I can tell you on authority that the achievement of academic excellence is not the preserve of only naturally talented students.
The case of the so-called academic prodigy who scores a string of A’s with cheeky ease in any test on any day is always a rare phenomenon that holds all of us spellbound. Indeed, such breed of exceptionally high IQ individuals is in the minority in schools and colleges everywhere in the world.
And thank God, you need not score a string of A’s in order to achieve a status of academic excellence. You will still be considered a good student and given very high grades or scores if you are able to impress your tutors or examiners in ways that speak to your hard work and dedication to your studies.
Personal experience has taught me this. I never had it easy on all occasions like the born academic genius. No. But be sure to know that I’m always prepared to work hard to rub shoulders with even the best. As the saying goes, genius is ten per cent inspiration and ninety per cent perspiration.
There are many other folks out there who perform so well in an examination even though they are not well endowed academically. This is why I believe that you too can do very well even if you are not the typical born academic genius.
Too many fail to achieve academic excellence all the same. Maybe you have been wondering how come you try so hard but fail to make the grades that will astound everybody. Or maybe you are just the guy who always seems to have no clues when it comes to your studies.
In fact, you have only survived so far thanks to the help you’ve been receiving from others when it matters most. You know what I mean.
Well, I have good news for you. You too can begin to perform well in an examination. All you need is to know and avoid the habits that have prevented so many from becoming high academic achievers.
So here are the reasons too many students struggle to achieve academic excellence.
1. No personal study time table
So it becomes almost impossible to use time efficiently as you prepare for the test.
2. Cultivating low self-confidence unconsciously
You allow the outstanding academic achievement of other students to intimidate you unnecessarily. You begin to tell yourself there is no way you too can achieve that feat. But the truth is you are just as human as those high achievers. It takes certain habits to reach those heights in academic achievement. And trust me, in most cases, these high achievers are ever willing to share with you their secrets to success if only you ask.
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3. Envy and arrogance.
I’ve just stated that it is only when you ask the super academic achievers and try to trust in your own abilities to do more that you can achieve your own academic heights. But that takes loads of humility and a positive attitude.
One reason why too many students fail to score excellent or even good marks is that they tend to spend too much time on envying the exceptional achievement of others. Moreover, they feel too proud to approach the high achievers to find out how they did it.
I know for a fact that one common abiding habit among low academic achievers is trying to find fault with their teachers.
You cannot keep finding fault with your tutor and still have enough trust in their ability to help you achieve your goals. Granted, that tutor of yours may not be the best but hey, who said anyone was going to be perfect anyway?
Quite often, the habit of fault-finding is simply a convenient avenue of covering up our own inadequacies. So snap out of the habit. Trust your teacher to do his part. Then go ahead and allow yourself to work to supplement what you’ve been taught.
5. Scapegoating examiners
Very much linked to the habit of fault-finding is this one of holding examiners or the examining body responsible for your poor performance. Some even blame their invigilators.
In my association with lots of my colleague students and candidates, I found this habit to be behind the perennial low achievement by too many who could have otherwise done much better. And in my years of dealing with thousands of my own students, I came to realize how big this problem could get.
You can’t take personal responsibility to do the things that need to be done to ensure your success while you keep blaming examiners at WAEC, for example, for your lack of success. Period.
6. Misplaced priorities.
There is something every student knows. It is called “chilling”. Loosely translated from campus parlance, chilling is the act of self-indulgence.
Enjoying yourself small. You know what I mean. Chilling can take many forms. It may be binge drinking at all the bars in town or binge-watching television shows. It could be unending rounds of sexual or romantic escapades with the opposite sex. Sometimes it is all about going out for an everlasting string of parties.
And all these are invariably done at the expense of your studies. Surely you don’t expect to still have enough time to prepare adequately for that examination and score very high marks after wasting your time on activities that are best postponed to the future.
I want you to start believing that you too can become a high achiever with regards to your studies. Sure, you may not be able to beat the born geniuses. But you sure can perform beyond your wildest imagination. All it takes is avoiding the above negative habits and acting in ways that have brought success to many other students and candidates.
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