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Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:26 pm

What, in your opinion or experience or both, do you believe constitutes a person able to achieve very highly in examinations or coursework or both?

You often hear that those who perform the best are ‘intelligent,’ but are they? I suppose this depends upon the definition of intelligence, which might well be broad.

In my opinion and experience, success depends upon effective organisation; effective time- and project-management skills; effective communication; and a desire and motivation to do the work. Other elements, such as effectively working on your lonesome or in a team and leadership, can also be very important in certain circumstances.

It is strange, then, that little emphasis seems to be placed upon these factors, or ‘life and work skills,’ even though they are so critical both to academic success and career success. Sure, some emphasis is placed upon them, but not, in my view, to the required degree. Indeed, you frequently hear, at least in the UK, that some children are underperforming in both mathematics and English. But if the same children don't have the foundation of skills, i.e. those aforementioned, upon which to build, then the fact that they are underperforming in specific subjects is, in my view, less worrying, for unless you have those skills you won't succeed that greatly. However, I suspect those that DO perform brilliantly have those skills anyway, although there is always room for improvement.

I think that a course ought to be established to truly show the importance of those skills and to really help develop them. They need to be acknowledged.

What are your views regarding the recipe for academic success?

[Edited 2005-10-07 16:31:39]
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beowulf
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:29 pm

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
What, in your opinion or experience or both, do you believe constitutes a person able to achieve very highly in examinations or coursework or both?

Some intelligence is helpful, but what's more important is dilligence in studying the subject and understanding what it's all about.

Nick
 
Aviation
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:29 pm

Organisation, stick to goals!

Thanks,
Aaron J Nicoli
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Logan22L
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:47 pm

Actually listen to the professor. I remember in graduate school studying with a friend, and saying - "I know this will be on the test, but this won't." I "knew" this, because I had a very good sense of how the professor stressed certain items and made light of others.

Not all professors operate this way, however. Some will throw curveballs, others not. Be a good judge of character, and listen. So, depending on the professor, different skills are needed for success. Certainly this requires intelligence, but also effective organization. However, to me, effective organization requires savvy intelligence in order to ascertain which professors fall into which category and how to sense what to study and what not to waste your time on from subject to subject.

You can't do everything, the key is figuring out what to spend your time on, and more importantly, what not to spend your time on (including A.net).
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
cornish
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:48 pm

A recipe for Academic Success ??

I find Lasagne works well Big grin
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:54 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 4):
A recipe for Academic Success ??

I find Lasagne works well

 Silly

Logan: in the USA, I believe you even call those who are Drs (i.e. have a PhD) professors. Is this true? I ask because in the UK we only call those who are actually professors professors*.


* There is, of course, a difference between a Dr. and a professor, one being that the latter does a lot more admin. work and another that a number of articles/journals/etc. were submitted. You could argue, with differing levels of success, that a professor is more experienced and knowledgeable. A professor will also have a PhD and would have previously have been a Dr.
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VSlover
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:57 pm

after attending a very competitive school with loads of "smart" people, i do think that much of academic success is simply genetic.

for example, my good friend was the type that always was doing work, studying, going to study session and worked like a madman and always came up with the A- or B+.

i NEVER took notes, i read very little, i wrote my papers with little effort, and i was basically a big slacker, yet i always got an A- or A and the rare B+. it would infuriate my friend in some classes we had together because i never did any extra work, and quite honestly didnt need to.

incidentally, studies have shown that as far as american students are concerned, the most reliable indicator of a persons wealth later in life is ones SAT scores. ie a high SAT means that person will generally have a higher avg income over his/her lifespan than a person with a lower score. i dont ave the source because it was a study we examined in a psych class years back--obviously the ETS has plenty of data spread over a significant number of years to justify the results.
 
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 3):
Actually listen to the professor. I remember in graduate school studying with a friend, and saying - "I know this will be on the test, but this won't." I "knew" this, because I had a very good sense of how the professor stressed certain items and made light of others.

Not all professors operate this way, however. Some will throw curveballs, others not. Be a good judge of character, and listen. So, depending on the professor, different skills are needed for success. Certainly this requires intelligence, but also effective organization. However, to me, effective organization requires savvy intelligence in order to ascertain which professors fall into which category and how to sense what to study and what not to waste your time on from subject to subject.

You can't do everything, the key is figuring out what to spend your time on, and more importantly, what not to spend your time on (including A.net).

Yes. Listening - not just listening but effective listening - is essential.

Another key consideration, taken from what you submitted, is the ability to effectively order your workload, which is easier if you are well-organised, and to logically and sensibly determine which requires more work, based on importance or deadline or whatever, for you do not have infinite personal resources and time.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
cornish
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:11 am

Subjects make a difference though.

I always excelled in subjects where i used my brain to construct essays and papers with a proper arguement - something i really learned in A-Level History. This sort of thing interested me and as such i excelled in the likes of Modern History, Human Geography, Politics, Economics, etc.

But i was bored senseless by subjects where you learned the facts and regurgitated them to some extent. you can't argue with the laws of physics - i just had to remember it. Different for some people, but for me there was never much enthusiasm there.

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 3):
Not all professors operate this way, however. Some will throw curveballs, others not. Be a good judge of character, and listen. So, depending on the professor, different skills are needed for success. Certainly this requires intelligence, but also effective organization. However, to me, effective organization requires savvy intelligence in order to ascertain which professors fall into which category and how to sense what to study and what not to waste your time on from subject to subject.

Very true. in my time I have seen some professors/lecturers who would award top marks to people you knew were not the best, but simply just repeated exactly what the professor had said in their lectures in their student papers. They were the experts, so had to be right. the lecturer would award them the highest marks, and penalise anyone who tried to look at different answers.

But then the good profesors I had would reward those of us who would actually form our own views and express a cohesive arguement, rather than just repeat parrot fashion.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:15 am

Quoting Cornish (Reply 8):
This sort of thing interested me and as such i excelled in the likes of Modern History, Human Geography, Politics, Economics

You told me you failed Economics.  Silly
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CaptOveur
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:17 am

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
What, in your opinion or experience or both, do you believe constitutes a person able to achieve very highly in examinations or coursework or both?

Raw memorization.. School is not about learning, if it was, tests would be more than just puking back up the high points of the last few weeks of lecture. Other assignments are not even really challenging when you get right down to it. Puking the instructors ideas back up gets you the most points for the least work. I found thinking outside the box only causes me long hours of work and grades below that of people who were following the party line. Yes, this is extremely tedious, that is college.

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
You often hear that those who perform the best are ‘intelligent,’ but are they? I suppose this depends upon the definition of intelligence, which might well be broad.

Thats a negative, ghostrider. The top performers are usually the LEAST intelligent in my experience. They are simply the best memorizers, typically have little real experience outside a classroom, and are severly lacking in analytical abilities; much like the people who teach. A straight A transcript only shows someone is great at jumping through hoops, and honestly, I don't think I would hire someone with a 4.0GPA. I know that makes me unusual but I think perfect grades are a poor reflection on someone as a person. Especially with all the academic dishonesty I have witnessed but the professors look the other way on.

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
I think that a course ought to be established to truly show the importance of those skills and to really help develop them. They need to be acknowledged.

Good luck with that. Most people in Acadamia have never had a real job, or if they did, they sucked at it. That is why they are teaching. Asking them to teach something about the real world is sort of the blind leading the blind. This is why we have to take 2 ethics classes in college, people think it will really make a difference. I have news for them, if you don't have ethics by the time you reach college, you will never have them.

Simple fact is, 95% of what you learn in school is going to have no application in your job. The company that hires you is going to train you to do a few things their way. The best way to make college students excel would be sort of an apprenticeship thing. The student decides what they want to do, and they are placed with a company, who tells the school what classes they want them to take. On top of those classes the student has to take the stuff that is supposed to make us SOUND well rounded and smart, English, literature, history, a few electives in useless shit like psychology and sociology, etc. This gets the first job out of the way, and will probably make the graduate a more effective employee. After the first job the specifics about the college education matter less and less anyway. The people who design college curriculum just don't seem to understand that most entry level jobs have a very narrow focus, teaching the whole picture is done adequately in the survey course we all take our first year.

I am an accounting student, formerly engineering. I am an average student because I just can't perform at the top of the grade curve. This used to bother me but the more I worked and the more I looked at school, the less I cared. Especially in accounting, Most of the top performers I know have put themselves on a fast track to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison with their attitudes and actions.

[Edited 2005-10-07 17:31:00]
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VSlover
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:18 am

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 10):
This is why we have to take 2 ethics classes in college, people think it will really make a difference. I have news for them, if you don't have ethics by the time you reach college, you will never have them.

well put.
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:19 am

I think that the key is studying something you're interested in. In subjects that I was interested in (the tecnical stuff, for example), I was getting marks between A and B, only by listening during classes. On the subjects I wasn't interested in (history, etc) I could barely make a C-, eventhough I tried studying hard at home. What I was reading simply didn't stick in my mind.

So, IMHO it's a question of attitude. Learning hard for hours doesn't help if you're not really interested in what you're doing. OTOH, learning is also useless if it's a subject you really like, because you already know things after having heard them once.

Ergo: learning serves no purpose Big grin (OK, that's an exaggeration, but I think I made my point)

YMMV.
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cornish
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:22 am

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 9):
You told me you failed Economics.

At A-Level I failed because you just learned theory. You spend weeks learning about perfect competition and then get told it can't happen in the real world.

Got top grades as part of my Uni course though because it was actually applied to real world situations....Kind of like CatOveur's points. The theoretical stuff was finbe for the academics, but no use in the real world. i did fine with the real world stuff and it shows in my career today.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:28 am

There is a limit to the 'listening to the professors': at university, the vast majority of your time ought to be spent doing wider reading. The information that they disclose is merely the foundation upon which to build through personal wider reading. Indeed, I cannot imagine, at least for a student in the UK, how someone could achieve a very good grade merely by submitting what the lecturer said: the lecturer only gives a limited (sometimes very limited) about of information, the purpose of which (beside the time limitation) being to make you do additional work.

I did a Law degree. This is very much a library-based subject. If you don't do an awful lot of extra reading and research, you'll fail miserably. So if you merely wrote what the lecturer said, you would, generally speaking, do badly or fail completely.

Anyway, I drank too much booze at university, but I had a damn good time. I was lucky: I managed to successfully balance work and play.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:30 am

Quoting Cornish (Reply 13):
Got top grades as part of my Uni course though because it was actually applied to real world situations....Kind of like CatOveur's points. The theoretical stuff was finbe for the academics, but no use in the real world. i did fine with the real world stuff and it shows in my career today.

Yeah. I was, many years' ago, considering doing a business-orientated degree. I decided against it because it would have been full of theories which aren't necessarily that applicable and relevant in an everyday situation. Why can't you learn the more practical stuff in addition to, rather than instead of, the theory?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
TedTAce
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:33 am

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
What are your views regarding the recipe for academic success?

No partying, No partying, No partying, No partying, No partying, Lots of studying, No partying, No partying, No partying, No partying, No Dating, No partying, No partying, No partying, as little socializing as possible, No partying, No partying, No partying, and No partying.

Did I mention No partying?
This space intentionally left blank
 
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:41 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 16):
No partying, No partying, No partying, No partying, No partying, Lots of studying, No partying, No partying, No partying, No partying, No Dating, No partying, No partying, No partying, as little socializing as possible, No partying, No partying, No partying, and No partying.

No, no! It's very important to have a good time. The key is to find a balance.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
bezoar
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:45 am

People differ in the power of their intellect, ability to memorize (short and long term), concentration, organizational skills, motivation, interest, and discipline. How well they are guided also has a great impact, whether it be external or internal.

Some of those with more powerful intellects and memories are often bored with school, goof off, and can still do well in school, much to the angst of those who work hard to achieve their academic marks.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
 
BA380
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:51 am

i am convinced that it is in large part being put in a school/group etc where other pupils are also clever and the staff are good and the ethos is positive. This creates the sort of climate where people want to and can learn quickly and therefore do.
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Logan22L
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:32 am

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 5):
Logan: in the USA, I believe you even call those who are Drs (i.e. have a PhD) professors. Is this true?

No. I usually address then as: "yo, egghead."  Wink

But in the US "professor" is used exclusively for university instructors, many of whom, but certainly not all, have Ph.D's.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
RedDragon
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:40 am

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 20):
in the US "professor" is used exclusively for university instructors, many of whom, but certainly not all, have Ph.D's

Interesting. In the UK you get taught by (largely) doctors, (some) professors and a fair few PhD students. (This latter category is generally the most cynical and jaded, and complains the most about being overworked  Wink)

Rich
 
BA380
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:44 am

there is quite a bit of academic snobbery at play in the UK in certain instances, where some tutors (partic at Oxford or Cambridge) are plain Mr and get very offended if referred to as Dr or Prof. Never quite fathomed why, though.
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cornish
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:49 am

Quoting BA380 (Reply 19):
i am convinced that it is in large part being put in a school/group etc where other pupils are also clever and the staff are good and the ethos is positive. This creates the sort of climate where people want to and can learn quickly and therefore do.

Very true - the problem now in the Uk is that you can't be selective like that. Class streaming is a definite no-no and all kids are equal. result = everything gets dumbed down and the brightest kids aren't stretched to anywhere near their ability.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
teahan
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:52 am

*Most important bit of advice is to be a cue seeker. Listen to everything the lecturer says and pick up the hints (most don’t enjoy spending fine summer days correcting repeat papers). Pick up on those and you should be able to predict the paper….
*Pick your goal and within reason stick to it. Presumably the point of going to university is to come out with a degree... plenty of people seem to forget that bit along the way.

Quote:
I decided against it because it would have been full of theories which aren't necessarily that applicable and relevant in an everyday situation. Why can't you learn the more practical stuff in addition to, rather than instead of, the theory?

I’d associate the above to a law degree rather than a business degree.

Quote:
There is a limit to the 'listening to the professors': at university, the vast majority of your time ought to be spent doing wider reading. The information that they disclose is merely the foundation upon which to build through personal wider reading. Indeed, I cannot imagine, at least for a student in the UK, how someone could achieve a very good grade merely by submitting what the lecturer said: the lecturer only gives a limited (sometimes very limited) about of information, the purpose of which (beside the time limitation) being to make you do additional work.

That’s a point I wouldn’t quite agree with, especially at undergraduate level. While wider reading is important, it is much more important is to be able to show a thorough understanding of material provided and covered in lectures. Yes even in a law module and that’s something I learned the hard way.

Quote:
I was lucky: I managed to successfully balance work and play.

That’s not what I’ve been hearing. Anyway [email protected] what are you up to these days?
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
BA380
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:54 am

Quoting Cornish (Reply 23):
Very true - the problem now in the Uk is that you can't be selective like that. Class streaming is a definite no-no and all kids are equal. result = everything gets dumbed down and the brightest kids aren't stretched to anywhere near their ability.

agree fully.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Recipe For Academic Success

Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:08 am

PRACTICE.
DICIPLINE.
CONCENTRATION.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

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