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The end of the academic year is an apt time for reflection. It is an ideal opportunity to ponder your achievements and failures, and the wins and losses over the previous months of academic and social pursuits.

Within that, I’m sure we all have memories of those classes where it required that little bit (and in some cases, a significant amount) of extra energy and effort to keep the mind focused, the eyes opened and the brain alert.

With the myriad of subjects that we are required to study throughout our educational career, it would be idealistic to think that we’re going to love and enjoy them all. For every favourite subject we attempt our best at, there is undoubtedly a least favourite one that we simply cannot be bothered with or that we just don’t get. And unless you happen to be one of those wonderful all-rounders who are able to achieve top marks in every subject under the sun, for the majority of us, disdain for our least favourite subjects will be reflected in low grades.

What can be done? Try the following four tips for starters:

Find out what the problem is

Does the problem lie with your methodology or the understanding of concepts and theories? Is the amount of information that you’re expected to add to your brain too much to handle? Is your technique for exams and coursework letting you down? Find out what’s going on with a proper analysis, and try and find out early if you can: tackling our least favourite subjects early means we are given the gift of time to improve our chances to achieve a good grade (which will mean that much more because we disliked it so!).

Talk to your teacher

They know everything about you (well, perhaps not everything!) – at least with what’s going on with your subject. Their objective advice will hopefully be able to set you on the right path and give you some good ideas on how to do better.

Find a different way to learn

If you’re struggling with taking in the endless list of historical facts, why not try visiting a museum? If English proves a constant conundrum, join a book group or donate some free time and read to children. Find a practical way to get involved in your subject; approaching it from a different perspective could very well improve your feelings towards it.

Get a tutor

Working with someone who knows the subject that you don’t understand inside out and is passionate about the subject you dislike, can only serve to benefit you. A tutor can show you new techniques to apply, give you that much needed confidence boost and imbue you with their enthusiasm for their subject. Osborne Cawkwell offers private tuition in every academic subject, so do get in touch if you’re interested.

Happy pondering!

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