Hautu: Get Better Grades

By Vachry Widhanto


As you all know, work-life balance is very important. Some students have found themselves jumping out of hostel rooms or at least entertained the idea of it when pressure gets too much. Suicide rates increase at times of recession when laid off workers fall under the weight of mounting debt. For students like us, we’ve spent most of our young lives studying and worrying that our grades will not secure the future that we want. Here are some ‘tips’ I gathered from the pros – students who have achieved good grades, mind you – about what it takes to get that sacred ‘A’:

They say, “Studying is like sex.”


The more you think about it, the more nervous you will become, and you will add more unnecessary pressure to yourself to perform even better. Calm down.

They say, “Get rid of your distractions, including your roommate“


The best place for us to study for most us is our own room. But many complain that their roommate is one of the biggest distractions. Getting rid of your roommate is easier than you think. If your roommate has muscle fetish, tell him to go to the nearest gym, giving some extra time for you to study alone.

They say, “An apple a day keeps the F’s away”


It’s a bit hard to believe, but a well-balanced diet can transform a hormonally frazzled student to a healthy straight-‘A’ student. Say goodbye to cafeteria food or anything served inside Styrofoam containers. I know instant noodles provide a quick fix and it tastes pretty good on your cash-strapped student budget. But your brain needs vitamins and minerals to work well with you. MSG is not enough.

They say, “Study hard, party harder, and party some more the hardest before the exam.”


Just like the ‘upper division modules’ that requires you to take prerequisite classes, you can only do this if you have mastered the previous stage. Assuming you’ve prepared for the exam earlier than anyone in your class, study week demands you to party like a rockstar. Trust me: nothing gives you more pleasure than watching your friends study hard while you’re having fun. Even better, ask them to join your party and improve your class’ bell curve to your favor.

They say, “Plan your exam carefully”

Planning your exam carefully plays a big part in your grade-whoring process. You can arrange to meet your lecturers hours before the exam to get the last bit of information. Come to the examination hall early. Sit as far away as possible from annoying student(s) like the boy who whistles through his nose due to his musical nasal hair or the girl with the runny nose who will sniffle and snort throughout the duration.

They say, “Focus on the impression you make, not the answer.”

Put yourself in the lecturer’s shoes. A mundane way of answering questions, although your answers are correct, would give less sense of urgency for the lecturers to give you his/her precious marks. Make it elegant, forceful, and sharp; you’ll get your marks straight away.

They say, “Have as many crushes as possible.”

I was shocked to find that nearly all the sources I have interviewed all mentioned this important point. To sum it up:

  • Crush = motivation
  • More crush = more motivation
  • It’s directly proportional, believe it or not.

They say, “Trial and error.”


Learning is a process. Sometimes, you don’t know which lever to press and which switches that we need to turn. There are many studying methods available. Do whatever you are comfortable with, and don’t listen to your parents. Listen to your heart. You know yourself better.

Now who says cum-laude students are geeks and lifeless? Happy trying!

Thanks to: “Blueguysik”, “Mr. 100”, “Syed Shibli”, and “Devil in Disguise”

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