Getting good grades

I tend to go with the flow and not worry much about things, and the same is true for university, however, this semester I set a goal to actually get high grades in every one of my subjects, and here is how it went for me.

I didn’t do a lot of blog posts this semester, that’s for sure. But I have to admit that, despite my goal I didn’t do a lot of study either. 😅

I think the reason I managed to get a good score in almost everything has to do with how I managed to get into focus mode a lot more often than in previous semesters, and of course, quite a lot of luck involved with some teachers giving good scores as long as you seemed like a dedicated student to them. As a Mechatronics Engineering student, I was quite thrilled with the classes I had this time, so here’s a quick summary of how I did on each of them!

😎 The easy classes

Business Management and Business Planning were the two classes I considered to be the simplest but also the most tedious.

Management’s teacher was very active and liked to make us work a lot, she always wanted us to make a summary of every module we went through, and classes consisted of everyone sharing their thoughts on every topic. This was a nice idea but when everyone realized she only wanted us to talk but didn’t check our writings, most only looked stuff up on the moment with their phones and pretended to read from their notes when asked to speak.

We also had to do presentations, videos and essays on the matter. Everything was pretty chill and simple to be honest. If it wasn’t for other classes that were more important and demanded more of my attention. This class’s homework was quite time consuming.

I did good, because I delivered everything and wrote a bit more often than the rest, even though I would lie if I didn’t say sometimes I too was doing my homework in class while others were speaking. I ended up with a 100 regardless.

Business Planning started off as quite a complicated subject when we had to do certain calculations of things like the break-even point, utility, liquidity and other concepts that I have to admit I never managed to fully understand.

The final project was a Business Plan draft, the teacher told us we were not supposed to do something complete since “plans can always be improved” and other things like that. So my team and I pretty much made everything up. 🙃

Most classes during the first month were pretty hard, but after that it was mostly conceptual stuff and theory. We learned about loans and stuff like that. I think the most important thing I learned was that “the best way to do business is doing business with other people’s money.”

The rest of the time I was doing assignments for other classes (or origami) while listening to his talks, which he gave with passion and the best of intentions, but I couldn’t really focus on them despite my best efforts. I wish I could since there was some interesting stuff.

I think what saved me the most was the lack of exams and that I had taken notes a few times on my computer and had a good grasp of the topics he taught, so I was able to participate and stand out from others. I got a 98.

😴 The boring classes

My Digital Signal Processing teacher was incredibly chill, and a little too relaxed. Sadly this meant his teaching was also incredibly boring. There were times where he wrote down a problem to solve, spent the whole class developing it and slowly but surely, he told us “this result is not what I had in my notebook, I am not sure why I got it wrong, let’s leave it for next time.”

This happened multiple times, and every time there were new concepts he introduced and only managed to confuse me more. The homework was easy enough, and he didn’t really care about exams much. The couple times he gave one he just arrived to the classroom, said: “so here are the problems, send me your solutions by the end of the day” and just left us there. I am sure I don’t need to explain why everyone got good grades on this one, I got a 100.

Even so, most of the concepts had already been explained to me in previous classes, so it was fine.

🤪 The careless but interesting classes

Classic Artificial Intelligence was great. But the teacher didn’t pay us any attention, many times he didn’t show up and he only laid out a problem for us to try and solve.

They were always the same problems each semester and most of the classroom (which got split in teams) had obtained the code from previous students that took the class before. I decided to do pretty much all the code myself and pretty much carried my whole team. They were in charge of doing the written reports so I had to add good comments on my code and call it a day.

Sadly I got a pretty low score (for what I wanted at least, 87 isn’t bad) at first because the reports were supposed to be in LaTeX and we thought he would not care anyways. He did. Thankfully, after sending a couple of emails and taking my participation in the Science Fair into account. He gave me a much better score of 97.

Expert Systems was also given by the same professor, and it was the same thing, we had to do everything on our own. Well, not as much, he actually showed us how to do stuff a couple times sharing his thought process while projecting his screen and coding the first problem given to us.

It was really interesting to be honest. Again I ended up programming everything and, despite still doing the reports in Word, I got a much better initial score of 90. I think the reason is that this class ended up with only two projects, because the teacher was really busy (or ignored us a little too much), so he probably went a little easier on us. Regardless, I dared to ask for more, and he complied. I ended up with a 95.

I know numbers don’t matter much, but I also really feel like I deserved a higher score. And it looks like he agreed with me, so I am happy.

😍 The actually good class

Fuzzy Control was not the subject I thought would become my favorite of the semester. The teacher there knew how to teach and how to get us (or at least me) interested in his subject.

He did a full proper course, some days it was theory, others we only solved problems. Every exam was good and had a good difficulty level, the options he gave for extra points were also quite reasonable. I participated in the Science Fair because he encouraged us to try it.

Because of that I managed to get 30 extra points on top of my final score. This made it so I didn’t really need to do homework at all, which was great because the only thing I hated about the class was the very repetitive problems we had to solve, even if they were kinda relaxing, since it was just developing simple calculations.

By the end I actually got a score of 94+30, because I did great in my exams, I could have skipped doing the science fair project and gotten a good score anyway, that’s how much I loved this class, very interesting stuff.

😬 The class that was easy until it was not

Materials Mechanics was supposed to be a very simple class where we learned about external forces being applied to materials and structures. Compression, tension, torsion, among other concepts that I had learned semesters ago.

The teacher I had was extremely chill and pretty decent. However, everyone on that class was like 3 semesters below me, still figuring stuff out, so it looks like most of them hated the subject and didn’t even understand how to manipulate equations to calculate unknown forces and such, for some reason.

However, somehow, the teacher got changed last minute for another one. The reason remains a mystery to me, I liked the guy. The new teacher was online only, but very reasonable and chill too. I had a score of 100 until a final exam showed up.

Departmental exams are done by all the teachers giving a certain class, and while it was not hard, it carries a lot of weight in your final score. The other classes I took didn’t have this kind of exam. I got a 70, because when you measure forces you get a negative or positive value depending on your assumptions, and my initial assumptions were indeed, wrong, even if the absolute value was the right one. I ended up with a 90, its fine.

💭 Final thoughts

This is my best semester so far since the pandemic started, during the pandemic pretty much all my scores were higher because nobody seemed to care a lot and whatever you sent counted as a complete homework for most.

I feel quite accomplished this time around. I am actually able to graduate and get my degree based on average alone, no need to do a thesis or anything of the like.

I think I will still consider making a thesis but I am not sold on it yet, even if it would also help on my curriculum.

Anyways, until my next post. Or you know, follow me on social media if you want more of me.


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