• Take note of the deadlines for all the assignments and presentations to make sure that you prepare and deliver on time.
• At home, whether you have home assignments or not, remember to revise over whatever you have covered in class.
• For group-work, it is essential for you to be professional. Therefore, choose people in your team who are patient, hard-working, responsible, experienced, etc. Do not choose on the mere basis of acquaintance; do not pick randomly, and do not wait for people to come to you – you need to get things moving.
• Do not procrastinate and let pile up work. Home assignments help you to understand the lessons with the flow of the course. They are also great for revision. Therefore, do not ignore/trivialize them, and don’t leave them to do a few hours before they are due.
• Help others as much as you are able to. However, be prepared to say no, that is, do not take extra responsibilities unless you really want to. In case of team-work, you can usually avoid such a situation (where you will have to take someone else’s responsibilities) if you choose responsible and hard-working people in the first place. There is nothing to feel guilty about this because you too have a capacity, and every person within the team needs to be serious about his/her delegated tasks. In case of helping others to understand a particular lesson, you should try to help them (teaching others also solidifies your own knowledge); if you are unable to help yourself, then you can direct them to teachers
• Follow the instructions for home assignments, such as format, word limit, etc. Similarly, follow the instructions for presentations, such as time limit, not carrying a paper (if that is specifically not allowed), etc.
• During class presentations, be confident. At that point of time, you do not need to worry about the outcome of the presentation. Focus solely on the delivery of the presentation. Imagine yourself as the best. Do not fidget. Be clear and loud. Remember to smile as that boosts up confidence, emanates friendliness, and puts others at ease. Often, confidence carries bonus marks. You can refer to this article for tips on building confidence
• Dress neatly and professionally for the presentation. Usually the dress code requires you to wear something professional. In case of female students studying in co-educational institutions, remember that hijab does not hinder you at all, because there are options of sleek, professional jilbab. However, if you feel that you cannot comply with the dress code, notify the teachers beforehand (do not shock them on the day of presentation!). Your appearance should be fresh, neat and simple. Do not go overboard.
• Pay attention to the other speakers in your team as well as other teams. Many students, after completing their parts of the presentation, stand aside and talk to others. I know of one student who even went for a walk after completing his part! You need to focus on what is being said/done at all times during class presentations. Listening to other teams may give you some last-minute ideas to include in your presentation, and it is just simply the polite thing to do.
• Try to be interactive during presentations. That way, people will pay more attention to you. The content of the presentation should be creative. In most cases, you will put the important points on the slides of the presentation, and explain the details in simple words. Don’t memorize a script as you might end up sounding like a parrot. Rather, it is better to memorize certain terms and the key points and concepts, and then elaborate during the presentation.
• If one member fails to deliver his/her part properly, do not taunt that person. Not only is it Islamically unacceptable to mock others because of this ayah: “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames.” , it is also bad for the team’s score. Team-work may carry bonus marks. Therefore, if there are internal problems, do not bring them out in the open for everyone to see. Internal problems can be easily avoided if you choose the right people in your team. If you or anyone makes a mistake, just cover it up with a smile, apologize and continue – do not let that stop your presentation mid-way.
• And last but not least, after all that hard work put into the presentation don’t forget to start the presentation with greetings and a brief introduction of yourself/your team. End with thanks, and remember to ask for feedback/questions and be open to constructive thoughts.
Till next time, study hard!
 Qur’an 49:11
About the Author:
By Khadeejah Islam, writer at Habibi Halaqas