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4 Tips to Succeed at University

Updated: Nov 11, 2018



My subject choices for A-Levels were rather random; ICT, Geography, Urdu and General Studies. After realising General Studies was not highly regarded by universities when applying for an undergraduate degree, I ended up swapping this to Law. Initially I avoided picking this subject, thinking it would be too difficult and challenging.


I knew I wanted to do a degree at university and therefore decided to swap General Studies with a more highly regarded subject – Law. The teacher running the course at 6th Form College informed me that he will be testing the Law class on their knowledge of the module so far. I had already missed several classes due to studying General Studies and was at a disadvantage. To my surprise, however I outperformed students taking the subject from the beginning, this really boosted my confidence and made me feel like I was intelligent.


Studying a new subject and joining the class late really tested my ability. I continued to outperform students in my class by achieving a grade A. I pursued my love for Law at Middlesex University and I saw that each year my results kept improving. In the end, I achieved a First-class grade in LLB Law and a Pass with Distinction in my LLM degree.

Over the years I have learnt that there are a few simple rules that if followed anyone can achieve success in academia.

This includes:

  1. Preparation – being prepared is key to success. Therefore, by reading the relevant chapters and making notes from the textbooks, one can have a clearer understanding of the topic. You can also ask the module leader for assistance on concepts which you do not understand in your readings.

  2. Attendance – it is no doubt clear that by attending all sessions, you will do amazingly well in your assessments. If you happen to miss a session, you should try to review the lecture slides, contact the module leader and ask your friends in lectures for any notes that were taken.

  3. Asking for assistance – if you are unable to grasp a certain concept, then always make sure to contact the module leader to seek assistance. Lecturers are there to assist students with their studies and to help correct any misunderstandings. I have also noticed that it helps to talk to fellow students. They may be able to simplify key concepts and terms which may help you understand what they mean.

  4. Mocks – I cannot stress enough the importance of mock assessments. During my undergraduate degree, I always took the opportunity to sit mock assessments. I also noticed that my grades improved by one whole grade (2:1 to 1st). This was helped by receiving feedback from the module leaders who helped me to understand where I went wrong and how I could improve my performance in summative assessments.


I am currently studying for a Legal Professional Course, at City University and am thoroughly enjoying it, although it is very hard work! I have been able to use my skills developed over the years from studying at 6th form and enhanced during my time at Middlesex University to succeed in my current course.


So, my advice to students is to not judge a subject and to have a go at something which is out of your comfort zone. I fell in love with Law through hard work, determination and by following the 4 success tips mentioned in this blog. I was then able to develop a passion for Law which I did not initially have. I hope you also find the same success by following my tips.


Author: Shazad Ali

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