Up until grade eight, I was always among the toppers. My grades were always in 90% or above range, i.e. mostly A+.
As I changed my school in grade eight, I had to compete with so many more students, some of them managed to get my morale down and tricked me into believing I was not good enough and that I could not score well.
The result, first semester result, grade eight, my grades dropped down to 76%, a whopping 14% decline.
That should tell you how much your self confidence matters. I passed the next four years of my life with the similar kinds of grades. In the higher secondary, my grade sheet showed the result as 70%. I was unable to get into a university of my choice. All I wanted to study was computers and nothing else. I was unable to do so and that was it. I decided wherever I will go; I would reclaim the top ranks, be the best learner and show it too. My parents, teachers and everyone around told me I had potential and somehow it just did not show up on my mark sheets which should.
Now, before you go on ranting about how mark sheets are un-important and you can do a lot in life without them. Let me clear something, I agree with your view point but these can be helpful as well. I like having least resistance everywhere. When I am scoring well, my parents and peers don’t mind the fact that I work on my hobbies like writing or bringing out the best in people by coaching them and in fact ever since I started to score well, I have been appreciated and encouraged to indulge in these pursuits even by my own parents who at one point of time were against it.
I looked around on the internet and planned. I decided to tweak some things here and there and see if I can improve by a five or 10 percentage of marks in my college. The result, after one year my result was somewhere around 84%, I had done it. Just one year. Imagine if you could just improve your mark sheet by a measure of half a point of your GPA or just 5% of marks, which is easily achievable in six months. I took some very fundamental steps, which I am going to share with you.
- Attendance: Every topper, an ‘A’ grader has this trait in general. Attending lectures regularly. Be highly regular. My average attendance during past one year has been more than 93%. My grades have undergone a drastic change because I took drastic steps. If you take small steps, you will improve by the same measure. But, the important thing is you WILL improve.
- Make Notes: Being present in lecture hall is one thing and listening to the lecturer is another thing. To make notes follow these steps, these will naturally help you.
- Try getting a seat in the front side of the class for the beginning few weeks, should not be much of a hassle: This has several advantages, firstly, you will have to listen to the teacher as you will be sitting near them. Notorious back benchers won’t be around so you will be able to study better.
- Write down in the class : This helps you to retain a lot what is being taught, when you begin studying for exams, you have the material to study from and you already know more than half of it.
- Bond with two or three kids in the class who already are on the ‘A’ list: This will help you clear your doubts when the teacher is not available and the added advantage is these people are usually more disciplined than others, which will help you as a person too. These people will encourage you to study on the off days you have. That will make things easier for you.
The things I have mentioned above do require quite a bit of discipline, but if you try it ain’t that difficult. If you have been an average student with exceptional potential doing these three things will help you get much better grades than you are doing.