We see them everywhere. Some of them our classmates, others we read about in newspapers and more often than not, we write them off as nerds or simply gifted individuals, we often conclude too quickly that getting an A is a matter of gifting and not training, luck rather than hard work and application of principles. Well, I have been able to find out some secrets from valedictorians both in Nigeria and in the diaspora—here they are:
- CONSISTENCY: Believe it or not, success is not a coincidence and most A students know that well. They don’t leave a pile of unread notes or handouts till it’s time for test or exams. They take meaningful steps every day to read and revise their work even if it’s for a few hours on a regular basis—believe me it’s better to read for say three hours consistently than eight hours at a go—that way you only succeed in overworking yourself.
- 2. CURIOSITY: Curiosity they say kills the cat, but in this case, it fetches all the A’s. A students understand that their stay in school is fondly for knowledge acquisition and they leave no stone unturned in their quest for that. Most of them as I have gotten to find out use more than one textbook in under to understand certain concepts clearly.
- 3. ASKING QUESTIONS: I know this might come as a surprise but the thing is even A students don’t know everything. They only know well enough to get above seventy in their exams. I have a junior student who often time asks me the kind of questions to expect from certain lecturers, what textbook to read for each course and so on. When I bothered to inquire how this junior student was doing academically, my discovery was as good as your guess—she was an A student!
- SETTING GOALS: Of course! A students set goals for themselves and not only do they set goals, they set out practical plans which they painstakingly implement as the semester goes on.
- SELF AWARENESS: Most A students understand which style of learning works best for them and they utilize it to the utmost. For example some learn better in one-on-one discussion, others read alone without interacting with others—some of these barely attend lectures while for others, its simply paying undivided attention to lectures—most of these don’t even have notes! Discover what works for you and stick to it and you are sure on your way to joining the crème de la crème of your class!
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