Friday, June 4, 2010

Qualities of an excellent student

It is possible to learn the habits of learning. Consistently doing something forms a habit and if it becomes a habit it will cease to become drudgery. This is explained in detail in the book, “How to be an Excellent student.”


I have already talked about planning in my last article. Today we will explore the other qualities of an excellent student.

I would say that the biggest contributing factor to being a good student is being prepared. A student may not be talented as others in his class but if he studies consistently and is prepared he is bound to do better than those who do not study consistently. It reminds me of an old Tamil song which goes something like this, “Not everyone who is smart is successful and not everyone who is successful is smart. “ I believe if you are hard working you will be successful.

The most difficult student to teach is one who seems unable to recognize his need to learn. I hope to convince you that you need to study. Part of an article extracted from the Boston Herald.com dated 4th June 2010 will hopefully convince you to study hard and become a smart student.

“A person who graduates from high school on average earns about $23,000 (a year). A person who graduates from a four-year bachelor’s program earns on average about $53,000 (a year). . . . To make it even more sort of alarming, from a statistical point of view, a person who has a Ph.D. makes on average $81,000 (a year). And when we compare the $81,000 to the $23,000 (the person who hasn’t graduated from college) there is a 245 percent differential between the two of them. To me, that absolutely reinforces the old premise that education is fundamental to success.”

Now, as a student you can already decide in which category you would like to be in; earning $53,000 a year or $23,000 a year, earning $81,000 a year or $53,000 a year. The choice is yours. Believe me when I say you can see your future. Study hard and your future is guaranteed to be rosy.

A student should be interactive in class, ask questions, and be interested in the learning process. A teacher will automatically like you and that does go a long way. An excellent student is therefore one who pays attention in class, and is respectful to the teacher and willing to learn.

A smart student will be confident. But how do you get confidence? You get your confidence simply by being prepared. Preview your lessons and your mind will be ready to absorb everything your teacher teaches. You will be ready with questions from those parts of the preview that you did not understand. If you understand when the teacher explains that is fine but if not you are ready with your question. Confidence is necessary to learn but you should learn to not be arrogant.

You should learn to enjoy learning. You know you have to study. Your teacher wants you to study and so do your parents and without studying it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get a well paying job. So why not learn to enjoy it. Learning will soon become a habit and as you know habits are difficult to be broken.

So what are the other qualities of an excellent student? Let us try and list them down. In addition to the above the following qualities can be noted of an excellent student:

1. Completing homework. An excellent student will always complete his homework and pass it up on time.

2. Cooperative and helpful. You help yourself by helping other students. I have taught my children to help other students. Usually other students will ask you to help them with difficult questions that you may yourself find difficult. As such by helping others you learn as well.

3. Not missing classes unnecessarily and always being on time. You cannot help it if you have a contagious disease. However, if you have to miss classes, get your classmates to give you the notes for you to copy down and ask your teacher to clarify points you don’t understand.

4. When it comes to learning a language an excellent student will speak with his classmates and other friends in the language he wants to improve. It is sad that our present student’s English standard is way below average and the main reason is that the students speak only Malay and hardly speak in English. The solution is very simple- speak in the language you want to improve.

5. A good student never forgets his friends. One of his best friends is his mistakes. He learns from his mistakes. He will always correct his mistakes and learn from them. This is one important thing that an average student does not do.

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