8 tips to get the best grades in your class

27 May 2020

The lead up to exam block can be a stressful period for students, no matter how smoothly the semester has run. As the Deputy Associate Dean of Student Experience at the UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and IT, Associate Professor Saiied Aminossadati (Amin), is a reassuring voice to hundreds of students who might be looking for some ideas for how to finish their subjects off on a high note.

Amin has provided us with his 8 top tips for getting the best grades you can this semester!

Amin's 8 top tips
  1. Always start early and start with a plan, prioritise tasks and develop a realistic timeframe for your study. 
  2. Review the Aims and Objectives of the course from the Course Profiles; and identify which course objectives will be assessed in the final exam (you can find your Course Profiles on the UQ mySI-net website). This helps you find out what the final exam will cover and what sections of the course you need to focus on.
  3. This semester, the format of the online final exam can be very different compared to that in previous years. Make sure you have a very clear understanding of the final exam format: multiple-choice questions? Essay? Short-answer responses? If you are using the questions from the past exams for your preparation, be mindful of the change in the exam format this semester.
  4. Review your performance in the other assessments of the course and request constructive feedback from your lecturer and tutors. This helps you identify the gaps in your learning and not repeat similar mistakes in the final exam. Also, there are sometimes questions in the final exam that are very similar to questions given in the continuous assessments of the course – these should be easy marks for you.
  5. If you have missed attending any lectures or tutorials during the semester, watch the recordings and chat to classmates to catch up. Some lecturers like to use the material they cover in lectures and tutorials, as well as worked examples as exam questions.
  6. Some lecturers usually set up practice quizzes and mock-up exams with unlimited attempts in the course Blackboard site. Make sure you do not miss any of these opportunities. There is nothing more important than taking as many practice exams as possible.
  7. For some courses it is very useful to pair with someone in your class or form a small study group for your preparation for the exam. You can do this in person (while social – distancing) or online.
  8. Try to stay focused and do not let anybody or anything distract you during your study time. Having said that, it is important to keep a balance: eat healthy food, get enough sleep, drink lots of water and do exercise. Eat with your family or housemates, and study by yourself or with your peers. Remember exams are important but your health is more important.