Ready to be a reading and writing whiz and beat the lot at university? Sok Kheng, recipient of the National Outstanding Student of Literature in 2007, has five cool tips to get you to the top.
How to become an outstanding student in Khmer literature
Literature is not like mathematics. If you want to be an outstanding student in this subject, start reading. Start with academic reading and read some foreign novels. Read grammar books as well. Practice writing as many essays as possible because it helps your brain to be flexible and creative. Your Khmer literature teachers’ explanations are especially essential, so pay full attention and take notes carefully. Make sure to think positively about yourself and never give up your dream, even when you face difficulties.
How to read effectively
Reading will broaden your knowledge and ideas. However, knowing how to read and becoming an active reader is very important. First of all, feel right about reading by not forcing yourself to read when you don’t want to. Second, choose books carefully and read what you like. Third, know clearly what you are going to read. Make your reading practical and applicable by picking up the problems in the books, comparing them to real life and trying to think of as many solutions as you can.
How to write a good essay during exams
The literature exam needs careful and effective time management, as essay writing is a very time-consuming part of the test. Most students have problems with writing the essay because they do not know what to write. From my experience, writing the Khmer-language essay is not really a strenuous task if you read the topic carefully; know what type of essay it is and the organisation of the essay; find out the main problem of the topic; brainstorm the ideas and group themes into different main parts with concrete examples; and start writing the essay keeping your limited time in mind.
How to build up self-confidence
Self-confidence means that people believe in their own ability; this belief, however, needs to be realistic and should not be too ambitious. In order to build up your self-confidence, first, identify and think positively about your weaknesses. Second, try to talk out your problems with your close friends. Next, remember that no one is perfect – so don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Last but not least, avoid being a perfectionist and be satisfied with what you have.
How to learn successfully in Khmer literature class
Literature class can be boring and most students fall asleep during lessons. Nevertheless, you need to learn with the guidance of a teacher. In order overcome the boredom, be an active student and get involved in the lessons. Maintain eye contact with the teacher; use your ears to listen to the teacher carefully. Keep your hands busy by noting down the main points. Then, while listening, you need to think critically of what the teacher says, so that you can develop your ideas and keep your brain alert. Ask questions when in doubt.