How to maintain your matric marks and be an A student in your first year of university

08:00 SA VARSITY STUDENT 0 Comments

It is quite difficult for many people to make the transition from high school to university, which leads to high failure rates during the 1st year of university at South African universities. To help students figure out a way to stay on top of their marks, we asked Wits Bachelor of Accounting Science (BAccSci) student Nhlakanipho Kubheka who managed to get an A average in his first year of university to share some tips on how to maintain your matric level performance in university.

how to maintain high school marks in university
Nhlaka in his matric year

Maintaining your senior year results as you enter university


It feels like it was just yesterday when I came here, unlike the other freshmen, I wasn't as excited about coming to varsity. Being in one of the country’s best institutions the pressure was on. I was told it was going to be one hell of a year in terms of difficulty and all the adjustments/changes that I had to adapt to. I mean there was varsity itself, the ever busy city life (I’m from a very small town so the difference was significant), being away from home and family, and then there’s growth from the very first day you set foot onto the varsity premises, who am I kidding? That growth actually starts from the moment you part ways with your folks. When they leave you in that place it almost feels like you are being abandoned. Coincidently just as that dark thought started to consume my mind, my dad told me, “We are not abandoning you here son, don’t you ever feel that way…” It was like he knew what I was thinking. I wish I could say that I didn’t feel abandoned, but that would be a blatant lie.
So there I was from a small town miles away, afraid and all alone thinking about how I was going to get through the year. How was I to ensure my results were satisfactory at the end of the year, basically how was I to enhance my studying methods from high school, as I had been advised.
I tried timetables but it just so happened I lacked the discipline to follow them and therefore I wasn’t successful with them. I tried pre-reading and post-reading course material, and I found out that didn't work out for me (wasn’t that determined during first year, of which am not ashamed to admit). I knew studying with people was a no go for me because I am most efficient when I am working alone than in a group. I tried various ways of studying only to come to the realization that they were all not for me. Fortunately though, exams were still quite distant so I had ample time to find the recipe that best worked for my system. At the point I was still driven by the fear of failure and uncertainty. It never actually crossed my mind to keep with my original studying technique from high school (I mean I was told it wasn’t going to work at varsity). After trying out a few methods I gave up my quest and that is when it hit me, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…’ I have been using one studying technique throughout high school and it earned me distinctions and the prestigious DUX award at my senior year of high school. So why don’t I just do what I did and see if I will continue to get what I’ve always got I thought. From that day onwards I just studied how I studied in high school and unsurprisingly it worked out just fine. So fine actually that I managed to pull a few distinctions at the end (5 of the 7 courses I did; the 2 I missed because I hated the courses absurdly, one was a C the other was a B so it wasn’t bad at all). So what do you have to do to maintain your grades during the so called ’huge’ transition from high school to varsity? Well it is simple really:

1. Rid yourself of any fears you have before you commence with the year for they will most likely not manifest themselves into actual events.
2. Make sure you understand the type of person you are, this I strongly recommend for adaptation which will also make the studying easier.
3. Take it easy, it is not as bad as you think, first round (year) is basically like your senior year at high school.
4. If you had a specific way of studying in high school that worked out well for you, then don’t change the technique unless if it is necessary.
5. Exams are just hyped up class tests that are longer, keep cool and relax, if you studied smartly enough (not necessarily studied hard enough) then you’ll pull through.
6. Always be realistic, the last thing you want to do is lie to yourself about any academic related topic, be it studying technique, course material or even your persona.
7. Just be you regardless of what they may think of you because at the end of the day the qualification/progress card/certificate will be yours and yours alone.

Yes I am through with round one, my results were satisfying enough for me. An A aggregate for my senior year results, an A aggregate for my first year results… I survived the transition and now on with the second bout. I will apply the same 7 rules throughout the year and we shall see what happens this time…

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