If you were a student, would you like to see your marks or grades go up? Well, most students, including I would love that. It is the dream of every student to do well in school. The next question for the purposes of this discussion would be the following. What do you think would be the most significant factor in improving your marks or grades? According to most students, the answer to this question is IQ (Intelligent Quotient) (Baeten et al., 2013). However, most students give so much credit to IQ of an individual in the determination of success in exams in an educational setting. IQ has little bearing on what grades or marks one is going to get while in school.
Another perspective on what would make the grades go up is hard work. Nonetheless, most students would still not pick this option to be the most important factor to improve their grades. There seems then to be a gap in what would impact an improvement in the grades. This research question guides the focus of this paper. Ideally in every educational setting, for example, a classroom, there are top students. These students are not guaranteed to be hard workers or have an extremely high IQ. However, what they are guaranteed of is high grades after the exams are marked. The question then becomes, what do top students do differently to achieve top grades?
When most people are confronted with the question above, they will provide typical answers. For example, an answer would be that the top students have higher IQs. This indicates that these students are just smarter than everybody else. The other will say that they work harder than everybody else. To identify this, first, we must consider what the normal student does. The normal student does not perform in an excellent manner because he or she does common routine exercise believed to be part of the intricate learning process.
What Do the Normal Students Do?
Normally, students get into the class with the goal of achieving academic success. Most of these students go all the way to complete their routine class assignments. They also involve themselves in relevant class discussions and attend extra tuition after their normal school hours. Consequently, students who want to achieve good grades regularly visit the library. The library is a source of information from the assigned readings for homework or assignments. Through further reading, these students gain extra knowledge (Baeten et al., 2013). Furthermore, students are usually hard working and respect school schedules. This means that a good number of students know it is their duty to attend classes if they ought to pass their exams.
On the other hand, students who go an extra mile conduct reading sessions at home. These sessions may involve the reading of extra learning material other than what is needed for class sessions. This extra material can be in various forms. The underlying factor is that the extra material identifies with what was taught in class and provides more additional information for learning purposes. Most students who do this have a timetable for their extra time from school. Some of the time, these timetables become hard to follow, and eventually, they fall off the wagon. However, one key thing these students illustrate is their hard work and resilience in trying to get their grades to improve (Zheng et al., 2015). Surprisingly, after all this hard work these students tend to achieve average grades that are considered not to be top results.
What Top Students Dont Do
After getting a good look at the normal activities of the average student. It is evident that hard work does account for the good grades that they attain. However, at the top of the class are top students who achieve top results. As seen from the scenario of the average student, they have done all that seems practically possible for them to achieve top grades. However, they still lack the ability to attain top results. This stands to show that there is more to be done. The activities conducted by top students together with a set of skills help them to succeed in their education eventually. The top students have three things in common. These things are common because they are true for the top student in Malawi, South Africa, China, Australia and the United States. These are the three things that students ought to consider when they seek to up their grades.
The first thing is that top students never worry about IQ. One important factor that students should identify with is that IQ never determines the ability to get good grades. If one has a high IQ, is he or she ultimately going to get good grades without working for them? The answer is certainly not. Therefore, IQ is not the determinant factor in academic success (Baeten et al., 2013). In view of this, students should, therefore, refrain from worrying about how smart they are, as this only serves to discourage them from taking part in significant activities that will aid them in becoming excellent.
The second thing top students dont do is aiming to work hard. Working hard is encouraged in educational environments. However, recent research shows that hardworking students are not necessarily the highest-performing students. This draws us back to the issue of normal students. If an average performing student average performing student performs all the activities of a normal student in a hard-working manner, would he or she succeed? No, they would not. It is quite important to note that all the activities done by normal students do not impact well on their grades because they do not them in the right way. This shows that a lot of effort doing something the wrong way will only result in average results. That is why hard-working students do not perform exceedingly well.
The third thing is that top students never sacrifice their personal time for extracurricular activities exceedingly for the purposes of the study. This brings us back to the issue of hard work. In view of this, we realize it is not about the quantity but the quality. The quality is only achieved through loving what you are doing. This indicates that one has to enjoy a given task to yield fruitful results. Without passion, nothing much can be done. One can put a great amount of time into a single task and fail to achieve fruitful results. However, another individual may achieve fruitful results by conducting the same task in a less amount of time and in a different state of mind. It is therefore not about working hard but by doing something with self-motivation.
What Do Top Students Do?
Arguably, top students achieve top results because they work smart. Working smart involves a lot of factors. These factors are necessary to achieving academic access. One of the most significant of these factors in self-motivation (Alderman, 2015). As mentioned in the paragraph above, self-motivation provides students with the opportunity to provide optimum energy for the regular academic tasks. Through loving what they do, students are able to be more focused on what they read or what is being taught in class. Furthermore, the students will have the yearning to look forward to more of these exercises or activities (Alderman, 2015). The student will be more in tune with their academic life and have the zeal to improve their performance.
The second factor that affects the results of top students is practice exams. It is no lie that the education systems have made exams something to be feared by the students. However, as the saying goes, Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Therefore, students who achieve top results interact with practice exams quite often. By gaining the skills for answering the different types of questions, the students are able to identify with what the examiner is testing for a deliver accordingly. Practice exams, therefore, make students master skills needed to understand questions and answer them in the appropriate manner.
All the activities performed by top students, along with all other routine activities done by a normal student are what makes students achieve exemplary results. The education institutions should, therefore, educate students on what to do in order to pass. This would include making timetables for extra study, but also including time for hobbies and other enjoyable activities in between study periods. This works towards ensuring that the study period is one of complete enjoyment that does not catch the student when he or she is mentally exhausted. Furthermore, IQ has proved to be the least of the worries of a student who strives to perform excellently. Therefore, it is not about knowledge and IQ alone, but also about passion and skills in answering examination questions.
Alderman, M. K. (2015). Motivation for achievement: Possibilities for teaching and learning. Routledge.
Baeten, M., Dochy, F., & Struyven, K. (September 01, 2013). The effects of different learning environments on students' motivation for learning and their achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 3, 484-501.
Zheng, S., Rosson, M. B., Shih, P. C., & Carroll, J. M. (2015, February). Understanding student motivation, behaviors and perceptions in MOOCs. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 1882-1895). ACM.
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