By NITHYA SIDHHU
Good grades and goals can be achieved if one puts in enough time and effort.
MY students have been asking me how they can prepare themselves better for the coming public examinations. This being exam season, it is not surprising that tensions are running high and examination anxiety is at its peak.
Having studied and observed successful students at school, I can say this much. Free will can change anyone’s destiny. Discipline and hard work pay rich dividends. Desire and ambition can shape lives. Attention and focus shifts the axis. So, in order to do well, there are some simple things that a student can, and ought to, practise.
While I can offer you some guidelines, ultimately, it is the individual who decides which direction his life will take. With dedication and focus, even the impossible can be attained and dreams can be realised.
Here’s what a successful student does: He pays attention. Knowing when to pay heed is a crucial characteristic of the successful.
In class, when a teacher is teaching, the most basic thing a child must do is to listen. George Clooney, the famous actor is quoted to have said: “You never really learn much from hearing yourself talk.”
So, stop the chatting and stop the distracting self-absorption. Pay attention and make note of what is being said and taught by the teacher.
By lending his eyes and ears to the task at hand, a child can absorb a lot in class. In other words, do not defer learning. You would do better, if you learn as much as you can during the time a lesson is taught in class. Pick up the useful tips offered and remember them immediately.
Be disciplined and focused on what is important. So, set aside a daily time to review work and stick to it. This includes doing your homework and reading up.
Parents of successful children have usually ingrained this habit in their young ones from a very early age.
“No TV before school work” is a good adage to follow.
The child must learn to prioritise and understand his responsibility as a student. If there are academic tasks given, these must be accomplished first, before he accords himself any other privilege.
He optimises the use of his time. There are pockets of free time in every school day. A successful student does not fritter away this precious time.
He does as much as he can in whatever time he can find. In this way, he has more time to call his own. Weekends, in particular, are put to good use.
He thinks about what he is doing, plans his work and accomplishes daily goals. This is a form of self-motivation that weak students do not exhibit.
The successful student is always mindful of what needs to be done in a certain time frame and is conscious of the effort, resources and materials he will need in order to achieve set targets.
Make a list
A good thing to do is to write out a “To Do” list for every day, including the weekends.
Even our very own famous Chef Wan has said this before — “In order to be big, you have to think big. If you think small, you’re going to be small.”
A good student is not satisfied in doing just what the teacher has asked him to do. He goes beyond that, seeking a multitude of other exercises to sharpen his mind. He procures information not just from his textbook but also from other books, other teachers, TV, magazines, friends and newspapers. By varying his sources of knowledge, he learns more.
He practices the art of balance. His time is, therefore, divided into periods of work and relaxation. After an hour or two of concentrated work, this student will usually do something else to relax his mind.
He is aware that the mind needs rest, and he accomplishes this by engaging in some physical activity or a game.
Some students just sleep or listen to music. Or, take a ride on a bike. Essentially, their bodies and mind are not wound tight. They learn to handle stress.
A good student usually seeks out mentors and guides. Somehow, successful people realise that learning is best done when it is skillfully guided by those who are more knowledgeable or wise. Thus, they spend some time each day in the company of such people.
Unafraid to seek help, they make the most of the mental wealth and the wise ways of others who are superior to them.
In the Beijing Olympics, Mongolia got the chance to celebrate its first-ever Olympic gold medal — a win proffered by traditional wrestler Tuvshinbayar Naidan. He won the gold by beating Kazakhstan’s Askhat Zhitkeyev in the men’s 100-kg class.
When interviewed after his victory, Naidan said:“The first thing I thought of was my parents and my coach.”
See what I mean?
You need mentors to be successful. They are the ones who train, guide, nurture and mould you.
Remembering all this will help make you a successful student. Good luck and happy studying.