Easy tips to FAIL your paper - From the eyes of a lecturer

I was not a bright student (still am). In fact I would admit that I am actually a very slow learner. Notice the word very? That shows how slow I am at receiving and processing new information. To compare myself with my siblings, well I will always be the last, never mind the fact that I am actually the eldest.

In here? The brain you mean?

But the one thing that I can hold my head high and be proud of is - perseverance. Failing papers means nothing to me, I will make sure that I will try again, and again until I am satisfied. 

You will only stop when you had reached the peak. Sadly, the peak is nowhere in sight now *sob sob

Through out my years of teaching, I had met students with colourful characters. Some of them don't even know why they have to study. These students, of course, come from wealthy families. I am sure they had forgotten the fact that all the wealth are actually not theirs, at least for now. It belongs to their parents. 

Some of them study so hard that they only sleep for less than 4 hours per day. They are so afraid that they can't pass the papers, and will have to give their parents the heartbreaking news. These kind of students usually come from not-well-to-do families and they really want to change the condition of their life. Well, I have good news for them. Hard work can definitely change your fate. If you were born as a poor man, do not die as one too!

So from all of the above, experiences as a student and also as a lecturer, these are the things that I can conclude. Things that you should do if you want to FAIL your paper.

Start studying! This kind of place would be perfect for studying!

1. Do not make your own notes.
In the university nowadays, lecturers prefer to give their own handouts to the students. These handouts are prepared in the power point format. Notice that? Power point! That means all we type are the points, without the elaborations. We will cover the elaborations in class. Your duty as a student is to take these points as guidelines. Then go to the library and find relevant books as references. With the syllabus on your left, always check whether the notes that you are preparing now is in line with the syllabus that the lecturer gave you.

2. Google everything.
Whenever I am reading answers from the students, there are times I really wonder whether we are actually in the same time zone. Especially for law. Take for example, no matter how many times I told the students, we do not have Negligence Act in Malaysia, the answer that I received will always include the Negligence Act 1949. Why? Because the moment you got the question, the first thing you do is google! As much as we encourage students to google as means to increase their knowledge, always refer to the guidelines that the lecturer had given you first and then google for elaborations or examples.

3. Sit back, watch and relax while the lecturer is lecturing.
I always encounter this in class. Since we only give the students the points (power point handouts), we try our best to explain more in class. Nevertheless, the students feel that they have photographic memory just like Mike Ross in Suits. So from the start of the lecture, until the end, not even a word was scribbled on their notes. It is as clean as the whistle. If you know that you will forget almost everything the lecturer had said in class, you have to take down what the lecturer is saying. Never mind that you could only copy few words that came out of his mouth, or few words that he had written on board. You will never know how much these words can help you while you are trying to do you last minute studying later.

4. Assuming that you can't fail.
I am a lecturer and I still fail. So never assume that you won't fail. If you look at the history of those who are successful now, you can see that they had their chance of failure too. So that is the reason why we need the extra effort and hard work to stay in put. We will try our best to avoid failing.

5. Have no clue about something, and don't bother to find out.
Sometimes you are just in the dark of what the lecturer is saying. Just take down whatever the lecturer says, you can ask him later or maybe finding it on your own. However, there are so many times where the students will ask the definition of simple words. Hello guys!!! Do you know that there is something called the "dictionary"? If you think it is burdensome to carry it to class then install dictionary.com in your handphone. Seriously, the intellectual mind of a lecturer is not challenged when you ask him, "Can you explain to me what is injunction?" Like, you want me to spend 2 hours trying to explain to you the definition of injunction? When we have to cover so many other things about injunction? Types of injunctions, the difference with prohibitory order and etc?

6. Not caring about missed test, quizzes and etc.
The lecturers are human too. If the students missed all these, with good reasons, they will be more than happy to give you a replacement. We are not God and things happen. I can't force you to answer your test if your mother is in the hospital now. So I will definitely let you take a replacement test. But, I also have to handle hundreds of other students so it will be your responsibility to contact me in order to arrange the replacement. Please do not wait for the lecturer to contact you. This is really annoying! If this is the I-don't-care attitude you are trying to show your lecturer, then please don't. You know that all these marks will contribute to your final as well, so you are the one who has to earn it.

After the effort, and the doa, comes the tawakkal part.

So now that the ball is in your court, make sure you play it right. We, the lecturers, can't say much on this because it is not our future. After all, we can't change people, we can only change ourselves. As a lecturer, I trust you to make a decision that can benefit you in the future. InsyaAllah.


  1. Excellent tips that helps us realize what we should not do in order to fail. I believe that we as students see that passing is a good thing but we didn't realize we're not even close to it. We must aim high and we must work hard for it.

  2. Hahaha, so I hope that you don't follow these tips to FAIL. These tips are meant to be avoided.

  3. Thank you so much for the tips Madam! Hahaha I was so confused at first when I read it as "Things that you should do if you want to FAIL your paper." I thought you forgot the "don't". Then the points all made it clear. hahaha. Thanks again!