by Sir Peter Birkett | July 2021 | Education

How To Be A Successful Student


What Makes a Successful Student?

The factors which determine a successful student inside and outside of the classroom need to be identified first, and then actioned and repeated. Persistence is key here.

My thoughts on becoming a successful student:

1) Time management and Punctuality. The discipline of turning up on time demonstrates commitment to your studies. It also ensures you will take advantage of the full subject period. Setting specific times for private study, extra-curricular activities, health management and sleep are also vital for success.

2) Paying Attention/Tuning In when attending a lesson or a lecture allows your mind full access to valuable information which is being provided for your benefit.

3) Equipment – be equipped with the tools ie notebook, pencils, laptop, overalls etc

4) Being proactive and taking responsibility for your choices in daily life. Taking responsibility for your own life choices means you are taking charge of yourself and your goals, thereby making success more likely. This is the hallmark of a good Leader.

5) Developing Resilience against Fails. It is imperative to understand that ‘Failure’ is just a tool which helps to adjust your thinking on your path to your goal.  If you knew everything, there would be no need for any training at all.

6) Self-discipline is helped by regularly reminding yourself of your goals.  Sometimes it helps to keep a book or pin-board on which to stick inspirational notes and pictures of those goals. Images work well to remind your subconscious mind of where it should lead you next.

7) Preparation for class work: Take notes – summarise points on each topic.

8) Participation in extracurricular activities – mixing with peer groups is an opportunity to forge beneficial relationships and influences for the future. It can also lead to some close lifelong friendships. Being a Team-player will improve your strengths in preparation for the competitive environment of your future workplace. If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people.

Cultivation of these habits will give any student a head start, even if you are not the smartest in your class. Life is, after all, a series of habits – so better to make them good ones! Learning is all about training the mind to work in a particular way. If we cultivate good habits now, then those habits will drive our lives forward without much further effort required and will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

In Part two of this series, ‘Framing the Successful Scholar,’ we will examine 7 more points all successful students follow and discover the secret of persistence.

 ‘It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.”