For most students, if not all, dream is to graduate with the highest attainable level of honors or distinction in the field in which they study, be it their Bachelors, Masters or PhD in any given field of study. Some schools start calculating credits to a degree excluding the first year of undergraduate studies, while others sum all the course credits one has ever registered and completed once enrolled in the institution.
Whether it be because the institution believes that students are expected to make poor choices in the first year, especially due to ‘academic workload shock’, or the latter, we all have reached that point where the question “How exactly do I maintain or attain first class honours through to graduation?” as a student.
Here are some bullet proof ways in which any student will be able to graduate with first class honours.
- Make your courses complement each other
Hey, instead of just registering for any and every course under the sun, you can make a mental note of a strategic plan you will (in the next few seconds of reading this article) implement to give you value for your tuition buck.
You can do one of the two:
- Register with Similarity
By this I mean if there are courses which are similar to each other (eg. research based courses), you will most likely learn the same thing across the two or more courses and this will in turn boost retention and capability to apply knowledge through practice.
- Register with a balance
- Don’t stress to impress
It doesn’t, doesn’t and I repeat doesn’t make sense to try to overburden yourself with a lot of courses, especially if you do not work well under stress and you are about to start your ‘count towards your degree’ courses. Unless you and stress have some secret pact in which you get along and you are in all actuality fine with taking six courses, then more power to you! But, for those left behind, do only what you can manage. Take summers if you have to. It’s better to ace the four courses than just pass the six. Chances are you look crazier doing six courses you can’t handle than you do sane. Trust me, the degree will be there any way you put it; it’s not running away.
- Know the mark and strive towards it
If anyone didn’t know by now, to graduate with first class honours a student needs to have a cumulative GPA of 3.6. Not to mention a required ninety credits (thirty level one and sixty level two and three courses). The sooner you know this and accept it, the sooner you can employ actions to achieving your goal. Believe you can do it and make it count.
- Don’t just say you want it. Do everything in your power to ‘get the goal’
The lecturers can only do their part, tutorials can only clarify so much and notes can get you so far. You have to want to get the goal (make your dream a reality). Sleepless nights, late study hours, research times, and study groups. It’s all solely up to you my friend. The ball is in your court and it is saying ‘Come and get it.’
Fear not, the road may be long and tedious, but at the end of the tough journey you will be able to look back and laugh at all the trials and tribulations you went through as an undergraduate or postgraduate trying to attain their degree. Undoubtedly one’s tertiary education is one of the most important levels in one’s life and while you are gaining competence and qualifications, you are also building character.
“The race is not for the swift but for he who endures to the end.”
The end is only a definite time away, so don’t give up, keep the faith and keep persevering.
By Alexandra Daley