The Official 'How To Get A First Class Degree' thread Watch

KM.
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(Original post by velvetsky)
Number 3 is what let me down this year. Scraped a 2:1 (68) and hoping for a 1st next year.


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Scraped a 2:1 at 68%? Boy if you don't sit the f**** down......
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velvetsky
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(Original post by KM.)
Scraped a 2:1 at 68%? Boy if you don't sit the f**** down......
Sorry!! Haha what are you doing to do ;D


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jessjanellbhons1
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(Original post by sana.zaheer)
Hi...
I'm a second year law student. In my first year I got a high 2.2 I just missed the 2.1 because of one bad paper . I really want to do well. I want to get a high 2.1 this year so I can aim for like 70 to 74% next year to scrape a first. I am putting more effort in this year. There is no doubt I can do more. I have been told I cant do it. I really want to though. What I really wanted to ask was this...



1) I am confused on further reading. It is true I am not doing any at the moment. I am mainly coming home after lecture opening the core text book and making notes on that topic. Which consumes my time. How can I even make time for further reading. I do the set seminar work. Read articles and the cases in full(sometimes)... any tips?

2) if anyone has done a law degree and have studied EU law pleaseee tell me what is the effective way of studying this topic!

3) jurisprudence and well on general coursework... I get low 2.1s... like 63. How can I boost this?

4) And to scrape a first... what is required of me? How hard do I need to work and push myself. I am a hardworker. Not the intelligent type but when I give my 100percent I do not fail myself.
Hi, I graduated with a first in law and am starting work in a law firm on the 18th of July. Achieving a first is not really about hard work. It's about smart study. It's about being passionate about the law, understanding it and knowing how to explain and to apply it accurately.

Please choose law electives that you'll enjoy. =) My highest mark was 84% in an elective that I liked (human rights law).

You usually don't need to make your own notes, as this is a waste of time. I usually don't even highlight or underline my books. All you need to do is to read and to absorb what you read.

Listen carefully when your tutor/lecturer teaches you the law. Ask questions if you don't understand.

Practise past exam papers. Practice makes perfect!

That's all you need to do to get a first in law.
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mitchell.gkm
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I got a first (75%) in my first year of Acc&Finance at Durham.

What I did was not really attend lectures throughout the year (no point) and hit the studying hard in Easter break (late April onward). Basically used a combination of my textbooks - half of which were useless - lecture slides, seminar work, and Youtube videos. Scheduled about 4-5 hours of revision, broken down by module, every day for 5-6 days out of the week.

Running up to the weeks before exams I did at least 2 past papers in each module and went over them with friends on my course. You'll find you learn a lot more if you speak about and discuss concepts rather than just reading them off a page.

Here's hoping I keep it up in second year.
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gman10
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(Original post by mitchell.gkm)
I got a first (75%) in my first year of Acc&Finance at Durham.

What I did was not really attend lectures throughout the year (no point) and hit the studying hard in Easter break (late April onward). Basically used a combination of my textbooks - half of which were useless - lecture slides, seminar work, and Youtube videos. Scheduled about 4-5 hours of revision, broken down by module, every day for 5-6 days out of the week.

Running up to the weeks before exams I did at least 2 past papers in each module and went over them with friends on my course. You'll find you learn a lot more if you speak about and discuss concepts rather than just reading them off a page.

Here's hoping I keep it up in second year.
You can do it!
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Revi
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I've just graduated from Warwick Business School (BSc Management) with a 1st. In my first year I got a 2.2. Second year got a 2.1. Third year got a 1st, averaging out a 1st overall (First year doesn't count towards your degree FYI). Each year I learnt new things which contributed to the progression from 2.2 to the 1st. Here's roughly what I did and didn't do

Didn't do:
1. Never went to the library The library at Warwick, and I imagine at other unis, is where all the students go. Because all the students are there, it becomes a social hub for chit chatting, catching up, and distractions. You end up searching for vacent seats, only to find that on any given day you'll be sat next to someone who is either chatting loudly on their phone or to a group of people; listening to loud enough music to give off that annoying hissing sound at the least; and/or the chair your sitting on is broken, the desk is sticky, the keyboard is sticky, etc.
2. Never rented a book All the information in the world is online. Books are a hassle for many many reasons: you need to remember to return them or risk being fined; They aren't always available; When they are available it's a mission to find them (I think I heard Warwick library has over 1million books split between its 5 floors); you can't copy/paste exerpts from the book easily (compared to e-books and journals in pdf form from online journals save a ton of time); and its a pain in the arse to lug around tons of books around campus/home only to use a few pages of it
3. Rarely bought new textbooks See above. Also, new textbooks are extremely expensive and rarely worth it. Older textbooks (edition 8 rather than 10), are often a fraction of the price and just as good. However most the time you can find information online for free. I only bought textbooks if the module I took specifically structured their classes around it.
4. Showed up to some lectures but didn't think they were important. I felt like a dropout if I didn't go to lectures, but when I honestly asked myself how much I learnt in the 1hr / 2hrs of the lecture I just sat through - it was very little indeed. All powerpoints used are uploaded anyhow, and the better lectures were recorded and uploaded later that day. The latter meant that you could experience that same lecture from the comforts of your study area, with the ability to fast forward (1.25x to 1.75x speed) the dull parts, and pause & rewind in the areas that you don't understand.
5. Never went to my tutors. Personally I had a very underwhelming tutor experience. I don't know what help they are supposed to give you, and mine didn't seem to care much at all. With regards to seeing the professors in their office hours, you'd need to either book an appointment via email, or arrange your day to get to campus and see them. For the former, I never faced a problem that would stop me for three days or more. But it takes about three days to schedule and meet that professor. Often you'll study the most on the weekends (Students don't go out on weekends because of the locals, so even the social students study the most on the weekends), and so when you run into an issue, you'll need to wait for at least a few days before you can see the professor in person. Do you really think there's a problem that you can't tackle for 3 days? With the internet, coursemates and textbooks, it's very very slim that you'll stumble upon an issue that warrants the lag time and inconvenience of seeing a tutor/professor.
6. Listen to other students with different goals This seems obvious, but listening to other student's advice when 75% of them are content with getting a 2.1, is not wise. There's unfortunately a massive chasm between a 2.1 and a 1.1 (first). Most people get a 2.1. So if you follow most people's advice, habits & routines, you'll get what most people get. A 2.1. To get a 1st you need to do what most people don't do. And a great way to do that is to not compare your day-to-day methods with others. To get a 1.1 you need to be annoyed when you get 65%. You need to be a little grated when you get 68%, and when you get 70-74%, you should feel almost indifferent. To get 70%, you need to feel like you did averagely. This is precisely because to get a 1.1, 70% is by definition your average. 70% is scraping by. This is actually quite an important mental-state that I adopted which helped a lot when getting my 1st. However it's not great to vocalise to other people, because your disapproval at your own 68% will, understandably, make other people feel worse about their own achievements. If someone is vying for a 62%, and you vocalise how much it sucks to get 65%, you're going to make them feel bad pretty quickly. Unfortunately all they say about achieving and success is pretty spot on: It's lonely at the top; the extra mile is a lonely place.

This post is getting quite long, so the next section I'll try to be a shorter and more concise

Did do:
1. Work in my room a lot. Imagine a study area that you never have to fight for. You can leave, take a break, and go for a walk whenever you like, and it'll be waiting for you when you get back. Imagine an area that you can customise (white boards, cork boards, sticky notes, external screens) exactly to your liking, and it'll remain exactly how you left it day-in-day-out. Imagine being able to get 'in the zone' without commuting 20 - 40 minutes a day (at Warwick, it was especially bad, because 2nd and 3rd years live in an adjacent town, and it can take up to an hour to get onto campus each way). Furthermore, you don't have to spend time prepping lunch every day, or buying junk food from the campus stores because you forgot. Also, you won't be paying £2 for every cup of tea/coffee you buy. Finally, zero distractions from other people talking too loud, smelling, listening to music loudly, etc. That's why I worked in my room for almost all of 2nd and 3rd year.
2. Copied out lecture slides into my own notes, adding details Not much to say about this, but it's just how I studied. I'd copy out the lecture slides onto a word document, and created a plastic portfolio to print them out and put them into. In my document I'd add extra notes and details that were mentioned in the slides (e.g a separate textbox about 'Prospect Theory' that I've Google'd if it's briefly mentioned in the slides but not explained). This took a long time, but it was worth it for me. It worked especially well in exam season where I could just flip open my various portfolios and everything was nicely formatted and ready to study
3. Exercised 3+ times a week. This ranged from jogging or gyming. You think better when your brain is activated. Your energy lasts longer. Exercising is a smart thing to do. Even if I didn't get physically stronger by it, I'd still do it for its cognitive benefits.
4. Prioritised my grades above girls / drinking To get a 1.1 you need to recognise that university isn't just an extremely expensive adult summer camp. It has all the facilities and opportunities to be so, but if you want to be above average, you need to make some sacrifices. My advice would be to do all the crazy stuff in your first year, where your degree doesn't count. I had a very social time in my first year, I did all the things that you'd want and expect: console gaming, societies, drinking, girls, sports, socialising, etc. I got it all out of my system, and all I paid for it was rounding off the year with 56% (2.2). The 2.2 wasn't great, and it took a pretty big stab at my self-esteem, confidence, and ego. But all in all, perhaps if I didn't get it out my system in 1st year, I wouldn't have knuckled down in my 2nd and 3rd year as I did.
5. Had a little group who were all equally ambitious (3 of us in the same degree, all of us got a first) I subscribe to the saying that 'You are the average of the five friends you spend most time with.' My flatmates, although fun, were all pretty happy with scraping a 2.1, and so while I looked to them for my social itching, I predominately mixed with my 3 coursemates who were also vying for a 1.1. It's impossible to say whether I'd have still got a 1.1 with or without them, but I know that on more than one occasion, my group was a motivation for me to stay focused.
6. Worked via the pomodoro system. It works. It's great. Look it up.
7. Lived and breathed physical flashcards during exam season. It's amazing how much you can memorise when you put your mind to it. Preparing flashcards from my prewritten notes worked like a charm.

This turned out longer than expected. I hope it helps at least one person. I kindda wish that I had seen this thread (and read this post) when I was starting out.

Best of luck.
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velvetsky
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(Original post by Revi)
I've just graduated from Warwick Business School (BSc Management) with a 1st. In my first year I got a 2.2. Second year got a 2.1. Third year got a 1st, averaging out a 1st overall (First year doesn't count towards your degree FYI). Each year I learnt new things which contributed to the progression from 2.2 to the 1st. Here's roughly what I did and didn't do

Didn't do:
1. Never went to the library The library at Warwick, and I imagine at other unis, is where all the students go. Because all the students are there, it becomes a social hub for chit chatting, catching up, and distractions. You end up searching for vacent seats, only to find that on any given day you'll be sat next to someone who is either chatting loudly on their phone or to a group of people; listening to loud enough music to give off that annoying hissing sound at the least; and/or the chair your sitting on is broken, the desk is sticky, the keyboard is sticky, etc.
2. Never rented a book All the information in the world is online. Books are a hassle for many many reasons: you need to remember to return them or risk being fined; They aren't always available; When they are available it's a mission to find them (I think I heard Warwick library has over 1million books split between its 5 floors); you can't copy/paste exerpts from the book easily (compared to e-books and journals in pdf form from online journals save a ton of time); and its a pain in the arse to lug around tons of books around campus/home only to use a few pages of it
3. Rarely bought new textbooks See above. Also, new textbooks are extremely expensive and rarely worth it. Older textbooks (edition 8 rather than 10), are often a fraction of the price and just as good. However most the time you can find information online for free. I only bought textbooks if the module I took specifically structured their classes around it.
4. Showed up to some lectures but didn't think they were important. I felt like a dropout if I didn't go to lectures, but when I honestly asked myself how much I learnt in the 1hr / 2hrs of the lecture I just sat through - it was very little indeed. All powerpoints used are uploaded anyhow, and the better lectures were recorded and uploaded later that day. The latter meant that you could experience that same lecture from the comforts of your study area, with the ability to fast forward (1.25x to 1.75x speed) the dull parts, and pause & rewind in the areas that you don't understand.
5. Never went to my tutors. Personally I had a very underwhelming tutor experience. I don't know what help they are supposed to give you, and mine didn't seem to care much at all. With regards to seeing the professors in their office hours, you'd need to either book an appointment via email, or arrange your day to get to campus and see them. For the former, I never faced a problem that would stop me for three days or more. But it takes about three days to schedule and meet that professor. Often you'll study the most on the weekends (Students don't go out on weekends because of the locals, so even the social students study the most on the weekends), and so when you run into an issue, you'll need to wait for at least a few days before you can see the professor in person. Do you really think there's a problem that you can't tackle for 3 days? With the internet, coursemates and textbooks, it's very very slim that you'll stumble upon an issue that warrants the lag time and inconvenience of seeing a tutor/professor.
6. Listen to other students with different goals This seems obvious, but listening to other student's advice when 75% of them are content with getting a 2.1, is not wise. There's unfortunately a massive chasm between a 2.1 and a 1.1 (first). Most people get a 2.1. So if you follow most people's advice, habits & routines, you'll get what most people get. A 2.1. To get a 1st you need to do what most people don't do. And a great way to do that is to not compare your day-to-day methods with others. To get a 1.1 you need to be annoyed when you get 65%. You need to be a little grated when you get 68%, and when you get 70-74%, you should feel almost indifferent. To get 70%, you need to feel like you did averagely. This is precisely because to get a 1.1, 70% is by definition your average. 70% is scraping by. This is actually quite an important mental-state that I adopted which helped a lot when getting my 1st. However it's not great to vocalise to other people, because your disapproval at your own 68% will, understandably, make other people feel worse about their own achievements. If someone is vying for a 62%, and you vocalise how much it sucks to get 65%, you're going to make them feel bad pretty quickly. Unfortunately all they say about achieving and success is pretty spot on: It's lonely at the top; the extra mile is a lonely place.

This post is getting quite long, so the next section I'll try to be a shorter and more concise

Did do:
1. Work in my room a lot. Imagine a study area that you never have to fight for. You can leave, take a break, and go for a walk whenever you like, and it'll be waiting for you when you get back. Imagine an area that you can customise (white boards, cork boards, sticky notes, external screens) exactly to your liking, and it'll remain exactly how you left it day-in-day-out. Imagine being able to get 'in the zone' without commuting 20 - 40 minutes a day (at Warwick, it was especially bad, because 2nd and 3rd years live in an adjacent town, and it can take up to an hour to get onto campus each way). Furthermore, you don't have to spend time prepping lunch every day, or buying junk food from the campus stores because you forgot. Also, you won't be paying £2 for every cup of tea/coffee you buy. Finally, zero distractions from other people talking too loud, smelling, listening to music loudly, etc. That's why I worked in my room for almost all of 2nd and 3rd year.
2. Copied out lecture slides into my own notes, adding details Not much to say about this, but it's just how I studied. I'd copy out the lecture slides onto a word document, and created a plastic portfolio to print them out and put them into. In my document I'd add extra notes and details that were mentioned in the slides (e.g a separate textbox about 'Prospect Theory' that I've Google'd if it's briefly mentioned in the slides but not explained). This took a long time, but it was worth it for me. It worked especially well in exam season where I could just flip open my various portfolios and everything was nicely formatted and ready to study
3. Exercised 3+ times a week. This ranged from jogging or gyming. You think better when your brain is activated. Your energy lasts longer. Exercising is a smart thing to do. Even if I didn't get physically stronger by it, I'd still do it for its cognitive benefits.
4. Prioritised my grades above girls / drinking To get a 1.1 you need to recognise that university isn't just an extremely expensive adult summer camp. It has all the facilities and opportunities to be so, but if you want to be above average, you need to make some sacrifices. My advice would be to do all the crazy stuff in your first year, where your degree doesn't count. I had a very social time in my first year, I did all the things that you'd want and expect: console gaming, societies, drinking, girls, sports, socialising, etc. I got it all out of my system, and all I paid for it was rounding off the year with 56% (2.2). The 2.2 wasn't great, and it took a pretty big stab at my self-esteem, confidence, and ego. But all in all, perhaps if I didn't get it out my system in 1st year, I wouldn't have knuckled down in my 2nd and 3rd year as I did.
5. Had a little group who were all equally ambitious (3 of us in the same degree, all of us got a first) I subscribe to the saying that 'You are the average of the five friends you spend most time with.' My flatmates, although fun, were all pretty happy with scraping a 2.1, and so while I looked to them for my social itching, I predominately mixed with my 3 coursemates who were also vying for a 1.1. It's impossible to say whether I'd have still got a 1.1 with or without them, but I know that on more than one occasion, my group was a motivation for me to stay focused.
6. Worked via the pomodoro system. It works. It's great. Look it up.
7. Lived and breathed physical flashcards during exam season. It's amazing how much you can memorise when you put your mind to it. Preparing flashcards from my prewritten notes worked like a charm.

This turned out longer than expected. I hope it helps at least one person. I kindda wish that I had seen this thread (and read this post) when I was starting out.

Best of luck.
Congrats!. Really great tips& advice


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Sandra1
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Someone who did biomedical science and got a 2:1 or first people explain how you got the grade?
I'm going into my second year so I have to figure out how to achieve the highest?
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Edminzodo
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Found out that I need to average a First every year to keep my scholarship so this thread is a godsend!

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glitterphobia
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Got a 1st in Primary Education.

What I did:
- Attended every lecture (sometimes hints about what would be the best way to approach an assignment would be given away, make sure you note these!)
- Use Google Books wisely - use it to reference a range of books quickly and easily.
- Learn how to write at each level - make sure you always relate different writer's theories to each other and pick apart what is missing from their theories. Then suggest how this can be applied in practice and how you could develop it further.
- Be a natural writer - I just found myself being naturally able to come up with ideas and make my writing flow. It helps if you read a lot and model your writing upon research as this makes you sound more professional.*
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AngryRedhead
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Subbing
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john2054
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(Original post by gman10)
Hi,

I thought, as the next university year is soon to begin, we should collate a series of tips on how to get a first at university. Whether you have got a first in a module or overall in your whole degree please do tell us what your top tips are/were for achieving this degree.

Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

1. Always know what is being asked of you – This is the number one point on the list because it is the most important. It is very easy when you get an assignment to jump straight in and think about the completion of the task. As your thought process and creativity start to flow you have already worked out the best possible structure, what research you’re going to do and how it’s going to feel when you get that awesome grade. However, what you haven’t noticed is that you haven’t paid enough attention to the question and you have mentally researched and answered a different question to what has been asked.

The key is to ask yourself the following when you look at your assignment or exam question :
  • · What have I learned on this subject so far
  • · What will I need to demonstrate I have understood from the course content I have received
  • · What details will I need to research to show I have expanded my knowledge
  • · How can I demonstrate I have used course content, research and practical assignments as a basis for the conclusions in this piece of work.
  • · What can I add to this work that will show I have gone above and beyond the expected standard ?.
Master this method and your assignments and questions will always be high quality, relevant and worthy of that first class degree.

2. Make friends and collaborate – It’s going to be a difficult and lonely road if you don’t make friends on your course. Aside from companionship, a collaborative group will improve the quality of your work. Why ? I hear you ask. The reason is that you could be the smartest person in the world but chances are someone else is going to think of an idea that you wouldn’t have. If you are in a good group you will realise that you are not competing against each other but you are trying to reach an academic standard, and as long as you can agree on what is being asked of you (see above) and not plagiarise each others work, you should develop a collective foundation that each individual can build upon with their own work.
A final note on this subject, if you want to increase your odds of gaining a first class degree, make sure you surround yourself with good, committed and hard working people.

3. Always give 100 % - Some people take the view that they will coast through the first couple of years and then really turn it on in the final year when it matters most. This is not the path to success. If you want a first class degree you SHOULD TREAT EVERY ASSIGNMENT LIKE IT WILL BE THE ONLY ONE YOU EVER GET GRADED ON. By putting 100% into every assignment or exam you are not only increasing your average grade score you are also developing the key habits that you will need in the later stages of your degree. These habits will be the vital ingredients that your fellow students will lack when it comes to the crucial final year and it will show in their results. So start early in year 1 and always give 100% to everything you do.

4. Limit the leisure – University can be fun and exciting but if you are serious about getting a first class degree you will need to limit your leisure time so it doesn’t encroach on your studies. If you are continuously missing lectures because you are hung over or not working on assignments so you can hang out with your friends then things are probably not going to turn out well for you. Remember no-one with a first class degree ever wished they had partied more, but most people with 2:2s wished they had studied more.

5. Have a good enough ‘Why’ and make it personal ? – When you have four deadlines looming, you’re tired, overwhelmed and your employed friends have all the money and time in the world you will ask yourself - “Why am I doing this”. The standard reason is “to get a good job” but this isn’t very compelling especially if it is 3 years away. Another common reason is “because my sibling went” or “my parents wanted me to go”. Again, these are not good reasons because they will not give you the personal drive required in difficult times. It would be wrong for me to advise what YOUR personal reasons should be but I base mine around challenging myself everyday to become a better person and develop habits that would serve me well in the future. For me gaining a first class degree isn’t about bragging, job prospects, a piece of paper or a funny hat it was about being proud of the person I am to become in pursuit of my goal.

6. Hardwork vs Difficulty - A first class degree is difficult to achieve, not impossible but difficult. This is a good thing. If they were easy to achieve everyone would have one and their value would go down. Therefore, imagine that the first class degree is on the top shelf and your hardwork is the ladder. I am not a genius, but I am willing to do whatever it took to overcome the challenges the degree threw at me and that was the key to success. So embrace the difficulty, counter it with hardwork and always keep in mind that ‘you can’t fly without gravity’.

7. Beware of group work – I mentioned earlier the importance of a being in a good group but sometimes the group members are selected randomly and this may not work in your favour. Like with any group situation there will be a mixture of temperaments, agendas and ability. Your job is to make sure your work is the very best it can be to compensate for others that aren’t as conscientious. Also if you volunteer to be the person that consolidates everyone’s work into the final project it also gives you the opportunity to amend or add to the weaker members work to improve the grade. I know this isn’t fair on you but you may want to take the hit to ensure a good grade.

8. Check you are on the right course with your lecturers – At University you are expected to work many things out on your own. You will be given an assignment, allowed a few questions after the lecture and then sent on your way. As a rule lecturers want to offer as little guidance as possible even if it means some students produce poor quality work. After all the pay is the same whether you succeed or fail.
As the master of your own destiny it is your responsibility to book time with your lecturers and make sure you have interpreted the question correctly and are on track with your research. This extra effort is viewed favourably by lecturers and will be rewarded. They may not give you the answers but they may give you some pointers that will save you some time and allow you to maximise your results.

9. Focus on what you don't know - Some areas of study will be easier and more interesting than others and you will have a tendency to focus on these and know them inside out. However, I can guarantee you that what you have procrastinated on and failed to learn WILL be in your exam. It is in that moment that you will learn two very valuable life lessons :
1. Ignorance is NOT bliss
2. What you don’t know WILL harm you.
Remember the more difficult the concept the greater ‘points’ you will score for being able to understand it. If you want a first class degree you will have to demonstrate that you understand the simple and the complex. In summary, if you have holes in your knowledge, get them covered.

10. Time management – There is no right time management. However, find the right balance. You have to work hard, but you also have to find time to play/relax.

11. Meet deadlines - Deadlines are extremely important in many parts of life but they are crucial if you want to achieve a first class degree. At my University the penalty for late work is a 10% reduction in your grade so everyone avoided it like the plague. Call in favours, burn the midnight oil whatever it takes but make sure you get it in on time – every time.

Thanks
You're missing perhaps the most important one, develop good working relationships with your lecturers. I know they are supposed to be impartial, but trust me, they so aren't!!
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john2054
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(Original post by velvetsky)
Congrats!. Really great tips& advice


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Don't go to the library, and you think we should believe you got a first? Come off it!?!
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velvetsky
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(Original post by john2054)
Don't go to the library, and you think we should believe you got a first? Come off it!?!
You quoted the wrong person lol!. Yeah I understand where OP is coming from. Library is a good spot but not for all, it drains me at times.
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(Original post by Revi)
I've just graduated from Warwick Business School (BSc Management) with a 1st.
This was all incredibly helpful! Thank you! Just wondering, did you find it more effective printing out all your notes? In first year I typed all my notes and only began hand writing when it came to the Easter revision period.*
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john2054
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(Original post by lisa96)
This was all incredibly helpful! Thank you! Just wondering, did you find it more effective printing out all your notes? In first year I typed all my notes and only began hand writing when it came to the Easter revision period.*
Doing extra reading and thinking 'outside the box', is just as important as regurgitating what you are fed in class. Although lecturers do like it if you demonstrate that you have at least paid attention, to some of what they have taught!

JR 2.1 ba hons
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Revi
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(Original post by lisa96)
This was all incredibly helpful! Thank you! Just wondering, did you find it more effective printing out all your notes? In first year I typed all my notes and only began hand writing when it came to the Easter revision period.*
Yes. Printing out my notes was an essential part of the process. There was something about having the course material in my own format, printed out in the plastic portfolios, that did it for me. This also made turning the notes into flashcards very easy.

(Original post by john2054)
Don't go to the library, and you think we should believe you got a first? Come off it!?!
what do you think is so magical about a library? Boil it down: it's a room with desks, chairs, and books. Did you even read the post?

However, if providing proof lends credibility to the somewhat unorthodox advice I gave...see the attached screenshot. Notice my username on this forum is 'Revi'.
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(Original post by Revi)
Yes. Printing out my notes was an essential part of the process. There was something about having the course material in my own format, printed out in the plastic portfolios, that did it for me. This also made turning the notes into flashcards very easy.



what do you think is so magical about a library? Boil it down: it's a room with desks, chairs, and books. Did you even read the post?

However, if providing proof lends credibility to the somewhat unorthodox advice I gave...see the attached screenshot. Notice my username on this forum is 'Revi'.
Good for you Oliver. Our library also had computers....
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How i got a first whilst working 32 hours a week

- use the library on my days off - Derby uni has a really good library as it is on four floors and is separated into noise (discussion, quiet and silent) zones so i never really had the issue of having to work near noisy people and something about being in the library made me feel more productive and less likely to have a break for half an hour or reward myself with a tv episode or five

- use the library after class, if i had a half day of lectures id usually spend the other half in the library catching up on essays or revising for exams as personally i tend to waste the rest of the day if i go home.

-use flashcards for exam revision - i didnt bother typing out all my notes or reading them over and over, instead i used brainscape and i copied powerpoint info into questions and answers supplemented by the internet and books which helped me learn faster than reading pages of information. it also meant i could revise in a group as we took turns quizzing each other. this can make revision fun sometimes (we were saddos who gave a chocolate bar to the person who answered the most questions right or we would pit two people against each other in a lightening round of revision questions as the competition kept us motivated)

-stolen from the front page - treat every essay like its the only one that counts for your final grade. go over the top with graphs, tables and diagrams, make sure you have figure legends, make sure the wording is scientific and everything is backed up by examples or evidence and is referenced. compare it to published scientific journals and merge your writing style into a similar version of those.

-learn what each lecturer likes - i found my lecturers marked things according to their own personal standards rather than a universal fits all scheme. what would have netted me 80% with one lecturer would give me 60% with another because they didnt like the way i explained something or sometimes it would be something as petty and small as they prefered a different structure to the essay (i literally had one lecturer tell us that she would deduct 10% from any work with "the data" rather than "these data". usually lecturers are happy to tell you what kind of things they like and dislike at the start of the module.

-stolen from Revi - aim high! dont just aim for the minimum grade to get you a first or a 2.1 aim higher than that as youre likely to pur more effort in and wont risk just missing out on that 1%. Dont think 70% is great, think its average (he explains it better than me so basically read his). Definitely dont aim for a 2.1 to be like your friends or to give yourself an easier life, its a good grade but everyone has a 2.1 and when it comes to jobs youre not going to stand out whatsoever unless you have significantly more work experience than everyone else (which you should be trying to get ANYWAY in your summers and free time).

-pick a good dissertation topic - dont pick something easy and dont pick something PURELY because you are interested in it. I mean pick something you are interested in but make sure its relevant to your degree and especially the career youre trying to break into and make sure it actually has something you can study in depth not something thats redundant and useless in the real world except to get your grade. for example i chose a species i am trying to specialise in for my dissertation and did weekly surveys for the entire summer which also boosted my ecology skills and gave me a good data set (8000 rows of data in excel) to conduct spatial-temporal analysis etc etc and it gave me something worth putting on my cv as it resulted in the land owner using my work to adjust his habitat management of the site similar to what i would be doing in the job i want to do in addition to giving me a really good grade for uni.

-turning up to class wasnt a big deal to me, most times i went but half the time it wasnt worth it and i could have read the slides and learned it faster at home.

-read your essay through and get someone else to read it through too (not someone on your course unless you trust them not to use it as an opportunity to steal ideas from you), its a simple one but the amount of times in first year i uploaded something to turnitin and read it back after getting the grade kicking myself because of nitpicky things i could have tweaked and gotten an extra few percent for was unreal

-keep track of your grade average and dont treat uni as a joke or no big deal, if you bomb one module its fine just work out what grades youll need to average to bring yourself back up again and carry on. This one i should have learned fairly on, i did badly in one module and for a month or two i kind of thought **** it ive screwed myself out of a first now so theres no point putting effort into the rest of the year i may aswell just submit 2.1 level work. i managed to bring my grade back up out of hard work in third year as a little challenge against myself to see if i could actually do it (i figured if not id at least have a high 2,1)
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I've finished my 2nd year of pharmacy (MPharm) with a mid 2:2... I really want a first and I don't get what I'm doing wrong. Luckily 3rd and 4th year make up 75% of the degree marks. I'm just disappointed that people with much lower A levels are doing A LOT better than me.

I have A*AAA at A level and I'm a member of British MENSA, I kinda know it's something I'm doing wrong when it comes to revising/studying.
If anyone has any tips for revising Bsc Or Msc please let me know
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