How to Get Straight A’s at Tertiary – In Class

Student mental health and emotional wellbeing support

How to Get Straight A’s at Tertiary – In Class

ICYMI – check out the first part of this blog HERE which covers what you should do before class in order to get good grades. Also remember our disclaimer that tertiary education is drastically different to school, so, although A’s are possible and a worthy goal, be realistic about our lofty article title.

Steps to Academic Success

Here are our tried and tested methods for thriving in the tertiary academic space:

1. Go to Class

This is non-negotiable. All sorts of juicy tips are tossed out – but you have to be there to hear them.

2. Sit In The Front

The reasons for this top tip are four-fold:

  1. It is easier to see the screen which protects you from eye strain. (Read more HERE)
  2. You will be more focused and engaged, less likely to be distracted by your phone, laptop etc.
  3. Your lecturer will get to know you. Having a comfortable relationship with your lecturer is essential for consultations, queries, and when it comes time for them to mark your work.
  4. If you feel foolish about asking something, nobody can turn around to look at you!

3. Take Good Notes

It is impossible (and pointless) to write down everything being said in your lecture. The skill required in university and college is to listen critically and write down only the key information. (This will, of course be easier when you have prepared the night before as discussed previously.)

Because you are not taking notes verbatim, it is easier and more effective to write your notes by hand rather than on your laptop. (Read more HERE) Learn to abbreviate words to make note-taking faster.

Note-taking from a textbook shouldn’t be full sentences, but rather annotations, arrows, and highlighting in the book. (If you can’t write in the textbook, create a summary in your own words for each section.)

Review your notes every night – not studying them, but just skimming through to check your understanding. If you realise your notes / understanding are lacking in some way, prepare questions for the next lecture or consultation.

4. Read the Book

No excuses of “they didn’t go over that” will be accepted when lecturers almost always tell you that lectures, homework, and the reading material is all fair game for tests and exams.

5. Consult

Take advantage of your lecturer’s office hours and book a consultation to ask clarifying questions and get in a little one-on-one trying to understand the material.

  • DO go prepared.
  • DON’T leave it till the last minute when you will have to fight off 100 other students complaining about the F they got on their test.

6. Study Tips

Using your study timetable will give you sufficient time to study in chunks – 45 minutes to an hour of studying, followed by a 5 – 10-minute break. This is far more effective than cramming for a solid 8 hours, and it is a lot healthier too.

Use study groups to maximise the use of your time. It is far better to ask others for help on something you don’t understand than to get discouraged by yourself. In a good study group, you fill in the gaps for each other. Explaining a concept to someone else is a powerful study tool.

The Dux Advantage

We often overestimate what we can do in a short time with big changes and underestimate what we can do in a long time with small changes.”  Robyn Conley Downs

If you are looking for a launchpad for the extraordinary, look no further than Dux. We specialise in giving all the support needed for the increased mental health and wellbeing you need in order to flourish academically and in life. Contact us today, and get your ducks in a row: 060.656.1305  |

Dux | dʌks | noun ”The top pupil in a class.”


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