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Author Topic: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?  (Read 6209 times)  Share 

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AbominableMowman

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Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« on: February 21, 2015, 09:02:21 pm »
0
So, with Uni starting soon I want to ask everyone who has already experienced University subjects about how they study. I know that high school and university can be very different and that it's hard for many students to adjust. With the career I'm aiming for, I will need high grades and I know there will be many others in my situation. Also, how do you manage getting really high grades in uni with a active social life and extra curricular activities?

Thanks
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brenden

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 09:37:50 pm »
+20
So, with Uni starting soon I want to ask everyone who has already experienced University subjects about how they study. I know that high school and university can be very different and that it's hard for many students to adjust. With the career I'm aiming for, I will need high grades and I know there will be many others in my situation. Also, how do you manage getting really high grades in uni with a active social life and extra curricular activities?

Thanks
Become a bafflingly and slightly worrisome semi-psychotic fiend about your marks and pretend not to be one when you go outside.
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keltingmeith

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 09:46:09 pm »
+6
Do the work when you're given it, and not the day before it's due.
Accept that this is never going to happen, and develop a taste for coffee.

But in all seriousness, an issue with a lot of people is just that they're not ready for the independence associated with uni, as opposed to not being able to "adjust" to "university learning". I honestly reckon the learning is no different, just that because people can decide for themselves when to learn things, instead of a teacher telling them when they have to learn things, this is what brings marks down. Simple things like attending lectures, paying attention in tutes and doing the assigned work can go a long way.
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thelionking

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2015, 09:51:12 pm »
0
Uni is totally different to highschool. You learn at your own pace and you're not told to do work.
Make sure you do YOUR READINGS and even put effort into the little assignments/weekly quizzes that are even worth 3%. It all adds up at the end differing between an HD and a D.

brenden

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 10:20:18 pm »
+11
Become a bafflingly and slightly worrisome semi-psychotic fiend about your marks and pretend not to be one when you go outside.
I feel bad for giving this shitty answer even though I gave it because it is literally the answer to your question.

What do I mean about being a semi-psychotic fiend?

Really, by this, I'm just talking about a hyper sense of discipline that pertains to your marks less than it does your studies (as your studies will only function as an extension of your pedanticness over your marks -- if you take the 'fiend' route).

To give you an example, the first year Philosophy unit "Life, Death, and Morality" has 10 "bonus" quizzes that are each worth .5% each. So if you complete all 10 successfully, you can get 105% for the unit. Now, in my first year, if push came to shove I would likely have stayed up all night if it meant getting that .5%. (I'm serious).

This is a pretty extreme example, though, but the principle I'm trying to invoke is the idea that you need to care about the little things because they add up. The .5% probably doesn't make much difference, but what about an assignment worth 5%? 10%? 15%? I treat them all like a major essay - i.e, I make sure every sentence is perfect. This way, you build a buffer. People forget that even though there's weightings, if you get 80% in all your assessments, you get 80 for the unit. Why, then, not ensure that you get more than 80 in the small, easy ones, so you've got a buffer come major essays and exams? In a lot of the exams I've sat, I've only needed 50%-75% on them in order to HD, which is a huge advantage. Why? Because I'm unhealthily obsessive. This quite literally isn't intelligence. It's obsessive discipline. (I'm not being one of those people that's all like "i'm totally not smart I just work so hard". I am smart, but I also believe this 'fiendishness' is more conducive to a system where marks are based more on habits than intelligence).

Like, I look at people that don't hand in assessments worth 2.5% and feel like I'm going insane... did I really just see someone ignore a free 2.5%? You would be surprised by how careless a lot of people are... So my first tip is just be overwhelmingly conscientious.

How I study for my Arts degree... I go to lectures, absorb as much as I can without looking at my phone or taking notes, then I go to tutes and discuss as much as I can, and I make sure I do my readings and then I google extra stuff to get a broader, but not necessarily much deeper, understanding of what we're doing in class. So I see the where the content fits into a particular puzzle, which makes the content 'click'.

That's about as much as I can say about study habits... Really, they're just dependent upon the given pattern of assessments I get given throughout the semester. My study habits are like chess moves... I'm not sure if you're familiar with game theory decision making but that's sort of how you should approach uni. Emotionlessly and logically.

I make to-do lists and work through them, which I've always found better than schedules and which is conducive to the "work whenever you want" nature of uni. If you have a to-do list, then you can just work through the to-do list and that's all there is to it.

Everything I've just said probably tells you about how I manage a (very semi) semi-active social life and extra curricular activities... If going out would compromise my marks, I don't go out. If going out would benefit my marks, I go out.

Okay, so things aren't that morbid. The first part is definitely true, and I just go out when I feel like it, which isn't too often. I normally just relax at home - I certainly have the time to go out if I wanted to though. Essentially, when you're psychotic enough about it, you should burn through your to-do list pretty quickly and have a fair amount of spare time. When you're on top of uni and focus on it as your first priority, it's actually pretty easy. Again, I'm not being "one of those" people - but if you don't have a job and all you do is study, things are simple enough. In Arts anyway. The issue a lot of people have with uni is that they're in a situation that FORCE other things - like work - to be the top priority, and that's when the type of conscientiousness required for consistently high marks becomes tough. It's just shit, really, because some people just have to work and can't afford to focus on it. The other side of that coin is people who COULD focus on it but just don't care enough to bother. It's actually a pretty small minority that are nuts about their undergraduate marks... and, spoiler alert... they're all in Biomed. So, "how do live life and uni?" --- focus on uni and live life in the time you have remaining - which should be sufficient given you do the first task right.

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 10:45:13 pm »
+8
Pretty much agree with everything Ned Nerb said, don't half-ass any form of assessment at all because a large buffer is always good for the exam. But don't go overly neurotic and cry because you got 37/40 or something on an MST worth 10%, it's not healthy to kick yourself for not being perfect...repeatedly.

Seriously, just have a to do list on the back of your mind all the time, think of any activity that could help you (eg quizzes and acronyms), find some time to do it when you want to, and make yourself comfortable and relaxed. I generally throw out study techniques I find inefficient so I spend more time being productive. If you don't think you need to do the pre-reading, that it's irrelevant and not likely to be assessed, skip it if you feel like it. If you have time to kill, then maybe you might want to read up. Be flexible and understand how you study.

Also try not to get distracted, try find a quiet, peaceful spot to study. Avoid loud libraries if possible.
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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2015, 01:42:25 am »
+4
The above two are correct. I'd add to get a good calendar app, or use the calendar on your phone to keep yourself organised.

Keep up with your lectures, don't fall behind, don't use lectopia unless it's absolutely required, and make summaries at the end of every week. Keep up with your summaries, and you'll be surprised how fast the content comes back come exam time. Get started on assignments early, and proofread. Make sure it actually makes sense and flows (seriously, 90% of science writing I've read for friends doesn't do this,) and kill all typos (again, a really easy way to lose disproportionate marks.) Shitty writing won't get a H1, even in science. Good writing will put you on the way to a H1.

Study hard for mid-semster tests, even if they're only worth some tiny amount (like 10%.) Not only will those extra 10 marks help you come exam time, it'll solidify the content in your head.
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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2015, 03:10:13 am »
+3
  • Attend all tutorials and do all tutorial work before hand, if possible. This way, if you get the wrong answer, or even if you get the right answer, you can review by listening/looking at how your tutor answers the questions. If you prefer listening to the prof live, attend lectures. For some subjects, I find that just listening and taking down notes through recorded lectures eork best for me, simply because I can sliw doen/rewind/speed up the lecture.
  • Set yourself a study schedule for the week to come - down to how much time you'll spend doing/studying which subject. This helps esp if you're juggling it with work/volunteering.
  • Study consistently, read assigned readings, pre-read lectures, be creative with flowcharts, mnemonics, & study aids, and re-write notes (depends on the person but it did wonders for me). I try to start my final exam revision guide for each subject starting mid-semester break, filling it with revision notes for every topic thus far, and updating it every week. This way, I'm always up to date with what's happening with all of my subjects, and I can easily inter-connect previous topics with later topics, which almost always is needed in commerce subjects.

thushan

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 08:11:08 am »
+2
Also, IF you find that you have trouble paying attention in lectures, or the lecturer goes too fast for you, you CAN not attend lectures and stay home and study out of the textbook - this is what I did in Year 1 and Year 2 (can't do in Year 3 or 4 because lectures are compulsory hehe).

That said, the lecture is a pretty good summary of what you need to know, so it's excellent revision material.
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slothpomba

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 02:16:32 am »
+5
University isn't terribly hard most of the time (given you choose the right subjects for yourself). The content isn't impossible, it's learning much in the way you learned in VCE. Indeed, in some ways i believe its actually easier than VCE. I think there's far less rote grinding and mucking around. Until you get to your final years and even then, things will be more broad and shallow rather than small and thick (a lot of everything but not in huge detail).

The number one thing is doing your work. I know it sounds silly, i know all the highschool students say it wont happen to them. Oh how bushy and enthusiastic you are. A lot of people drop the ball come first year and never pick it back up again. No one cares if you dont hand in work or if you hand it in late. People get complacent. Your grades will suffer, i know mine did. Half the battle is showing up to everything, doing your work well and on time (not the night before). It sounds silly but most of those in uni here will agree with me about how true this is.

As a second point, you have to absolutely take advantage of every mark you get. 1-2% quiz every week? A lot of people forget or dont even bother. This can add up to a very easy and near free 12-24%. That's nothing to sneeze at. At best, it brings your best even further up with rather little effort. At worst, it provides a cushion for things you might not have done so well in.

There's no real trick. Show up and do everything on time. Start it early. Don't neglect easy marks. Choose subjects that are right for you. If you're no good at chemistry, don't choose chemistry in my opinion. Of course there are inspirational success stories but there are plenty of people who bombed (including me) by choosing things they weren't good at and never actually liked in the first place.



Despite exaggerated jokes, you can definitely have a social life. Unless you're a party animal, if you follow all the above tips and do your work when you should, you are able to go out most weekends if you really want. You're able to join clubs on campus.

There are sometimes complicating factors. If you live far itll be harder. I was in the Kendo club but it was 2 hours up and 2 back just to attend on days i didn't have classes. I basically spent all my days off doing that, it wasn't sustainable unfortunately. Even if i did have classes, i would get home at maybe 10-12 midnight and have to be up at 8am the next day.

If you got a huge assignment its probably not a good idea to go out that weekend then either.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 02:20:30 am by slothpomba »

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 02:40:03 pm »
+10
I think itís really important to stay on top of things and keep organised.

At the start of every semester I made a spreadsheet consolidating all due dates for all pieces of assessment into one document, so nothing snuck up on me. I could see well in advance if, say, I had three essays all due in the same week or whatever.

Iíve attached an example spreadsheet, just in case it will be of use to someone. This is a backup from halfway through a semester, because I think itís easier to see how the spreadsheet works this way.

Results Tab:

  • Colour coded by unit. (I only took three units that semester.)
  • Ordered by "Due Date", with a blue row that automatically updates with today's date and moves down the list when you refresh ordering in Column A.
  • Fill out Columns B, C and D with assessment info from your unit guides.
  • Fill out your mark for the assessment in Column E, and the weighted contribution to your final mark will be automatically calculated in Column F.
  • Column G is for Comments.
  • Column H is for you to check stuff off once you've completed it.
  • Column I is to highlight stuff that might put you through hell if you don't plan ahead for it. In the attached example, I had a group presentation and a group assignment due in the same week in Sept, and later another group assignment and an essay due in the same week in Oct, so I used Column I to highlight those.

Pivot Tab:

  • This tab takes the data from the first tab and collates it to calculate your overall percentage average for each unit based only on the assessment you've received your marks back for.
  • After entering marks in Column E of the first tab, you'll need to refresh the pivot. (Ctrl + Alt + F5)
  • In Cell B1, you need to select everything EXCEPT "blanks", otherwise your overall percentage won't be calculated correctly.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 02:44:51 pm by Fyrefly »
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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2015, 07:00:56 pm »
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To add to the above-mentioned things, if you're okay with working in small groups, do it. Help other people. Explain concepts. It helps. Get explanations for things you don't understand from multiple sources. Then summarise it. Write things down. Diagrams are amazing.

Past exams have no answers? Get together the buddies and write a solution manual. Share them around. I've done this with friends for Chemistry for the past two years and it helps SO much.



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Aaron

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2015, 08:10:57 pm »
+1
Hard work and commitment. Don't fall through the gaps. Try to attend as many lectures as you can and ask questions. Review the lecture material before the lecture, during and after the lecture. Review the recording (if applicable) and write down key points (or whatever you didn't get during it).

Many students when they start get tricked into this idea that they have "so much" free time. This was reiterated at a study skills presentation they held at my uni during orientation. 1 contact hour = approx 3 hours of self-study (obviously barely anyone follows this, but I wanted to reiterate the actual commitment required).

I think also that a genuine interest in your degree is the key to success. I know that if I didn't have a passion for IT/Computer Science, I wouldn't be in my final year. If you don't like what you're doing, transfer into something else.
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AbominableMowman

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Re: Students who consistently achieve H1s/HDs, how do you do it?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 12:40:04 am »
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THANKS SO MUCH for all of your responses. I am sure they will all be very helpful in the near future
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