Attaining a First Class Honors degree in Nigerian universities and polytechnics is a remarkable achievement that requires dedication, discipline, and effective strategies. In this article, we unveil nine secrets to guide students on the path to academic excellence, aiming for that coveted First Class Honors designation in their educational journey.
In this post, I want to share with you some strategies that can help you excel academically and greatly increase your chances of making a first-class from any university or higher institution in Nigeria.
1. Set an attainable goal
Set an attainable goal and work towards achieving your goal every semester
When you arrive at the university, your number one goal is to graduate with a first-class, that is the ultimate goal. To achieve the ultimate goal, you have to break your goal into goals and spread it through every semester.
Every semester, you have a goal to achieve at least 70%, to hit this target, you divide your semester goal into tidbits of daily goals, weekly goals, and/or even monthly goals. Achieving your daily goals consistently will mean you achieving your weekly goal and subsequently achieving the goal you set for yourself that semester.
2. Develop the habit of reading
Reading is the fundamental task you have to execute to reach your goal. Hitting your target means you need to really study even when it is inconvenient.
Learn to study ahead, and make sure you have an idea of what is to be taught, that way, you will become clearer when the lecturer teaches it. You can get materials from your departmental colleagues who are ahead of you. They will guide you on what to concentrate your study on. You can get these materials immediately after school vacates or immediately after school resumes and get up to speed.
Reading a subject before class will ensure you get deeper knowledge on that subject and can ask questions where you are not clear on when you were reading.
3. Attend lectures regularly
You have to attend lectures regularly to understand your lecturer’s perspective of things. Some lecturers give exam tips during lectures and also tell you how they want their questions answered.
Try to avoid distractions during lectures, and try as much as possible to sit where you can hear the lecturer clearly. Do not sit with friends as they, most of the time will distract you in class.
Always ask questions in class for clarity, more clarity means more understanding of the subject.
4. Understand every lecturer and their unique styles
Different lecturers have different styles of operation. Understanding your lecturer’s perspective of life and question style can help answer questions during examinations.
Some lecturers repeat past questions, some will never repeat past questions no matter what. So, understanding your lecturer will help you know how to prepare for your exams.
5. Widen your learning horizon
You do not want to depend on only what your lecturer taught you. You have to explore other materials to have a deeper knowledge of the course. You can get materials from the internet and read them for a better understanding.
Widening your horizon will prepare you for any surprises the lecturer might put up; your lecturer might decide to go beyond the handouts, course contents, or even what he explained in class.
Having a deeper knowledge of a particular course does not mean you should deviate entirely from the lecturer’s views, always try to inculcate the lecturer’s view with yours, in fact, make sure you pen down the lecturer’s views first then corroborate the points with your own knowledge that you might have garnered externally.
6. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Do not underestimate the impact your health can have on your grades. If you fall really sick in school, especially during exams, then this will definitely impact your grades negatively.
Always get enough sleep, eat healthily, drink enough water, and exercise to stay healthy in school. Once you notice symptoms of an ailment, quickly visit a hospital or the school’s medical centre for diagnosis and treatment.
7. Limit your time on social media
As fun as social media can be, very little is achieved from it. In fact, studies have shown that social media adds to anxiety because you are likely to start comparing yourself to others.
Try to regulate your time on social media. Even though you may not be able to totally abstain from social media, you can cut down massively on the number of hours you spend on it daily.
Social media can be addictive and you might be glued to it all day without realizing it. You do not want to waste your day and have regrets about not hitting your target for that day.
8. Find a study partner or study groups
No matter how great your motivations are, there will be days you won’t feel it, those are the days you need somebody to motivate you. Befriending people who are equally ambitious as you will always put you ahead. If you are stuck on a subject, your partner could help and vice versa.
Studying in a group, especially during exams will open your eyes to some subjects to do not have complete knowledge on.
9. Answer questions you know best first during examinations
Answering questions you are not very familiar with first will give a bad impression as most lecturers read the first question thoroughly and tend to skim through the rest of your work.
If you comprehensively and accurately answer the first question, many lecturers may overlook an oversight they may encounter in the rest of your work.
In conclusion, study hard and smart, eat healthily, avoid distractions, befriend ambitious classmates, and answer your best questions first in exams.