How to Make It In Engineering at South African Universities

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how to pass in engineering in mzansi

Engineering is one of the most difficult courses that you can study for at South Africa’s top universities, it has the highest exclusion rate out of all faculties and one of the highest entrance requirements. Getting accepted into engineering at South Africa’s top institutions is competitive, not only because the top matriculants in the country are applying for seats in the first year class but also because the top universities in South Africa also have to give seats to the top students on the African continent as they also want to go to the best institutions on the continent. So this makes getting a seat in the first year class very difficult and many parents cannot believe their kids did not get a place but the simple truth is the competition is tough and their kids simply did not make the cut. Some guys with top marks end up being put on the extended programme not because of their marks but because there was no space for them in the 4 year programme. 

To be honest though getting in is not the hard part staying in and actually graduating is the hard part, because so many people in matric are not ready for the transition from high school to matric. In this post we will talk about how to pass courses from your first year, how to learn the system so that you can stay in and graduate. Many South Africans are the first generation to attend university so they have never had anyone to guide them and tell them the truth about what really happens when you get to university, people just tell you pass matric and get many distinctions and the rest will fall into place but the hard work only begins the day you get your matric results.

5 Tips to Pass In Engineering

-          Use your mentor – at South African universities you are usually given a mentor during orientation week who is studying the same course as you, who is usually a year or two ahead of you. Ask your mentor for tips and help when you need it, he/she is your mentor to help you succeed.

-          Make friends with your classmates – when you get to university you will feel smart and think you are a G, truth is most people in your class will feel that way because they are still on a matric results high, that’s until the first test atleast when most of the class will fail or you will get a low mark not the 80’s and 90’s you were accustomed to in highschool. You need friends in your class to work with and discuss problems with, people you can swap ideas with so that you know when you are not properly grasping the ideas taught in class, you don’t want to find out that you have no idea what’s happening on the day of the test or exam.

-          Make friends with people in senior years – People who have passed first year or second year know how it is to come from high school and be overwhelmed by university, they have tips on how to pass test and different courses in your faculty. Learn from them to save yourself the trouble. Seniors do not usually mind helping out freshers.

-          Get access to all the past papers and assignments – again befriending seniors, classmates and your mentor will give you access to past papers which will make the course a lot more easier since you will know what to learn and how to solve certain problems as engineering problems don’t really change the numbers may change but the types of problems don’t change, if you learn how to solve them from worked examples you can reverse engineer how to work things out without reading through hundreds of worthless timewasting pages in a textbook.

-          When you are not understanding ask for help and clarification -  asking questions does not make you stupid or slow, if you do not understand go to your lecturer just after the lecture or make an appointment after hours so that they can give you clarification.

I hope this will be helpful to you future engineers, this can be helpful even in other faculties, so please share this post via your favourite social media channels and subscribe to this site to get future posts straight to your email or like our page on facebook.

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