do great things

How to Be an “A” Grade Student in a “B” Grade University?

How to be an A Grade Student in B Grade University.

Note – Inspiration behind this post, is completely based on my true story.

This topic will be useful to every student (US or India). But, I give examples of situations that you will meet while attending graduate school in US.

  • Fact 1: If you are not attending Top Ranked Universities, then consider yourself in B Grade School.
  • Fact 2: Not attending A Grade university doesn’t mean you cannot be an A Grade student.

There will be a drastic difference is same course offering between A and B Grade schools.

To understand, what I’m talking about referring to the assignment (Word Game) given to students for Introduction to Computer Science Programming.

Level of difficulty in courses in Graduate School in the USA is high.

You would have to take the courses to really understand what I’m talking about.

Introduction courses are “B grade” is not as tough as the above example.  What can you do to be an A grade student from a B grade university?

B Grade to A Grade

Lets Now, its time to evaluate your current skill and overall feeling about your potential.

Example – let’s assume you are in a class and your friends say “That person in front row, is top-notch, his GPA of 4,0  from all tough courses”.

What do you feel about that person next time?

  • That person  is top student, but I’m not smaller than him
  • Damn! he must be born genius, I’m going to respect him and I can’t reach up to him.

Do you understand what I try to convey here? Do you get that inferiority complex and lower yourself?

I had such feeling, when I used look at those who score way above in test.

My Grad School

Let me say this (true story about myself)

I’m not a great programmer (in Undergrad and even during Masters). I took an Operation Systems class and it has 3 projects each 20% of final grade.

Here I’m in Masters, taking a required core course that has 60% weight for programming projects. That was in my 3rd semester. After 6 Courses, my GPA was 4.0 and I was under pressure to get 4.0 in all 3 courses, but I knew it will be tough with OS course.

  • I have set a negative tone and expectations for the course.

First programming assignment was due in 14 days. I had to learn a new language (VB.Net) and implement the project. Typically programming assignment problem (as you can see in above link) will be 4 to 5 pages long. Just like a mini software requirements document.

I started working on the project on day 1. I hated the course and not so keen on learning new programming language in 14 days to implement  new project.

10 days went by and I had completed 15% of the work.

Assignment was due on a Sunday 11:59 PM.

It was Sunday 4 PM and I was about 30% complete and long way to go.

My roommate, he writes code like taking part in typing competition. Very efficient and powerful programmer. He was on the couch, I was asking him about design and implementation questions (basic questions).

At one point he lost his patience and said  “Go get your undergraduate programming book, learn how to code, then you can think about completing this project.”

It got upset with his comment, but what he said was very true, I’m not a good programmer and haven’t raised myself the expectations of  US Grad School. I couldn’t type or think any more, closed the project and went to bed.

Life Changing Experience

After 30 minutes, my roommate came to me ans asked me to go out for a walk with him. He felt sad for his comment, apologized for his comment.

That’s one of my turning points in my life.

He said how his dad advised him “How can you forget what you learn, if you forget then you have to change the way you learn. Study to understand the concept, not for the sake of memorizing”.

He asked me to struggle and code this project on my own. He’s not going to help me. Thats the only way I’m going to learn.

I came back home, worked till 10 PM and completed 40% of the project. Missed the deadline and didn’t submit the code.

Every day project is submitted late, 10% will be cut. So, Instead of 100, max I can score is 90.

Went to class next day, came back home around 3 PM. I was determined to complete the project that night before 11:59

I started coding from scratch, ditched the code I worked for 14 days.

Started at 3PM and completed the entire project at 11 PM. Missed few features, but core of the project was done. Felt exhausted, submitted the project around 11:30 PM, scored around 80.

After that project, next 2 projects was bit easy (2 new programming language) and finally scored B grade in Operation System course.

When I got the Grades “B” at end of the semester, I was determined to do one thing.

“Next semester, I’m going to take one 100% programming course with new language and get A Grade”

So, I registered to take System Programming in Unix. Course had 8 programming projects and no exams.  Guess what, I scored 790 out of 800.

B Grade to A Grade

The promise I made and goal I set  to be an “A Grade” student after advise my friend gave me, changed my life for good.

Job, life and this blog, I have today is result of that one course, one determination and one friend.

So, if you set your mind to increase your standard, then you got to give everything you got in you.

It’s not easy, but determination with hard work will take you there. So, don’t worry if you are not studying in top ranked university.

Admission to university today is based on your past academic accomplishment. What you can achieve tomorrow, depends on your today’s effort.

So, join the best possible university you can based on your admission, then raise your standard, outlook towards life and skill level from there. This is my story, I would like to hear such a story from you one day.

59 Comments

  1. Mehul on January 17, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    Awesome, emotional and inspirational too. Keep it up!

  2. VJ on July 20, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    Inspiring one!!

  3. devan on June 19, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    this is so inspiring thank you so much

  4. avinendra on May 30, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    really there is too much depth in all above lines..one can understand more by imagination about supra.i was inspired on the quote..trying ourselves makes something ..it brings out what we are.

  5. kj on May 29, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    really inspiring post. I wish there were more posts about students who had not performed excellently during graduation ,doing masters in US,

  6. manoj on May 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Most inspiring post..!! thank u for sharing

  7. vidya on January 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    too good a story ..i will come up with mine too as a doctor when i was a medical student

  8. Arun on January 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    thnks a lot dude

  9. I Agree on January 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Moral of the story: stop being a lazy dumbass.

  10. Natalie on December 13, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Thats such an awesome post xD
    SO MOTIVATING 😀

  11. Black Zeus on December 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Thanks for the boost, more Grease to your elbows……thumbs up….

  12. Sri on March 2, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Awesome..! Loved this post..

  13. Ankita on September 19, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    best post by you ever 🙂
    *respect*

  14. Arnab on September 18, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Inspiring when we struggle with our courses here at least I think that am I in the wrong course and wrong place?Was I better off in India,but these kind of stories will get me up and running

  15. preeti on September 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Hi,
    Your post was very helpful to me, i am planning for spring semister2012 and expecting i20 shortly from universities. you are really right, not getting in to ‘A’ grade university doesn’t mean that one is not a good student. whichever university you might be just aim to be in first place. I’m definitely going to implement it from my side. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  16. Samson on September 6, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Thank you so much, I took my own lessen at the very beginning of my first semester at a graduate school. The pay back from me to you for such inspiring post is to do very well on the courses am going to take. Many thanks to you!!!

  17. Anvesh on September 5, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Thanks for your post my dear friend…It’s really inspiring….I am planning to take my test on November with in this 3 months i am determined to my exam & i admire u…I will give reply to you after my exam with my scores and all…I am an average student…even though i am determined to give best outcome in exam…so thanks for your inspiration…i need guidelines from you regarding the way of preparation….please help me…i am so much thankful to you…

  18. Jaimin Patel on August 27, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Thanks For this Post. From your Post I get energy and feel to do Something that make my Life……

  19. Bhargavi on August 23, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    very very inspiring!! Thank you so so much!!!

  20. Anonymous on August 23, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    very motivating.

  21. Vikas on August 23, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Nice formatting for the comments section btw 🙂

  22. Satish26saini on August 23, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    motivating post

  23. Sudheer kumar on August 23, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    thank u friend..this was a wonderful inspirational little story..what ur frnd has done to u was great and what u made out of it is astonishing..thanks for this..

  24. Richa on August 23, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Thanks that was very inspirational. I don’t know how long will this last but I will try to work hard and become an A grade student. I was not a sincere student during my B.E. and their were some personal problems as well.  My morale was down and I was mentally and emotionally depressed. But your blog helped me in many ways, writing GRE, TOEFL,  getting admission in university in US,  helped me in boosting up my morale.  My classes will start in fall 2011 and I hope with this inspirational story, I can do well and make you a proud mentor. 

    We all think that someday we will make a difference, we will do good stuff and help others. Many people give up without even trying but you did it. You helped many students in shaping their career, without expecting any monetary gain from them in return. And someday, I will repay your debt by helping someone in need. Thanks for everything.

    Please accept my sincere gratitude.

    Regards,
    Richa

  25. Mohitnehru on August 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    You are great man of future. I must say that

  26. Mohitnehru on August 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    You are great man of future. I must say that

  27. Sheajad on August 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    One of the best post i has read in happy schoolblog!!!!!!!!!

  28. Sheajad on August 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    One of the best post i has read in happy schoolblog!!!!!!!!!

  29. Pranavkaushik P on August 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Good one !!! 🙂

  30. Pranavkaushik P on August 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Good one !!! 🙂

  31. Rajat Bhambani on August 23, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    Superb Writing! Truly Inspirational! Must confess my thoughts were echoed in bits throughout and thus I like the post even more.

  32. Rajat Bhambani on August 23, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    Superb Writing! Truly Inspirational! Must confess my thoughts were echoed in bits throughout and thus I like the post even more.

  33. Samanbasanta on August 23, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    very inspiring..

  34. Issha on August 23, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    Even i have taken a OS course this semester.. It is a programming core.. I was bit scared after attending the first class today.. But your post made my day.. thank you so much… 🙂  

    All the very Best to you… 🙂

  35. Nidhya Senthil on August 23, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Fantastic article, Raghu. Truly inspirational. I’m very happy for you and so proud of my husband 🙂

  36. Nidhya Senthil on August 23, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Fantastic article, Raghu. Truly inspirational. I’m very happy for you and so proud of my husband 🙂

  37. Kiranmai Akula on August 23, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    its motivating and inspiring,even i thought not admitted into top universities implies not a good student,but now i can say confidently that it is the student that makes not the past record,school,thanks  for your valuable post and keep posting

  38. Arun A Kattimani on August 23, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Superb post. I keep reading posts in this blog. You have taken inspiration and achived it Friend.

  39. Rajan Pawar on August 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    JAB  TAK  SAB KUCH  THEEK  NAHI  HOTA TAB  TAK ANTA(END)  NAHI HOTA….:)…

  40. sq115 on August 22, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Wow excellent post, all there is to be said.

  41. KT on August 22, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Brilliant!! No words!

    just felt like saying one thing, in India in my undergrad college i had put in quite some effort for the first 2-2.5 years but the rewards were very bleak and unsatisfactory so i lost interest in the last 1.5 yrs or so which in turn affected my chances of a good grad school. Just hope that the same will be reversed in the USA. And your post has inspired me to be more persistent! Thanks a lot HSB.

  42. Nandita on August 22, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Very inspirational post

  43. Puja Jana on August 22, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Truly an inspirational article!!!Thanx a ton for projecting such beautiful thoughts

  44. Ayush on August 22, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    One of your best post’s so far,really motivating

  45. Gary Rayat on August 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    really instigating it is..

  46. trubulu on August 22, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Motivating !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Sagar on August 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM

     HSB,

    This post inspires us to work hard with determination to face tough challenges in life.
    One thing I learnt from my seniors who are working in core companies is to be enthusiastic in learning and being active in projects.

  48. Mir M Lodro on August 22, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Good experience. This will surely help somebody who may be undertaking courses for his first semester. HSB’s Easy, tough, tough approach is appreciable.

    Mir

  49. Shaunak on August 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    For a very long time I was looking for a topic related to this one!!, all chaos about US graduation is how to get into one of the universities but nothing really is so fluently expressed like this post here, great job absolutely. I guess we Indian engineers have one thing in common when it comes to submitting assignments, projects, documents is LAZINESS!!! We can get away with it in India but not in US for sure, surely this post is like a Wake-Up Call

  50. Divya Dixit on August 22, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    I enjoyed reading your post as I too believe in something similar. It feels great to come across a person who has such beliefs. Your approach towards the things in life will take you a long way and I wish you loads of success all along the path.

    -Divya

  51. sandy on August 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    wow. very inspiring.  But, I would like to ask u one question . U said you hated the course, so do u like the course, the subject and what u do now? I wonder if we can develop the love for the subject when we constantly do what we dont like. I would like to know your opinion on this cuz ones likes and dislikes decide their careers. And im in a fix cuz I hate to sit before computer, but, compelled to search for something in IT field. 

    • HSB on August 22, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      Things by Chance – There are things you have to do, even though you don’t like to do. For instance IS course is Required Core course. Without that I cannot get Masters Degree.

      Things by Choice – You pick what you like to do and get good at it.

      From my experience, if you don’t love something, you are not going to get good at it.

  52. Nyadavali on August 22, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Its truly inspirational…you are a motivational speaker…..

  53. Vin's on August 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Thanx HSB for this Post….

    Few days back i posted my visa Exp i don’t know whether u remember or not. Regarding the 14backlog post. lets leave that topic.
    i’ve reached US and every thing is set. last week i choosed my 1st three courses for the semester. but was happy while choosing that courses.

    But after few days i got -ve reviews regarding the courses i took. coz all them were tough to score high. since to continue my scholarship i needed to maintain my GPA 3.25. friends and seniors told me that would be difficult for me. 

    I thought what if i loose the scholarship? and right now was going to the advisior to drop the courses and take the easy one and keep one hard course for next semester.

    Just checked the E-mail and read your post.  I think i just determined what i wanted to do after reading the post.

    Thanx HSB

  54. Vin's on August 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Thanx HSB for this Post….

    Few days back i posted my visa Exp i don’t know whether u remember or not. Regarding the 14backlog post. lets leave that topic.
    i’ve reached US and every thing is set. last week i choosed my 1st three courses for the semester. but was happy while choosing that courses.

    But after few days i got -ve reviews regarding the courses i took. coz all them were tough to score high. since to continue my scholarship i needed to maintain my GPA 3.25. friends and seniors told me that would be difficult for me. 

    I thought what if i loose the scholarship? and right now was going to the advisior to drop the courses and take the easy one and keep one hard course for next semester.

    Just checked the E-mail and read your post.  I think i just determined what i wanted to do after reading the post.

    Thanx HSB

    • HSB on August 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      Always take light course on your first semester. My recommended formula – 1 Tough and 2 Easy. Once you get used to courses, exams and projects, then you can go Tough, Tough, Easy. At times you have to play smart.

      I’m glad you are determined, but when scholarship is at stake, you can take the same course later, but if scholarship goes, its hard to get it back.

  55. shobana on August 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    wow…………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!what an experience???????
    am feeling like i want to indulge myself in programming…..!!!!!!!!! 
    :):):)

  56. Vignesh Nadar on August 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Best article i read for a long time.

  57. Karunsh1 on August 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Great inspirational blog !!.I will kept it in my heart and will implement it on my life with 100% efforts

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