Getting a First-Class Degree at Uganda Universities
Getting a first-class degree does not guarantee your success in life or employment in good organizations.

As the job market in Uganda becomes more competitive, it becomes increasingly difficult to penetrate, but here is the good news, a first-class degree will help you break into the field.

With the growing competitiveness of the Ugandan job market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to penetrate; however, here is the good news: you can gain access to the job market with ease with the help of a first-class degree.

first-class degree attracts the attention of every employer and increases your chances of employability in Uganda as it may prove your ability to deliver as required.

Reputable organizations like Bank of UgandaVision GroupNation Media Group, PWC, KPMG, and Next Media Services among others hunt for first-class students from reputable universities to give them jobs right after graduation. 

Also, some universities retain first-class students as tutors or teaching assistants in their areas of study. 

Not to forget is that very many small and medium enterprises in Uganda today give first-class students priority when making recruitment decisions. 

So why not have a first-class degree as your number one priority at the University?

University grading in Uganda 

C.G.P.AClass of Degree
4.40 – 5.00First-class 
3.60 – 4.39Second class upper
2.80 – 3.59Second class lower
2.00 – 2.79Pass Degree

The common belief that a first-class degree is impossible is wrong. It is very possible and very achievable provided you put in the work and effort.  

To earn yourself a first-class degree, you will need an average of 75% as your final mark in almost all the course units throughout the entire course. This will enable you to get a CGPA of 4.4 and above. 

Uganda’s Best Degree Tips

Here are the things you need to do to increase your chances of getting a first-class degree from any reputable university in Uganda or anywhere else.

  1. Be focused from the first semester of your first year. If you’re aiming for a first-class degree, you have to be prepared to put in maximum effort in your studies right from the beginning. Students who get a first-class degree tend to be serious throughout the entire course. Avoid unnecessary activities which you think will take too much of your time. 
  2. Avoid missing lectures.  Being present in class gives you a more understanding of any course you are studying. Some course units have calculations and once u miss the lecturer’s explanation u may fail to understand them. Likewise, theoretical course units are taught with practical examples to give the students a deeper understanding. Some assignments are given during class time and these usually contribute a certain percentage to the final exam thus lowering your final exam mark. 
  3. Have a course outline of each course unit you are studying. A course outline can be called a syllabus. This is a document prepared by the head of a particular course unit showing the topics to be covered and the lecturers to teach them. Some course outlines show the dates when assignments and courses works will be given. This is very important for every student because it guides you on what to cover and how far you should read and do your research. Remember that exams are set following the course outline and there is no examination question set outside your course outline.
  4. Be organized. This means that you have to understand the assessment structure of all your course units. Take time to know how each course unit is set in an exam or class assessment. Know which course unit you should expect a calculation number, or a case study and prepare accordingly. For example at least know that in every accounting 1 paper you should expect questions like income statement and balance sheet, bank reconciliation statement. Then take the initiative to do as many revisions in the numbers you know that always appear such that you get maximum marks from them. If it’s a case study please do the same as the rest of the questions. 
  5. Know the weight of each course unit. Well, at university some course units carry more weight (credit units) than others. Some carry up to 5 while others carry as low as 2. This means that when you get an A in a course unit which carries 4 or 5 credit units you are far better than someone who gets an A in a course unit with 2 credit units. Therefore, an A in a course with 4 credit units will have a greater impact on the CGPA than an A in a 2 credit unit course. This means that always know the course units with high credit units and try to get maximum marks from them. 
  6. Know the mode of assessments of each course unit. You ought to know how much your assessments contribute to your final examination mark. In some institutions like MUBS, class assessments carry 30% and the final exam carries 70% of the final mark. This means that if you get 25/30 in your class assessments, you need only 45/70 to get an A (80%). This, therefore, means that you have to get maximum marks in your class assignments to make it easy for yourself in the final exam mark.
  7. Take revision seriously. There is no shortcut to getting good grades. You have to read your books, give your books enough time and concentration. Read everything on your course outline and be ready for anything. The more you read, the more you understand and the more you get the confidence to write your exams which gives you a higher probability to excel. Remember, success comes to those who are prepared.  
  8. Develop your research skills. Research various topics and aspects. For example Research on things like “how to write a good essay, how to tackle case studies’ etc. visit the internet to know more and understand some areas better. Ask your senior colleagues who have done that course before you, and talk to colleagues from other universities. Different explanations make you understand better. Reading about developments in your area of study should be a daily routine activity.
  9. Make good use of the university library. Although online reading material is very good, the best grades are usually got by students who can show that they have made an effort to use a variety of different sources including trust old paper books. This old academic work done by the best students is normally kept in the library and lecturers keep referring to it. Also, note that the university library always has books related to the current syllabus therefore you can always find updated information in the school library. Maximum use of books and journals or papers from your university library gives you an upper hand to excel. 
  10. Find a study buddy or team in the class. It is paramount to make friends with people with whom you share the same goals. There are times your motivation levels are down, you will have that one friend who will push you to go and do the reading together or even get a topic you can both discuss and understand. Getting an equally determined friend is very good because you can motivate each other to go to the library or go to class on a rainy day. You will feel guilty when you miss class on a rainy day when your study buddy is making it regularly. 
  11. Talk to your lecturers or tutors. Normally the lecturer’s contacts are given to the class leaders and sometimes they are even put on the course outlines. Make appointments with your tutors, and continuously engage them in regards to anything academic. They are always available and willing to help.
  12. Get enough sleep/rest. However much you want a fist class degree, please make sure that you get enough sleep. Studies have shown that the quality and quantity of sleep one gets each night has a significant impact on learning and memory. Having better quality sleep helps you to absorb the information better.
  13. Limit your time on social media. Social media is very destructive and addictive. Very little can be achieved from social media. Research shows that social media just adds to you stress to compare yourself to your classmates. Therefore spending too much time on social media is very bad for your grades. If you can, give yourself a target to avoid social media until evening hours. 
  14. Study and work hard throughout the semester and the entire course. Getting a first-class degree is a full-time job, don’t wait for exams to start revising. Don’t concentrate in year one and relax in year two. Make your concentration levels high throughout. 
  15. Make it a must to excel in your course works and class assignments. Remember that all the marks add up to give you a final mark. If you fail the coursework assignments and you pass the final exams it will be hard for you to get good grades in the final marks.
  16. Remember to take breaks from work. Get some time to relax and refresh your mind. Do some activities, and have fun with your colleagues. Spending all your free time in the library until you are at a point of using textbooks as your pillow is not productive at all. If you have reached this stage, please take a break. Balancing your studies with fun will make you much happier and motivated to use your study time efficiently and effectively. 

Following these tips in this guide will help you increase your chances of scoring top grades at any university in Uganda. 

Although getting a first-class degree is an incredible personal achievement, it will not assure employers to hire you. You must be able to exhibit employable skills

Please don’t take getting a first-class degree as your passport to success. You can still succeed in life and be employed in good organizations with a second-class degree. 

Therefore you also need to balance your degree with your employable skills.