Good students come in all shapes and sizes. However, a handful of common traits typically appear in good students regardless of their personality or other qualities. Some students develop good habits and qualities early in life that lead to success in school. Others must work on improving themselves as they get farther along in their educational experiences.
Commitment to Learning
Students have varying goals. Some want all A’s, while others just want to pass their classes. Some students go through the motions in school because parents or family expect it, but the most successful students have a commitment to learn. Successful students show up to all classes having read materials and are prepared to take notes and get the most out of classes, according to the 2008 McGraw-Hill textbook “Being Successful in College.” Similar commitments benefit students at other academic levels. Good students also take advantage of extra-credit opportunities and other non-required field experiences or learning activities.
A defining moment for good students often comes at the point of their first failure. Ideally, students get to experience their first failure on a smaller assignment or project rather than a big test. Some students are unsure of themselves and quit attending or give up at the first hint of failure. Persistent, determined, committed students realize a single failure is a hurdle on the path toward a diploma or degree and learning experience. An April 2013 study from the University of Rochester indicated that students who desire independence and have strong ambitions to learn are more likely to persist and succeed in school.
A good student realizes it isn’t his instructor’s responsibility to get him to class on time, turn in assignments, study for tests and get help when needed. The McGraw-Hill textbook indicated that responsibility is one of the six most critical traits of successful students. Good students take responsibility for their learning process and overall school experience. This responsibility includes meeting with instructors outside of class for help on assignments and using academic resource centers when classes get tough. Responsible students don’t procrastinate. Instead, they keep a thorough schedule and do their best work on each assignment.
College students take a wide array of classes that vary in nature. There might be a lot of lecture and discussion in one class, more lab or experiential exercises in another and multiple team projects in a third. The ability to adapt to different topics and learning situations helps students avoid stress and perform well in each class. The McGraw-Hill text indicated that successful students can develop and apply study strategies to match various class structures and materials.