What makes some high school and college students successful, while others are not as successful?
Sometimes it’s a question of intelligence or insight, and sometimes it’s sheer good luck. But a lot of the time it’s the result of good habits: things you do on a regular basis that set you aside from the hordes of other, more scattered, students. In this article, we present the following fifteen habits of top-notch students. You’ll find that these people:
1. Have a schedule.
Good students not only know when the tests and papers fall in the semester, but they have a good sense of what work needs to be done each week as the semester progresses. Nice and balanced: everything in gear and no worries come exam time. They keep the stress level down because they’re very good at time management.
2. Divide up the tasks.
Readings get broken up into manageable chunks (not two hundred pages in one sitting). They take good notes and they review them often. Quizzes and tests are studied for over the course of a week (not at 1:00 AM the night before). Paper ideas start churning when the assignment is handed out (not the day before it’s due, when you can barely formulate an idea, much less think through an issue).
3. Are organized.
It’s impossible to do any real work when you don’t have the tools for the job: a working computer with the right software, a fast Internet connection, a good printer, and, for some courses, a thorough knowledge of how to navigate the course web page and library and other resources. Not to mention the basic materials of the course: a full set of lecture notes, the textbooks and articles, and, of course, all the course handouts and assignments.
4. Hang out with smart friends.
Good students know that spending lots of time with friends who don’t even know what courses they’re taking — or why they’re in advanced courses or in college at all — can create an atmosphere so toxic that any attempts to do well immediately wither and die. Pick your cohorts as carefully as you pick your courses.
5. Don’t kid themselves.
For instance, when you think you’re studying, but you’re really tweeting about how you barely survived your soccer practice last night? Not good. Or when you’re alternating between reading the e-article and checking out your friend’s Facebook page every eight seconds or so? You’re the easiest person you know how to deceive. Don’t.
6. Manage their feelings.
It’s difficult to excel in a course if you’re feeling inadequate, bummed out, or doomed to fail. Students who know how to focus on their own positive achievements — rather than on what they got on the quiz that counts for about 2 percent of the course grade — have a leg up on the rest. Confidence, and that means real confidence, leads directly to success.
7. Challenge themselves.
Good students are intellectually energetic. When they read, they think actively about what they’re reading. When they go to class, they don’t just veg out or text their friends in other classes. On tests, they pounce on the questions and answer them directly and fully (this distinguishes their work from their colleagues trying to BS their way through the question). And on papers they look for deeper levels of meaning and more nuanced points — always a hit with the instructor. These students always read critically and dig just a little bit deeper.
7. Are consistent — and persistent.
Tired? “I’m still going to make it to that 9 a.m. lecture.” Late-night review session? “Like the owl, I do my best work at night.” Difficult problem set? “I’ll get these right, if it kills me.” Three-hour final? “I’ll stay to the bitter end. Maybe I can touch up my essay and collect a few extra points.”
9. Are open to feedback.
While it’s easy and more fun to toss away your graded papers and exams, or conveniently forget to pick them up, the best students carefully study the comments and go over any mistakes they’ve made. And when the next piece of work rolls around, they take another look at the previous set of comments to see if there are any mistakes that they can correct on the new piece of work. All without feeling wounded or defensive. Learn how to work with your teacher. They’re not changing how they do things, so you might need to readjust the work you’re doing to satisfy them.
10. Ask when they don’t understand.
Look, you’ve got a mouth. So when you don’t get something in the reading, in the lecture, or in the homework, ask someone who might know. Like the professor, TA, instructor, or even your tutor.
11. Aren’t too shy.
Sure, everyone feels intimidated about having to seek out the instructor to get help and ask questions. But keep in mind that most teachers enjoy talking with students and, if asked, will offer loads of help on papers, preparing for tests, and even finding topics for future work — say, a junior project, senior thesis, or internship or collaboration. Learning how to work with instructors is one of the best moves a good student can make…even if they happen to have a scary reputation or don’t seem friendly in class. Go talk to them. Advocate for yourself, and fight for every single point. Career preparation starts now!
12. Look out for number one.
While some students are willing to blow off a week of school to satisfy the needs of others — for example, the chance to go on a family vacation or an uncle who schedules his third wedding two days before finals — good students know that school is their job and doing well is their highest priority. Especially during the busy season — right? The last month of the semester, when those big-ticket items like the term paper and the final exam roll around, and two-thirds of the grade is won or lost…
13. Keep themselves in tip-top shape.
It’s difficult to do well if you’re sick as a dog, haven’t slept in a week, or are subsisting solely on pizza and soda. Good students make good health a priority — they manage their physical and emotional needs as carefully as they do their academic needs.
14. Have a goal — and a plan.
The best students know why they’re in advanced courses, or in college, and what they need to do to achieve their goals. You can’t do well if you don’t know what you’re doing — and why.
15. They’ve done test prep and worked with tutors.
The best students know that they can’t do it all on their own. They’ve made their lives easier by taking advantage of extra study sessions, they’ve talked to coaches about missing practices for SAT prep, they’ve worked with tutors, prioritized their lives, and streamlined their time. The students who have it all together? They’ve had help.
To find out more about how Biltmore Tutoring’s master’s degree- and PhD-level tutors can help your student, call (828) 505-2495.
This original article was posted here. Click to read the whole thing.