1 Be the Child of Someone Important
While it is not really a matter of choice, and completely down to luck who your parents are, this is by far the best way to ensure you pass all your exams with As all the way. If you are the offspring of one of the country's political leaders like Yushchenko, Yanukovych or Tymoshenko, or the child of an oligarch like Akhmetov, Pinchuk or Zhivago, or even if you are the son or daughter of the head teacher or university rector there is no way any teacher is going to give you anything less than full marks.
2 Contribute to Your Teacher's Holiday Fund
As we mentioned in the introduction, teachers are very poorly paid in Ukraine and so if you are falling behind in your studies they are hardly likely to reject any supplementary income. If you are a borderline fail student but would much rather be passing every exam with flying colours, we suggest you put a few hundred dollars in the folds of your next exam paper, or flight tickets for two to some exotic climes. Thailand is a favourite these days, we hear.
3 Make Your Teacher Feel Loved
If you are doing well in your studies and are pretty good at your subjects, but would like to boost your grades a little, then boxes of chocolates, bunches of flowers and other little presents subtly offered up throughout the course of the year won't do you any harm at all. Don't be embarrassed to do so. This practice is not frowned upon and is more often than not encouraged. Best to get the teacher at the beginning of the class, walk up to them with a big smile, present them with your gift and, as flattery never hurts, say something along the lines of: "I would like to give you this as a token of my esteem and to thank you for being such a wonderful teacher."
4 Never Forget Your Teacher's Birthday
Write it in your diary, keep a note in bold on your wall calendar, even have it tattooed on your forehead, but whatever you do don't forget your teacher's birthday. Teachers are, after all, human beings, and they like to feel appreciated. Of course, you can go for the usual suspects such as flowers or chocolates, but we would recommend you put in a little investigative work and find out what their hobbies or favourite pastimes are and buy accordingly. If your teacher likes Elvis, then find some limited edition vinyl. If he comes into work some mornings with the slight hint of alcohol on his breath, he's going to love you for a bottle of cognac. The little extra effort will be noted, and could well up your mark a grade or two.
5 Flirt with Your Teacher
Admittedly, this is likely to work better for female students than male, but don't be put off lads. There are plenty of middle-aged frumpy teachers who would think the world of you if you gave them a little attention. For the ladies, especially, but not necessarily, if you have a male teacher then a little bit of flirting is going to send your marks rocketing like Apollo 11. An 'accidental' touch on the hand, holding eye contact a second or two longer, that sideways glance you've been practicing for the boys in the nightclubs and showing a tasteful amount of thigh now and then - all combined will turn you into a Grade A student overnight.
6 Run Errands for Your Teacher
Being the 'Teacher's Pet' is sometimes frowned upon by other students, but don't let that put you off. If you want to do well at school then do as much as you possibly can to make your teacher's life easier - after all, they are over-worked and underpaid. Always be available to run errands for them, do some photocopying or research work, and anything else they might need on a day-to-day basis. You never know, when it comes to the end of the year, they might even get you to mark some exam papers for them. If this happens, make it a stipulation that your own paper is amongst them.
7 Date their Children
A very common (not to mention highly successful) method of getting good exam marks is to date your teacher's children. There may, however, be a number of barriers to overcome with this ploy. Firstly, if your teacher has exceptionally good looking children, then you have the problem of getting them to date you, unless you are exceptionally good looking yourself, or wealthy, or preferably both. If neither then you are going to have trouble, but you know your attributes, so play to them. Secondly, if they are ugly and you don't really want to date them. If that's the case you have to examine your commitment. What do you want more, a good-looking boyfriend or girlfriend, or good grades? How committed are you? Finally, there will not be enough teacher's children of an appropriate age to go round, so the answer here would be to get in there early and beat the rush.
8 Never, EVER, Prove Your Teacher Wrong!
The truth is, many of your teachers and lecturers will have been educated during Soviet times when bribery, corruption and nepotism were the norm, and so many could easily hold their position without actually having the basis for doing so. If you are a conscientious student who knows the subject then you have a very high chance of coming across a situation where your teacher is wrong, and you know it. One student studying English recently used an English expression in an exam paper only to be told she had used it incorrectly. Convinced she was right, she checked with an English-speaking friend who confirmed that she was right and her teacher was wrong. At her next class she informed her teacher of this and instantly received her first ever ? at the next class. Let this be a lesson to you all!
9 Emotional Blackmail and Cheating
We have lumped these two together as they are far less effective than Nos 1-8 mainly because they need the benefits of 1-8 to work. If you are given a result less than what you think you deserve, by all means burst into tears and hope your teacher feels sorry for you, but this is unlikely if you have not been 'working' them up until this point. In the same manner, cheating, while having become a whole lot easier with the advent of mobile communications, will not necessarily get you the A grade you want even if you turn in a 100% paper. If you have not played by the rules up until then, it won't make a jot of difference. If, however, you have followed our advice up until now, these are two very successful supplementary tactics.
10 Study Hard and Know Your Stuff
Study hard, and even if ifs not enough to get a 'Red diploma, it will serve you well in life This should be No 1 on our list, but unfortunately, it has to languish in last place because no matter how hard you study and how well you know your subject you may well still see Bs and Cs on your results if you do not follow Nos 1 -9. You may even make your teacher feel inadequate and insecure, and be given an even lower mark. Study hard, work hard and learn your subject inside and out. After all, you are not educating yourself for the bit of paper that says you passed exams: you are learning for your future, and your future will be so much brighter if you can actually do what your diploma says you can