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Six characteristics of successful students

What characteristics are common among successful students? What makes some students top in class? Find out what the really bright students do, in six simple steps. You too can become a topper, by practising these strategies.

Successful students and I mean the school, college and university toppers have something in common. Unlike, what is commonly believed, they are not the perpetual 'head in the books' kind of studious people. It is a myth that toppers just study through the day and that they study late into the night and study some more in the wee hours before the sun comes up! The fact of the matter is that student's who outshine the rest, academically, are generally a disciplined lot.

Successful students have six distinctive characteristics that make them taste success in all their endeavours. You too can reach the pinnacle of success if you begin to function like them. All it takes is a commitment on your part. Remember, to bring change you need to put in a dedicated effort. The basic principle that you must keep in mind is that success comes through what you do, not through how you look or who you are. So, if you are ready, here are the six traits that you need to develop.

Start by becoming organised

As simple as it might sound, being organised gets you on track. It is the simplest of things that you can do, to simplify your life and achieve spectacular results.

Organise all of your study material, so you have everything where you can find it. Keep notes tabulated, on your computer or in a folder. They are easily available for quick revision and that helps. It takes away the trouble of having to search for stuff you want to study. It is a great help when it comes to studying to have everything that you need to go through, in one place. The organising skill is also something that will be useful throughout your life.

Jot down what you need to learn in easy to remember points. Learn to expand on those points, and you'll be good to go. Additionally, extend the organising to different quarters; create daily/weekly planners, so you have your study routine charted out.

Learn time management skills

The 24 hours in a day might not seem enough, for anyone who mismanages their time. As a student, you will be juggling between school, tuition, extracurricular activities, friends and more. Your schedule might seem too packed to make time for studies.

However, the diligent students set aside a few hours each day, for studies. They go over the notes they made and what they studied in class. Reviewing what was taught in class and going through the notes that you have are a good way of retaining the information, for long-term use. The revision makes you remember the lesson better. Since this brushing up of the information is a conscious effort, it gets stored in the brain, more easily. As compared to last-minute learning, when you are in a 'panic-mode' and totally stressed out. The learning, in this case, is short-term, because you are unable to concentrate fully, because of the distractions you face, due to lack of time.

Recommended reading : Tips for improving memory

Another method that conscientious students use is of making use of cues or a set of phrases or a mnemonic code to remember formulas and concepts. It is a good time-saving strategy, where a catchy phrase replaces a mind-numbing something. VIBGYOR - colours of the spectrum (Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange & Red) is a perfect example of mnemonic code.

Recommended reading : Quick and easy memory enhancing tricks

Learn to participate

Active participation is important if you want to be in the big-league. Taking an active part in what is being taught enhances learning. Don't be inhibited in class, ask questions, clear your doubts. Having your doubts cleared has a positive effect on learning. The concept that is explained to you is more likely to get embedded in your brain better, than when you learn it on your own.

When concepts are explained, you understand the why, the what, the how etc., much better, because, the teacher, generally, takes a wee bit extra effort to explain it to you. Know that your doubts will remain doubts if you don't ask questions. Teachers can help you when they know something is unclear.

Build perseverance and determination

No one can be held responsible for you. At the end of the day, it is your life, and you must attempt to make it the best life, for yourself. Make a commitment to yourself, to work hard, not to please your parents, but because you want to do it for yourself.

Make an effort, go that extra mile and you will reap results. What I have observed is that success is what motivates most achievers. Once they taste success, they don't want to give up.

Be prepared to put in extra time, forfeiting your time to play video games etc. You will learn better if you persist. Nothing comes without effort, so you need to put in that effort and see it change your grades.

Achievers are known to be disciplined, not because they are forced to, but because they want to. And therein lies the secret to their success.

You need oodles of discipline

Self-discipline is required to implement the self-improvement tactics listed above. To gain success, you need to practice the right strategies. If you want to reach the top, you first need to visualise it as a goal. The next step is to work towards the goal – exert willpower and show commitment.

Be prepared to make changes, push yourself at first, to do the right things, as explained above. Following a new regimen would prove to be painful, but keep at it. Rome wasn't built-in a day, and neither will you get perfect at your job, right on the onset. Slowly, introduce the strategies that are listed above and you'll be that much closer to become a topper yourself.

Toppers always have goals. They know what they want from life. They know where they want to be, 10-years from now. It makes it easy to pursue goals than carrying on aimlessly.

Be ambitious

As a student your ambition could be, to be the best or one of the best in the class. This should be your driving force. Take your assignments seriously. My best students put in that little bit of extra effort to complete their projects. They went that extra mile, even when it wasn't required.

Their effort strengthened their belief in themselves and in their ability to be better than the rest. So, have that drive – it is not a bad thing.

Success stories are always about people doing more than what was required. The same goes for toppers, they aren't satisfied with what they have achieved, they want a little bit more. They seek perfection in what they do and that makes them a little more capable than the rest.

Recommended reading :
The tips and tricks provided in the articles below can help mould and shape students.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao24 Aug 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

A good article by Juana. The requirements for a good successful student are discussed in detail and with apt words. I appreciate the narration.

A good successful student should always respect his Guru and should have confidence in his Guru. He should be attentive and ask genuine doubts if he really have. But he should never try to test the knowledge of his teacher by asking doubts. In olden days students used to go and serve the Guru and learn from him with complete devotion. Gurukul education we all read in books. A student should always have high regards for his teacher.

I thank the author for a nice article which will be very useful for present day students.

Author: Gaurav Singh24 Aug 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Another good article from Juana mam. I always love to read her articles. I have learned a lot from her. Her each article is very comprehensive and detailed explaining every term related with the topic. Keep contributing mam, I always wait for your updates.

Author: Juana25 Aug 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Thank you, Srinivasa Rao, for your comment. While I agree with you that students must respect their teachers, I do not subscribe to the opinion that respecting teachers can result in the success of a student.

Having confidence in the teacher is good, but a student must not blindly believe the teacher. These days, unlike in the past, we do not have the Gurukul system. Today, teaching is just another job. How dedicated a teacher is, varies between individuals. Having implicit trust and confidence in a teacher's ability is not right.

I realise that many students test the teacher's knowledge. It is because the latter lack the knowledge. They expose their weaknesses and the smart students see through their flaws. It is best that such teachers are not trusted. I have come across a few teachers who passed incorrect knowledge to students (my kid).

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao25 Aug 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 0

Thank you for your words, Ms.Juana. I have given a general opinion. but you have given a specific example. No doubt there are some teachers of that quality but basing on their performance we can't generalise the issue. These problems are existing in our education system and recruitment policies. Those are to be rectified. But definitely teachers should command a respectful place in the minds of students.

Author: Juana26 Aug 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Srinivasa Rao,

The discussion is about the success of students and I do not see any relationship between respecting teachers and success. They are two different issues. Students who respect their teachers are not necessarily successful, nor are students who disrespect teachers' failures. Success comes because students possess certain qualities and diligently practice them.

All of my ex-students that I am in touch with are successful. However, their success can only be attributed to the efforts they put into shaping their own lives. Respect for the teacher did not play a role in shaping their future.

I do not advocate that teachers should not be respected, it is good to be respectful, but it is not a recipe for success.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao26 Aug 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

It is true. I also agree. It is good to respect teachers but it is not a must for success.

Author: Juana12 Jun 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

Thank you Gaurav for your encouraging feedback. I am glad that the experiences I share here are of help to you.

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