Brian Larson used to be a straight-A student up until high school. But all of that changed after he enrolled in college. His grades began plummeting, and he had a hard time grappling with the assignments. He kept mulling over, “How do I do my assignment perfectly?”
Most of you have probably been in Brian’s shoes. And it’s really easy to beat yourself up over the mistakes on your assignments. Well, sometimes there’s more to it than that. Making errors is normal.
An overloaded schedule, stress, and disorganisation can lead an already puzzling mind astray. Fortunately, we’ve gathered a list of ideas to help you learn from your mistakes and evade them in the future.
- Not giving yourself sufficient time process
People will often advise you to forget the bad grades and try harder next time. They’ll tell you there’s no use dwelling on what’s done or letting your mind wander about the mistakes. But sometimes, let yourself ponder to gain the valuable perspective you need to deal with the upcoming challenge.
Channel your emotions positively. Give yourself extra time so you can think about what went wrong and how you can fix that. You also deserve a little time to vent your disappointment when you’re upset. This is particularly applicable if you know you worked hard to receive a good grade but were unsuccessful in the process.
- Only re-reading their study materials for revision
Students end up skimming the text, which means they don’t process the information. As a result, they’re unable to retain it in their long-term memory.
An effective strategy, in this case, would be to use retrieval practice, also identified as the Testing Effect. This practice involves students finding answers to relevant questions and train their minds to retain the materials in the process.
- Identify your weaknesses
After receiving poor grades on your assignment, it’s vital to consider and understand your mistakes so that you know exactly what to fix. Some of you may lose marks because of grammatical issues, and then some of you may falter at presenting answers in writing with brevity and clarity.
You can sit down with a teacher, classmate, friend, or parent and ask them for advice. It’s always nice to have someone to confide your feelings about your academic performance. Also, ensure that you have a word with your teachers after receiving your marks so that you are completely aware of where exactly you’ve gone wrong and the best strategies to employ in the future to improve.
- Taking notes verbatim in class
While in class, students often cultivate the habit of taking down word for word as their teacher delivers the lecture. However, this technique has been proven to be ineffective: doing so prevents you from learning efficiently. When you’re being selective and write notes in your own words, you end up spending more time processing the details and retaining them in your mind.
Encouraging students not to use pen and paper instead of laptops is one way to keep verbatim note-taking in check. To make this task less gruelling and more effective, you can even learn to use the Cornell note-taking method.
- Not making a list of upcoming assignments
Disorganisation and inefficient time management is a contributor to your poor grades. Making a list of upcoming assignments, due dates, and guidelines is a way to measure your organisational skills.
It may not be possible for you to remember the deadlines and requirements of every task. But if you can’t remember deadlines and specifications, and you can’t find the notes or handouts that describe them, you probably have organisational issues. If you understand the topics of assignments but have trouble keeping up with deadlines and procedures, disorganisation is perhaps at the root of your problem.
- Not testing your knowledge
If you find yourself struggling with a particular subject, a lack of understanding of the topics may be your problem. Study with your peers to gain perspective on your study material, or work with a tutor to keep you engaged in the subject outside of class.
Try answering questions from the textbook, ask your teacher for a sample test, or go online to look at some problems you aren’t already acquainted with. Although it comes across as counter-intuitive, this is the simplest academic problem to fix because it doesn’t require a massive behaviour change.
- Not devoting enough time to work on your gaps
After learning about your weaknesses, invest your time working on how you could fix them with the help of specific strategies that would best address your problems. Your strategies must be focused on specifically your needs.
For instance, if you ran out of time during a test, you can use exam-smart strategies like writing essay questions in a timed and simulated environment. You must practice every day so you can bridge the gaps in your learning. Even though you may not be rewarded now, you’ll surely reap the benefits in the future.
Wrapping it up,
Regardless of your academic levels, bad grades are demotivating for most of you. That’s why it’s imperative to put in the hard work towards overcoming academic challenges and ensuring good performance in the future.
Author bio: Henry Tesfaye is a guest lecturer for a distinguished university in Australia. Tesfaye has acquired his Master’s in Psychology from Murdoch University. He loves blogging and travelling in his leisure time. He is also an academic expert for Essaygator.com and provides case study help to students in need.