The summer vacations are over, and students are all setting their new aspirations for the new journey which is about to start or for some already started at the beginning of August. Besides the usual term classes and assessments, some things that motivate students to work hard and perform well such as new classmates, favourite teachers, reasonable classrooms compare to last years (in most cases) etc. similarly there are things that slow down students’ performance engine. In the majority of schools in Pakistan, the term started in August and most probably every school has their midterm examinations in December. The question that almost every student asks in these four months is ‘how much time left for me in this semester to improve my grades?’
Nowadays, students’ life dangled between school and home, and he leftover time they invest in their leisure activities, which are not quite enough. Infect, some poor souls even use their leisure times for extra studies and tuitions for achieving better grades in school assessments. However, festivals and seasonal holidays added more challenge for students. Students who are pro-active scheduled their timetable in a way that they can be able to involve and participate in festivals as well like Eid, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah etc.
However, for some students, they still need to make decisions whether or not they participate in festivals and seasonal holidays. In the end, the struggled ones hope that there is still time left in the semester to rectify things, especially their grades. The problem is that there is not much time left. One may say that the problem is in the students end. Is it so? As a teacher, I believe students do their best to perform well and complete all the projects and tasks on time as per their capacity and will. Similarly, they also want to engage in festivals with their families actively. So, what should be done in advance that can help students to streamline their academics as well as their family engagements?
There is a list of things which students (secondary or high school) can do at their end before the term commencement. (Source: Psychology Today)
List what is left to do. Create a list of all the remaining assignments that must be submitted, including papers and projects, as well as all exams, including any finals. Everything: Nothing is too big or too small. Put dates next to each item.
Assess how much time each item on the list deserves. How long (hours or days) will it take to write the long-term paper in your Child Development class? When can you start? How much time do you need to study for the third exam in Personality? Can you draft the book review for Western History this coming weekend?
Tackle the big items bit by bit. Never try to do the major term paper all at once. Start by doing your library research, collecting materials, and outlining the paper. Write your thesis statement, and so on. Work consistently and gradually on big projects. Try to do an hour or two a day on the big project, then turn to the smaller, briefer ones. Those you should do at one or two sittings.
Do a course grade audit. Be honest with yourself and review the grades you’ve received in each class so far this semester. Where do you really stand at this point? If you’ve consistently done B or C work, don’t assume you get an A on the final or your transcript. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
What if you are performing poorly in more than one course? You should speak with your academic advisor, in our context Principle/councillor/headteacher/course instructor, immediately. You may not be able to drop two courses, but if you drop one, then you might salvage a decent grade in the other course if you spend more time studying. Again, talk to your adviser and the course instructor ASAP.
Are you using all of the available resources on campus? Are tutors for your various courses available? If yes, then make certain you make use of them instead of trying to muddle through. Are you making use of your school, college or university’s writing centre or academic advising centre? If not, then make an appointment at one or both ASAP.
Are you in the right major (Ordinary or Advance level students)? If you are not doing well in your major academic courses, then that may be something to revisit seriously. Is the major you have chosen the right one for you? If your grades are mediocre to poor, then you might consider switching to another major.
Still, these are some general strategies to use available time properly. However, the thing which helps you throughout your life is – Planning. Plan before you start anything in your life; whether school, high school, job, marriage, investments etc. Planning makes to list down all possibilities or successful and unsuccessful scenarios which are most likely to occur in your life.
‘Hope for the Best, but prepare for the worst’ – preparation needs planning 😊 Good Luck!