Saturday, 5 November 2016



Students in a class can be put into four categories, the most successful students, the mid-range students, the least successful students and the unsuccessful students. Your duty as a student is to find where you are at the moment and make up your mind to change your position.

First of all you’ve got to know that your habits determine your position. Nothing less, nothing more! The most successful students have a set of habits that keeps them at the top and the unsuccessful students also have a set of students that keeps them at the bottom!

James Kennedy, VCE Chemistry Teacher at Hailey Burry, Astralia noticed the following in his science class.

“When I ask a class of students to open their textbooks to a certain page, four things happen:
  • §  The most successful students open their books to those pages, which are already highlighted and annotated with key vocabulary circled and translated/explained in the margins (see picture above);
  • §  The mid-range students open their textbooks, which look brand new;
  • §  The least successful students do nothing because they weren’t listening;
  • §  The remainder (if any) didn’t bring their book to school.”

When you observe closely, you would notice that each student had a set of habits that kept him or her at the level he or she was. Will Durant said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an art but a habit”. Successful students have a set of habits that keeps them successful.

Successful students are proactive. They are ahead of the class and their students. They read their textbooks in advance of the class, highlight things they don’t understand and ask questions in class to get more understanding of the subject.

As a result they understand the topic and subject better than their classmates and also perform better in class examination and quizzes than their colleagues!

The mid-range students take action by opening their textbooks. They cooperate in class and learn the textbook as they follow their teacher in class.

But you see, they get a shallow understanding of the topic and go home without gaining mastery over the topic. Mr. Kennedy said, “… [They] learn the textbook in class then ask those questions at home …”. This makes them mid-range students, having only mid-range understanding in class!

Since the mid-range students have a shallow understanding, their performance is mid-range! They tend not to become very successful students because of their attitude and habits!

Now, when you notice, the least successful students do nothing because they weren’t listening. This behaviour and habit of them is responsible for their low-performance in class!

This group of students is distracted by various activities like playing of games, chatting with friends whilst the teacher is in class teaching, and losing sight of their academic activities. Since they are distracted, and do nothing in class, they tend not to build themselves for success.

This group of students is those who think they can cram all lessons taught in a term in one study session to do very well in their examinations. They operate on luck and think they can “burn the midnight oil” to succeed!

As a result they don’t do very well at school and if they do, they don’t do very well in the career world because they haven’t understood the subject well to apply it to their work! So they then tend not to do well in the world of work!

The last group of students, the unsuccessful student is those who don’t even bring their book to school. Why didn’t they bring their book to school? Is it unforgetfulness? No! It’s the reason for their results!

They are not serious about their academic and career life. If they are serious about it, there’s no way they will forget their book at home. Unseriousness is the reason for their unsuccessfulness! Serious students prepare for their success and unserious students prepare for their failures!

According to the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule, 20% of students outperform the remaining 80% of the students in class. These 20% of the highly successful students tend to become the sharks, brilliant and the shakers in every class and school. What kind of student are you?


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