How to avoid failing a subject

May 09, 2016
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As the semester continues in full swing, the amount of assignments starts to skyrocket (while motivation plummets). As much as it’s tempting to give up and become a couch potato until semester ends, at the end of the day you’re going to have to man up and stay on top of everything. Here are seven tips to help get you back on track.

Re-motivate yourself

Chances are you have picked the subjects you are doing for a reason, so it’s important to revisit whatever inspiration that made you passionate about it in the first place. Remind yourself of why you wanted to learn, and motivation will follow naturally.

Actually go to your lectures

Now that most lectures are recorded and saved online, it’s easy to just skip them and convince yourself you’ll listen to them later. While you might have the utmost good intentions to begin with, it’s more likely you’ll end up with too many unwatched PowerPoints at the end of semester. Forcing yourself to get up for those 8am classes and physically being in the lecture hall gives you a better chance of retaining information and knowing what the heck is going on.

Make friends with the librarians

When it comes to assessments, make the library your best friend. Instead of aimlessly searching online, there are almost always librarians who can lead you to the most relevant information from the get go. This makes researching ten times easier and saves you from wasting time.

Find a study buddy

Find a friend in your tutorial to be your go-to study buddy. Organise a set time each week to meet up and complete the work from that subject together. If you can’t make it to a class, they can give you a recap of what you’ve missed.

Plan ahead

Write down assessment due dates and other important events as soon as you get them so you can plan the workload in advance. If you keep track of when things are due, this can help prevent the dreaded feeling of leaving an assignment to the last minute. Bonus points if writing in a diary makes you feel like a mature organised adult.

Tech up

If you know you’re prone to procrastination, take precaution by installing some of the many helpful add-ons for your browser. SelfControl is an extension that blocks certain websites for a set amount of time, while Procraster plans your study sessions for optimal productivity. Aimless Facebook scrolling, be gone!

Figure out a reward system

Balance work and play by giving yourself breaks. Set a goal and a reward you can give yourself if you achieve your target it. For example, if you work solidly for thirty minutes, you can reward yourself with ten minutes of the #foodgasm tag on Instagram. Once you’ve handed in a big assignment, go out with friends and celebrate with a drink. That way, you’ll get your work done on time and still be able to catch up with friends on a Friday night - win win!

Jessica Xiao

Jessica studies a Bachelor of Communications at RMIT University. She is an aspiring media producer, burger lover and world traveler.

Image: Jirka Matousek, Flickr Creative Commons license

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