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Every student aims to succeed in their classes. That seems to be a universal feeling for university students. There seems to be common denominators in the success and good grades in any DVM course. While International development is a very intersectional field, there are commonalities in the ways that courses are taught. Here are the 5 ways in which UOttawa students can succeed in their DVM courses:

1. Find a friend

Make a new friend, or at least a study buddy. For one, if you ever miss a class or misunderstand a topic your buddy will help you like you will help them. The more you discuss a topic with other people the more likely you are able to see different perspectives or ideas that you might not have thought of. It’s also just good to have some support if you are struggling, and it also makes you feel better about yourself knowing that others might be in the same boat as you. Also making new friends will help you in group work. Honestly, DVM students are very nice to each other and it shouldn’t be hard to approach anyone.

2. Do the readings

The readings are given for a reason. If you do the readings on top of your class work, you might find information that will answer questions you had after a lecture. Many DVM subjects are very broad and the prof might miss some content in their short lectures. Readings are a source of support for the classes that you are having difficulty with. In assignments, inserting course readings are key in supporting ideas and proving to the professor that you are reading and understanding course material. It’s also good to do the readings because some professors won’t tell you if there will be exam questions about certain authors or topics, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. It really does bring UOttawa DVM profs absolute joy when you do the readings that they have picked for them.

3. Listen to whatever the professor says 

Every prof always has their own passion spot or topic. Over the years, you realize that you have to pay attention to what the prof says or emphasizes in class in order to know how the exam will be structured. Especially when it comes to broad courses like research methods or theories in DVM. If a prof spends a lot of time on a specific theory, they might have an important development question on that theory. It also gives you a good starting point for written assignments because professors tend to be nicer when you apply the stuff they emphasize in the classes (even when you should be challenging different views).

4. Attend class

As hard as that might be (especially if a class is unbearable and boring), you should always attend class. Why? Well, no matter how much a prof follows their slideshows and posts them on Brightspace, they sometimes will add very important information. Sometimes, you go to class and literally thank God that you didn’t skip because the teacher gave a side blurb of the exam only for students who were in class. Skipping class is a no-no for DVM courses because of the complexity of all of the class subjects. The prof can’t put everything on the slide shows and often good debates and discussions happen within the lectures. If your class takes attendance and participation points, that gives students even more so as an opportunity to succeed and gain a few extra percentages for literally sitting in class. Go to class, you never know what will happen.

5. Participate in extracurricular workshops and conferences

While you might think the learning happens in lectures, in DVM that is not the case. Lectures are just a framework for action. Most of the learning happens outside of class. The DSA (Development Student’s Association), offers a lot of panels, discussion groups, events, conferences, etc. that are eye-opening. These extracurricular events really teach you how to apply the theories you understood in class and allows you to practice your DVM way of thinking.

These ways seem very obvious, but DVM students might lose touch with these tips to succeeding in their classes. As years go by and you get closer to graduating, these ways need to be entrenched in order to get good grades. If you want to impress your professors and continue into grad school these tips might even get you to that extra mile.


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Salma

I’m a 3rd-year International Development student at the University of Ottawa.


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