Hey all !
I hope you’re well and not feeling too overwhelmed by the return to school/ work. Finally I have finished my degree and have graduated with a first class honours degree 🙂
I thought I’d share some tips on how to achieve a first class honours degree since last year, as much as 22% of UK students were awarded a first class degree, compared with only 15% in 2011 and 11.6% in 2004.I know it’s something that a lot of people desire but I must reiterate that it is not easy but hopefully by following these tips, you will be closer to achieveing that first. Here we go:
Pick topics you’re passionate about
In theory, the whole point of doing a degree should be to expand your knowledge in the field so you should pick a wide array of topics. However, if you study topics that you’re totally uninspired by, this will be reflected in your work as you will not be motivated to study and your essays will be mediocre. The same goes to choosing your degree- choose something that you truly love as you will have to study it for 3 years. I dropped my minor in my degree during my second year as it was depressing me and it was the best decision I ever made so don’t be afraid to talk to your personal advisor if you’re not totally satisied with your course.
Learn the importance of lectures
I know you may have bunked lessons in the past as you were able to study independently with the help of text books or online materials back in school, however university is a totally other ball game. Indeed, very few courses have their own textbooks since the lecturers will have designed the course and have gotten influence from all sorts of journals or books. Therefore, you need to attend lectures to get the basics down and then you need to research as lectures are only the base to your knowlegde, which definately needs to be expanded on to get a first.
Likewise, you need to know when a lecture will not benefit you so that you can make the most out of your degree. By this I do not mean bunk for the sake of not waking up for a 9am lecture, but rather choose your time wisely, in particular towards deadlines. For instance, if you have an all course work course and the lecturer has covered the books/films etc. that you will write your essay about, then do not go to lectures about the other books that you won’t write about. Be selective and wise.
I cannot stress the importance of breaks. If you don’t make space in your study diary for a little down time, you’ll either burn out or get totally fed up and start procrastinating even more. Even if you feel like you have tons to do or no one else is taking breaks, trust me you need to and others are probably doing the same. What I used to do would be to do a task for 30 mins and then watch a series for 30 mins. Choose a schedule that works best for you and learn and adapt as you go. Your body will thank you for it.
Research, research, research!
As mentionned before, lectures are only the introductionary tip of the ice berg of your knowledge. You will need to research to become well informed. Start with the suggested reading and then use other sources that you find independently this. This will impress your lecturers as long as your sources are relevant and you will be well on your way to getting a first.
Well those were my top tips for getting a first class degree and I hope you found them useful whether you are a first, second, third/final year student! Remember grades do not dictate who you are and you should always stay true to yourself. Any degree is worth being proud of. Should you have any questions, do not hesistate to contact me by commenting below.
Lots of love,