Get the Grade You Really Want

Whether you’re new to university or a current student looking to aim higher, fulfil your true potential with these top tips.

Buy a Sound Recorder

University lectures are fast paced and require you to absorb a lot of information, so frantically scribbling down notes with a pen and paper, isn’t the best way to remain focused. Aswell as helping you to avoid ‘gammy hand syndrome’ from writing too fast, recording the lecture allows you to sit back and concentrate. In addition to this you can revisit the lecture again and again (hurrah) and ensure you have understood the subject matter. Some essays may even require you to quote a lecturer or guest speaker, so don’t miss out on those all important quotations, as you may only get one chance to hear them.

Your Tutor is Your Best Friend

If anyone holds the key to a good grade it’s your tutor, so use their knowledge to your advantage. If you are unsure about something make sure you get in touch with them, whether it be by email or an arranged meeting in their office. In my first year I once completely misunderstood a task and ended up with an unexpected 40% mark, something in which could have been avoided with a bit of communication. Even if you feel confident to share your ideas, first to ensure you are on the right track. Remember, a couple of minor improvements could be the difference between an average grade and a good one. No one wants to discover that their overall grade was dragged down by a couple of lazy assignments, so push for those extra marks!


People studying in cafe

Group Presentations – Pick Your Team Wisely 

When the time comes for you to pick a team/partner for a group presentation make sure you’re smart about who you choose. While it may be natural to turn to your friends, it could do damage to your final mark if they have a history of missing lectures and look increasingly unlikely to make the third year. Pick ambitious people who you know are going to pull their weight, not the people who you are most comfortable around. I once to did a presentation with a mature student who wasn’t shy about her ambition to get a first and didn’t care much for the social aspect of university life. I ended up working on a subject matter way out of my comfort zone, but strong communication and work ethic ultimately resulted in a top grade.

Have Patience and Be Kind to Yourself

As every student knows you will spend a lot of time trying to demystify the meaning behind complex sentences peppered with exotic words. If you are a new student don’t worry if you feel a little dumbfounded when presented with page after page of nauseating academia. Purchase a decent dictionary/thesaurus and be prepared to spend some time analyzing the discourse, you’ll get there eventually. Trust me, it won’t be long until you’re writing like an intellectual yourself, so don’t quit on the basis that university is beyond your capabilities. I nearly did on several occasions, but if you hang in there and stay focused I’m positive you will get the grade you really want. 

So, to all you students out there, follow these very valuable top tips to really make the most out of your degree and get a grade to be proud of!

Chris Sparham



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