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How to get a first class honours (>70%)

  1. May 19, 2010 #1
    So in January i averaged 70% in my exams which is borderline first class (in uk). So I am just wondering what the trick is for you people who get really high grades?

    I just come out of an exam, studied really hard for it but know I only just about passed.

    How do you brain boxes manage to keep your motivation up and regularly get really high grades? I am aiming for a first (over 70% average in the UK) and want to get as many motivation/study tips.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2010 #2
    The single biggest element that helps me get good grades is study habits. I know you said you studied hard, but in my experience how hard I study is not as important as how I actually do the studying. I could spend hours with my textbook going over notes and know enough to just pass an exam but if I did homework with a few people from class together for say, two hours, I would ace the exam. You have to find out how you learn. If what you're doing now isn't working, try something else out until you find something that does work.

    Do all the homework, even the even problems. Where you do your homework is almost as important as actually doing it. I avoid doing homework at home (ironically) and instead do it either at the tutoring lab or the library. Anywhere where that is lacking in distractions.

    You might be doing this already but try and study in a group. No more than, say, 5 or so because anymore than that and it's not really a study group anymore, heh. Talking to other people lets you figure out what you don't know and do know and you remember material much better when you teach it to someone else (and you don't just know it, you know it. If you can explain it to someone who doesn't know and make them understand then you can do the same on the test, because that's what a test essentially is.)

    Hope this helps, and good luck on your next test!
  4. May 19, 2010 #3
    ? 70% average is by no means "I only just passed" - 70% is a difficult mark to achieve in our system, if you can get that or above, you're doing well.

    Otherwise, the same study tips apply to most people along the spectrum of marks - I'm sure if you search the forums you'll find plenty. I found reading notes before lectures, then properly studying them soon afterwards is the way to go - that way, when you have questions the material is fresh in your mind and it's a good time to speak to the lecturer about it. Also, do problems. Lots of problems. Use your notes and lecture material the way in which it is intended - as a guide to what you should be studying. Notes and lectures are not complete for the course material, to get the top marks you should be going over and above - getting textbooks and tackling more difficult problems than you may be expected to. This increases understanding and means that when you're doing questions from your course you will hopefully find them much easier since you'll be used to thinking about more complex situations.
  5. May 19, 2010 #4
    Don't they curve exams?? I suggest cheating! Lol.
  6. May 19, 2010 #5
    I agree with what winowmak3r said, you need to figure out what kind of learner you are. There are different types and if you aren't learning in a way that is easiest for you brain it is going to make it difficult to commit all the information to memory.

    My physics teacher this year advice me to take small cues cards to class with me and to write little reminders of course details ( equations, helpful mnemonics, etc ) and they work rather well. I used to just stare at the pages of my textbook for hours, but with the cue cards I can read them all out, turn them over and recite them and see how well I do. You can also get a friend involved and you can test each other. It may not work for everyone, but that's the thing with memory it is unique to the individual.

    Spaced out sessions of learning also help to consolidate what you have learned, so rather than a marathon of say, 2 hours non-stop studying, split them up into 30 minute intervals and do something else in between each session.
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