Good Student Equals Good Grades
We pretty much still define a good student as one who gets good grades. While this may seem a bit narrow for a definition, it is what it is. We could argue that a good student is one who does not just accept what he is told by a professor or a text book, who questions the status quo, who has mastered course content even though his assignments and test don’t show that, and who is able to think outside the box of normal content and learning activities. Bill Gates was not a particularly “good” student, for example; Einstein was a terrible student. But, if you want the grades that will impress future employers, you have to do those things that will make you a “good” student in the eyes of the people who give you those grades. Here’s 10 ways to be that “good” student.
You Must Have Drive. Sometimes this is called a high level of ambition. The point is, you have to be committed to getting the best grade possible in every course and to doing what it takes to get that.
You Must Have Persistence. We never have to be persistent when things come easily. It’s when we fail and we have to start again or when we don’t understand something that persistence kicks in, if we have it. There will definitely be times when you fail and when you don’t “get” something. Do you give up or do you stick with it until you do it right or understand it?
Know When You Need Help. A “good” student will know when he cannot master a skill or content and when s/he will not be able to fulfil an assignment. And that student will then take steps to get the help that is necessary. Maybe you form a study group; maybe you meet with your professor or TA to get additional help; perhaps you can find a fellow students who can help you.
Take Responsibility. Good students understand that they have to get homework done and get all assignments in on time. They know they have to study for exams. And they make certain that they do these things.
Develop Flexibility. You will be exposed to a great variety of teaching styles, professor personalities, and types of learning activities. You will need to adapt to all of this variety, “changing gears” as is called for by a situation.
Attend Class. Important stuff goes in class. You can’t re-attend a lecture; you can’t generate notes from nowhere, and you can’t capture anything on a whit board once it has been erased. If you have to miss a class, be certain that you get the notes from a trusted peer.
Don’t Procrastinate. Waiting to the last minute, especially to write your essays and papers, is a dangerous game. What if you haven’t finished your research and there is an Internet outage? What if you get sick? Get a calendar and a schedule, and construct a timeline for completing each step of a major assignment.
Take Notes as You Read Your Texts. If you do this, and put them in a folder along with your lecture notes, you will have everything you need when it comes time to study for an exam. If you don’t do this, you will be re-reading that text, and that is really a waste of valuable time.
Find a Good Writing Service. Even the most organized student will sometimes face a crisis and realize that all of those essays and papers simply cannot be completed on time. That's when they will ask "write my essay in 12 hours" It is re-assuring to know that you have an essay helper that you can trust to come through for you.
- Record or video lectures; take screen shots of everything that is presented visually
- Get tools and apps that will keep you organized and format your papers for you and that will remind you when things are due. Get a good grammar checker and plagiarism detection software.
- If you cannot establish a study group on campus, use one of the online study group options
- Find a good app that you can use to make flash cards. These are great study devices.
If you want good grades, then you have to accept the traditional definition of a “good” student. Hopefully, you will also learn to question and think outside the box. And a bonus tip? Call your parents even when you don’t need money!