The New semester starts: Aim for an A

It is the start of a new semester for College and University students. The neat part of the winter semester is that most students have 1 semester experience so they have some understanding of what is required of a post secondary student. There will be students who come into class knowing they are aiming for an A. There will be others who hope to do well and others who believe that the teacher decides the grade.

The truth is only you can determine your grade, Starting the semester right would be buying the required textbooks. Sometimes the recommended reading is worth the purchase because it will only reinforce the texts and also give you an understanding of what your professor expects and how he/she thinks in relation to the course material. Usually students do not even consider buying the recommended reading. I would encourage you to ask the teacher why he or she recommended those books and then decide if it is worth your investment. Don’t be too quick to assume those books are not important. Most professors, including myself, only make them recommended reading and not required is because we know students are on a financial budget. Not all students could afford all the books. OSCAP and loans and bursaries give you enough money to live on but certainly not an enough to splurge on.

Tips for the A oriented student

  1. Read through the materials the teacher gives you the first class.
  2. Use your calender. Mark test dates and assignment dates for each course. Use this to help you make decisions regrading work opportunities or social engagements.
  3. Know what is required of you for the next week. If there are any assignments, complete them. Know at least 1 week in advance what you will be required to do for the next week. The teacher usually posts or gives you a syllabus that gives the dates, topics and assignments for each week.
  4. Plan – estimate at least 1-2 hours of extra study/assignment completion time for each course you are taking.
  5. Get to know at least 1 or 2 other students in the class. If this is your first semester, introduce yourself to a couple of people so you have a friend to take notes for you should you be late or absent.
  6. Sit in a place where you can see clearly and will pay attention. If you know it is not your favourite subject – sit in the front on purpose so you can be most alert and attentive.
  7. Decide that you want to learn all you can. If the teacher is lecturing – write any questions you may have on a piece of paper and ask them after the lecture or during an appropriate pause in the lecture.
  8. Do not skip class. Make the decision today. You have paid your tuition; you deserve the best education; being there is the best way to get the information.
  9. If the subject is a tough one for you, seek peer tutoring. Usually it is a service offered free to students.
  10. Form a study group with peers. If you meet once a month, for one hour to discuss the main topics, you will reinforce learning to help you and to help your peers.
  11. Take notes from the class; make notes from or in your textbook to help you understand main points and subpoints.

The truth is, you make the decision. You can decide to suceed the first day. You can set yourself to suceed by following these guidelines. Praying for help is certainly worthwhile and important. God can help you to learn, but it does require active decisions on your part to achieve excellence.

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