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Traits of a Successful Student

May
21

If you’re not someone who is naturally inclined to classroom learning, you may look at successful students and wondering, “What do they have that I don’t have? What makes them do so well?” 
Believe it or not, doing well academically isn’t a stroke of luck. Often, successful students have specific traits in common. Here are the top 10 traits of successful students. 

  1. Eagerness to learn 

Successful students aren’t forced into the classroom. Whether trait school, university or community college, they truly want to be there. They want to learn, and they see themselves as life-long learners. There will never be a point at which they’ve actually “graduated,” and they’re done being students. There is always something out there that they can read, learn, or achieve that will make them better human beings. A lifelong learner looks for lessons in all of their experiences.  

  1. Belief in themselves

A successful student believes in themselves. They believe they are a capable, lovable, and unconditionally worthy human being. If they fall down, they will get back up, and they will learn from their mistakes. A successful student knows that they belong in whatever classroom or program they are in. They know they a grade doesn’t define them or their intelligence (although, that isn’t to say they have no value at all). The grades they receive are tools to help them learn each day. They take them in stride and move forward. 

2. Organization 

Yes, the level of organization may vary, but nearly all successful students are organized to some degree. Good students know how to manage their time accordingly. They know how to keep all of their assignments in order, and they know how to maintain their supplies, so they have what they need to succeed. 

Another important element of organization is prioritization. You may have a list of 20 assignments to complete over several weeks. Which should you do first? A good student can step back, order them appropriately, and prioritize so they can achieve their goals. They know how to make a plan and executive it even when they’re juggling multiple balls at once.

3. Willingness to ask questions

Learning requires questions. There will absolutely be a time where you need to ask an instructor, friend, family, or classmate a question about content in a class or an assignment you were given. Often, people are too afraid to pose a question for fear of looking stupid. Successful students know that it’s better to seek clarification than to move ahead incorrectly. Additionally, if you have a question, most of the time someone else does as well. 

Successful students don’t worry about the perception that others may have of them, especially if it’s because of questions that they ask. They only seek to increase their only knowledge 

4. Good study habits

This may be the most obvious trait on the list. As a student, you want to develop good study habits, and successful students nearly always have them. While some people wait until the last minute to cram information into their brains, successful students know this isn’t the most effective way to go about learning the information. 

Why? Because they don’t retain it long-term. Sure, you might know the information for the test or quiz tomorrow, but what about at the end of the semester when you need to know it for the final? Chances are, you won’t remember it, and you’ll have to relearn an entire semester’s worth of information. You won’t be able to do that in a night! 

Instead, successful students learn bits and pieces of information over small periods of time, and this allows their brains to retain it. If you want to do this too, we suggest that you use small blocks of time and develop study methods that work for you. Some students like outlining the textbook, making flashcards, or creating their own practice quizzes. You should also take notes during class as this will help you stay focused.

5. Self-motivation

When you are self-motivated, you find purpose in what you do by discovering personally meaningful goals and dreams. This means that you’re not waiting to be told what to do next. You’re off doing it because you know what you want to accomplish. 

Students who are self-motivated aren’t told that they have to get an ‘A’ in the class by their parents or teacher. They decide that they want to get an ‘A’ for themselves because it makes them happy. As a result, they may decide to study an extra night during the week instead of hanging out with friends or wake up an extra hour each morning. Either way, the motivation comes from them…not any other external factors.

6. Ability to accept responsibility 

Being able to accept responsibility means that you see yourself as primarily responsible for your outcomes and experiences. Successful students realize that they are responsible for their possessions, homework, and behavior at school. While this can be overwhelming for some, those that stand apart in the classroom are those that take on this responsibility. Parents can foster this sense of responsibility at home by helping students become independent and know how to pick up toys, do chores, etc. when it is age-appropriate.

7. Love of reading

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education states that the most important thing parents can do to ensure their children’s success in school is to nurture a love of reading? Successful students often have a love of reading. Reading is an essential skill for learning and instilling a love for reading at an early age can serve as a springboard for other academic skills. It also helps to expand vocabulary and allows students to express their thoughts more effectively. 

Final thoughts

Isn’t it interesting how successful students often exhibit similar characteristics in the classroom regardless of age, gender, or cultural background? This information is extraordinarily helpful for parents who are trying to help teach their children the skills they need to excel in the classroom or older children trying to work hard to better their own academic skills. 

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