Academic Excellence – Dr Tshego Nkonzo

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

 

Tracking Your Progress Throughout the Year

An example (write down such a graph on a3 cardboard…see your goals vs. actuals in black and white. Stick it up on your wall or room board so that it’s never out of sight.)

 

COURSE NAME

TEST 1/

ASSIGNMENT 1

(12.5% year mark)

TEST 2/

ASSIGNMENT2

(12.5% year mark)

AGGREGATE % of both tests…

JUNE EXAMS

(25% year mark)

TOTAL

50% year mark

GOAL

ACTUAL MARK

REQUIRED to get to 70%

REASONABLE GOAL

ACTUAL MARK

REQUIRED to get 70% and more(75%)

REASONABLE GOAL

ACTUAL MARK

ANATOMY

70%

62%

78%

72%

70%

66%

74%

76%

77%

71.5%

PHYSIOLOGY

70%

58%

82%

68%

71%

64.5%

75.5%

75%

74%

69.25%

MOLECULAR MEDICINE

70%

66%

74%

74%

75%

70.5%

79.5%

77%

72%

71.25%

ORIGINS OF MEDICAL SCIENCES

705

68%

72%

78%

76%

72%

78%

77%

80%

76%

 

 

Attendance

  • LECTURES 100% (Engage with pre-read content and understand concepts better.)
  • TUTORIALS 100% (Smaller groups. So ask questions here!!)
  • LABORATORY WORK 100%

 

Assignment Submissions

  • Submit ON TIME. Some lectures deduct up to 5% and even 10% for each day you submit late. Every mark counts!
  • Submit Neat Work. This gives the marker of your assignments the impression that you take pride in your work.
  • Complete assignments 48hrs before submission. Re-read next day to streamline thought, double-check references, tweak formatting and presentation of document.

 

Normal Time-Table (an Example)

  • Sunday – Thursday Afternoons/Evenings
    • 3-4 hours in quiet place with NO distractions.
    • Pre-read weekly content, make notes of lecture content, post read daily lecture content. Your assignments and tutorials should be done during this time.
  • Saturday Mornings
    • 5-7 hours (negotiable depending on demand of work)
    • Post read all courses’ weekly content. Complete tutorials or assignment due for upcoming week.

     

  • Friday Evenings
    • Free Friday and Saturday Nights = Balance 
    • Go to movies/ theater/ hang-out with friends/ have fun

 

Exam Time Preparation

  • Start exam course content preparations 6 weeks before exams, even before exam timetable comes out. (For test weeks, start preparing no later than 2weeks before tests. Don’t leave it to 3 days before.)
  • Add an extra hour of study time or if your current study time is used efficiently, maintain normal timetable.
  • Continue with your exercise routine & meal times at dining halls (don’t skip meals.)
  • Maintain social events e.g. church and connect, but be time-conscious and keep them to a minimum.
  • Honour your time-table. WRITE IT OUT. Have someone hold you accountable to study time and content of work done.
  • Study Timetable Guideline
    • Start with the course that’s MOST DIFFICULT and/or you DISLIKE THE MOST first
    • Then the course with LARGE VOLUME but somewhat easier (or bearable)
    • Lastly the course you ENJOY THE MOST or has the EASIEST CONTENT

 

General Attitude Towards Learning

Educators don’t set out to fail students…

It reflects positively on them when majority of their students pass and do well at their subject. All they are trying to ascertain throughout the year is whether you’ve understood the course concepts and content, and whether you are able to effectively communicate its applications through the form of MCQ’s/ Essays/ Short answers etc.

THAT IS ALL – don’t fear educators or exams as they are simply tools, not your enemy.

Enjoy your time at WITS. Let your character be built through the experiences you share here on campus and be mindful of why you are here.

Take pride in your work. Be grateful for the opportunity and privilege to pursue higher learning at this respected institution.

 Pursue this with excellence!

References

  • Links