SECOND CLASS LOWER DIVISION
|0 – 0.99
To graduate with first class in the university, your cumulative grade point average (CPGA) must be between 4.5 – 5.0. This means, you need to get an average of at least seventy per cent in all your courses, and that entails a lot of hard work, consistency and determination.
HOW TO MAKE FIRST CLASS IN THE UNIVERSITY
- ENSURE YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR COURSE OF STUDY
The first factor that will determine if a student will achieve first class in the university, depends largely on whether the student likes the course that he/she got admission to study.
Some undergraduate students are studying courses that were forced on them by their parents/guardians. If the student remains uninterested in the course, the chances of making first class in the university become low.
In situations where you were offered a course that is different from your preferred course, you could still change to your preferred course after your first year, but this will only be possible if you are able to make good grades in your first year.
For those that are already in their desired fields and courses, this makes it easier. Being passionate about your course of study will motivate you and give you the zeal to work towards achieving a first class in the university.
- STAY FOCUSED
To make a first class in the university, it is important you attend all lectures bearing in mind what you plan to achieve.
You need to stay focused to get the work done. Seat as close to the tutor as possible, to be able to hear well. Take notes while at it, because some tutors give special tips while lecturing and this may not be contained in the lecture notes that will be handed over to you. Always bear in mind what you want to achieve and the reason why you are in the university in the first place.
I remember how I had to always wake up so early and prepare for lectures just to be able to seat in one of the front rows. It was very hectic and stressful but it paid off in the end.
Attend tutorials, most universities have groups that organise tutorials. The aim of these tutorials is to simplify and demystify your lectures. These tutorials are mostly anchored by senior colleagues, who understand some of the courses better and may help you achieve good grades.
Do not lose focus, be consistent and work towards the goal that you plan to achieve which is to make a first-class in the university.
Consistent and focused studying is needed if one hopes to make first class in the university.
There is a saying in the holy bible that says ‘pray without season’ but in this context, it should be read without season. If you want to make a first class in the university your mantra has to be reading.
Ensure that you get ahold of your course schedule and timetable at the beginning of each semester. Read up on every topic before the lecture, and pay attention when it is being lectured. Read up on all notes for the day before sleeping. Do not carry over any class notes to the next day.
Past questions are largely available no matter the course unless it’s a new department or course. Get the past questions and solve them correctly, if you can get a marking scheme that will be better. Some lecturers tend to repeat questions during assessments.
Assignments are always given. They may just be given to help the students understand the topics better while at it, but mostly they make up part of your assessment. Please avoid procrastination, and do all assignments or projects within the specified time.
- JOIN OR FORM A STUDY GROUP
Different folks have different things that work for them but the majority of students have testified to the fact that studying as a group has helped them achieve their goal of making first class in the university.
Do not join a group that is filled with your friends alone, and the group should not be too crowded.
The study group is to help you understand things that were not so clear to you and to push you to work harder by reading more.
The study group should have its timetable, and meetings should not be too many in a week, at most, 3 times a week. This is to enable you to have your private study time.
Students have different learning styles, with some having a predominant learning style. While studying as a group is effective for many students one must decipher what works for him or her.
- RELATE WITH LIKE MINDS ESPECIALLY SENIOR COLLEAGUES
Do not be an island, associate with like minds but be careful while at it because many students have lost their way just because of the kinds of students they related with especially in their first year in the university.
In as much as it’s important to relate with like minds, one must be mindful of the kind of students they associate with. If any of the students do not have your kind of ideology of making a first class in the university or making good grades at all, then that’s a red flag and in such instances, it is better you tactically dissociate yourself.
Relate with your senior colleagues, especially those that are academically proficient. Learn from them how to study and ways to manage your time effectively. Discuss with them regularly, topics or ideas that you find challenging to comprehend.
- RESEARCH, STUDY MATERIALS ONLINE AND USE THE SCHOOL LIBRARY
Most times, some topics are hard to understand, and some lecture notes make matters worse. Just move to your school library or go online to research the topic to get a better understanding of it.
This will help you have a better understanding of the topic and will help improve your grades towards achieving a first class in the university.
- ALLOCATE A LIMITED TIME FOR YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL LIFE IN GENERAL
There is this popular saying,’ all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. There is a need to make out time for social activities which include hanging out with friends, going online to access your social media platforms, giving yourself particular days or particular times for these and sticking to them.
While relaxing from time to time is important, you need good time management to engage in pleasurable activities and also make a first class in the university.
Poor time management or more emphasis on social activities may result in poor grades, making it difficult for the student to graduate with a first class in the university.
- FEED WELL, SLEEP WELL AND EXERCISE
Food is very important for growth and development. In this case, food is very important for good understanding and retention. A hungry student is very unlikely to concentrate during lectures or while studying.
Undergraduate students will need to plan how to get their meals effectively. The options they choose will depend on their background. However, each student should know what works for him or her.
Sleep and rest are needed for growth as well as for good understanding, try to get at least six-eight hours of sleep every day. Having a good night’s sleep keeps you refreshed and ready to achieve your goal for the day.
Exercise is very important for our bodies. To stay healthy, fit and alert, one needs to exercise at least three times a week. It could just be a simple walk or running, whatever one can handle.
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, and calm nerves, especially for those who have anxiety issues. It plays a good role in easy and fast understanding.
- PREPARE FOR EXAMS
From the first day of the lecture, you have already started preparing for your exams that is, if you want to have a first class in the university but when the exams are fast approaching and your timetable is out, you need to intensify your reading to cover up any part or topic that you are lagging behind.
Revise all you have read severally and ensure to go through the already answered past questions.
Slow down on all other activities and concentrate solely on your studies. After the assessments, you will have ample time for other activities.
- EXAMS OR ASSESSMENTS PROPER
On exam days or any day of assessment, ensure you have covered all the relevant topics beforehand. Sleep well the night before, This will help you to remember better and articulate all that you have read.
Eat before coming for the exams, and try not to write any exam in a fasting state, because this may affect your performance. Read the instructions carefully before attempting the questions.
Do not get involved in any form of examination malpractice as this may lead to punishments that may reflect in your results.
Graduating with a first-class certificate from the university is very achievable. However, anyone who plans to achieve such a milestone must start early, remain consistent and be dedicated till the very end.