Paying for Marks with Dignity
Once, someone close to me called to tell me that they were asked to pay to pass a course and essentially asked me for what he should do. I don’t have any issues with his paying for marks; however, where we differ is in what should be paid to earn any mark. On Student Groove this week, I want to show you how marks are earned and how to pay for them.
Marks are Not Free; They Are Earned
The first point I want to make is that grades are not given freely, they are earned. It’s not supposed to be arbitrarily distributed; you are supposed to work hard to impress your examiner enough that he will reward you with good grades. Generally, when you work hard and smart enough to impress your examiner, you will be rewarded with good grades. You don’t leave your grades to chance or just wish that they turn out fine, you identify the price to be paid and pay them in full.
Don’t expect grades to be dashed to you. You have to pay for it and if you are not willing to make the payment for it, forget about good grades. The purpose of schooling is not getting grades; grades are used to demonstrate how much you have learnt. It’s not supposed to be acquired by any other means aside demonstrating a good understanding of your course. So, when you go to school, take a course or write an exam, know that you are supposed to work to earn your grades, NOT beg for any mark that will be accorded to you.
Paying for marks is important because that’s the proof of your dedication to your study you show your parents and, to a reasonable extent, it can affect your career trajectory and rise. So, you should take it seriously. You almost can’t undo the grade you graduate with and so while you have the opportunity to pay the price for the grade you desire, please make efforts to pay for it. Good grades don’t happen by chance; they are a result of your lifestyle while you are in school. So, the payment for a good grade is living out the lifestyle that produces it.
You may have heard about people who have grades they didn’t work for and used underhanded methods to get good grades sometimes better than those who work very hard and make sacrifices in school. Don’t envy such people; there is actually nothing to envy in them. The best they are getting is just grades with little or even nothing to show upstairs. People like that will get grades that can open doors for them, but their empty brains will bring them disgrace when a situation that places a demand on them to proffer solution from their supposed depth of knowledge.
My point is that in school, grades are not free. They are earned and you earn them by paying the price for it. From day one, you should set out to pay for every mark that will be awarded to you; not get it by begging and other dubious methods.
Lifestyle for Good Grades
Good grades don’t come by chance; it’s worked for. The only time unserious students get good grades is when they find themselves in corrupt systems where they use dubious methods to get the grade they don’t deserve awarded to them. So, if you are in a good school or have enough respect for yourself not to settle for those shameful methods, what I expect you to do is to ensure you pay the price for good grades; no matter how big it is.
The price of good grades is learning your course content thoroughly, understanding what your examiner expects from you, preparing adequately to satisfy them and avoid any malpractice that could sabotage your efforts. Having understood this, I want you to make a commitment to pay for the price for the grade you desire. Make the sacrifices; it won’t be forever and the reward lasts very long, if not forever!
If you really desire good grades in your exam, get down to work on it. You don’t play around wishing for it or just praying for it; you cultivate the lifestyle that produces it. This will require lots of sacrifices from you and place a demand on your scarce resources, but the good thing is that it’s worth every dime. Your classmates may have a different attitude to your academic work—some indifferent, some serious-minded and some can even be referred to as non-academic students. That shouldn’t be strange to you because, in school, you may have the same admission; but you all are on a different mission.
When getting the best of grades is your priority, you can’t play like everybody. You can’t be sleeping like every other person and you can’t be fiddling with your phone in class during lecturer like everybody. You have to deny yourself pleasure and excessive comfort to pay the price for your good grade. Set a goal for yourself, understand how fast you learn and apply that knowledge in developing a study strategy that will ensure good grades.
One fundamental lifestyle for good grades is a proper understanding of your course materials and your examiner’s expectations from you. That’s the core and once you can do that, ONLY GOD can stop you. So, don’t just ‘hope to pass’ or ‘believe God for the best’; also work for the best by sitting down to understand your course materials…and paying attention to your teacher or examiner to understand HOW they want their questions answered. It’s not easy but that’s the true way to pay for your marks!
I understand that there are lecturers who shouldn’t have any business teaching secondary school students let alone undergraduates. When you have such people take your course, one challenge you have is understanding your course because they either don’t even understand the course they are teaching or they don’t have the requisite skill in transferring knowledge. Don’t allow this challenge to rob you of your good grades by locating someone that can teach you, joining a discussion group and reading from different texts and material on the subject matter.
You see, there is hardly anything a lecturer will be teaching you in class that is not in a book, sometimes with better and more detailed explanation than a lecturer can offer. So, when you happen to have a lecturer wey no sabi becomes your lecturer, just get his course outline, take as many notes as possible from his classes and get good textbooks to read. You can’t change the system that allows mediocrity to prepare the next generation, but you can ensure they don’t deny you adequate knowledge of your course and good grades.
In your pursuits of good grades, there are easy ways out that could be presented to you such as cheating in exam, sex for marks and even paying for grades. Close your eye to all these and commit to paying the price for your grade. There is a pride in knowing that the grade you see on your certificate is yours and not gotten from cheating and sleeping around. Even if you have gotten your grades by cheating in the past, know that there is joy of earning your grade that you have missed. This time around, commit to working to earn the grade you will graduate with and you will enjoy that unspeakable joy.
What I have explained so far is that the way to get good grades is by working for it. That work is basically understanding your course contents and how your examiner wants you to answer his questions. There is no magic about it. However, some people believe that there is magic they can do to get good grades. They almost ALWAYS get surprised! I have gotten that surprise in my life, I don’t want you to and that’s why I want to spend some time talking about it.
Passing Exam; Not Magical
If you really desire good grades, you don’t wish it to happen. You work for it. Many people have ‘hopped for the best’ on their exam because they believe this lie that ‘what will be will be’ and so their efforts matter only in a small way to their overall success in an exam. As usual, this set of people often get surprises of failure or ‘ata’ inside the exam hall. To avoid it, understand that you have a huge stake in your life and take the prep for your exam seriously.
Some students believe God so much for good grades that they fail to do play their part. They think it’s faith, but the reality of their practice is foolishness. God has given you and I brain to decode our course contents and answer questions on them in an exam. To expect him to magically make you pass a course you know nothing on is actually insulting him!
Moreover, stop asking God to show you area of concentration; He wants you to concentrate on everything in your course outline so that you will graduate fully equipped to solve life problems. The problem you will be required to solve makes a demand on your based on your professional, not area you concentrated. If He can show you the area of concentration, I am sure He can equally help you understand whatever you read; so, ask for understanding!
Now, there are those who don’t even make an effort to read or come to class; but they ‘sort’ and ‘pay in kind’ for any grade they want. People like that thrive because we have an educational system run by morally bankrupt elements. In saner climes, such people can’t survive an educational institution! Since you can’t stop them; don’t envy them. There is NOTHING to envy about those that pass exam with malpractice because there is more to life than your graduating grades. After school, what matters MOST is the capacity you have acquired. So, focus!
There is dignity in working hard to earn your marks. There is respect in that fact that NOBODY can say they ‘helped’ you to pass or get a certain grade. You lose that dignity the moment you start entering lecturer’s office to directly or stylishly beg for marks. You lose when you start arranging a sitting arrangement for exam malpractice. That’s why my philosophy has always been to come to for lectures, take notes and prepare for my exams and write them. One of my passing strategies HAS NEVER been to meet a lecturer and beg or even induce him for half a mark! I just can’t stoop that low!
“Brojid, what happens when a lecturer insists that I ‘sort’ or pay in kind to pass his exam?” The answer to this question will be the focus of #StudentGroove next week.
When you get into school or prepare for an exam, don’t expect to get marks my magic. Make up your mind and brace up to work for every single one of them. I know there is grace and I believe in it. If grace is a substitute for work, Jesus would not have said, ‘I will do the work of He who called me…’ Don’t beg or ‘sort’ for marks. The brain God gave you makes you too big for such nonsense. Understand your course and prepare to satisfy your examiner; then ask God to help you.
Meanwhile, if you care for more insight that could help you learn faster, easier and maximize your student days, visit Student Groove every Wednesday and follow StudentGroove on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @StudentGroove