A successful student is the kind that gets top-notch grades…
But there is more to it than that.
In fact, there is a lot more to it than the scores you’re getting. The scores are just one small measure of success. Sure… They’re important but there is more.
And as I’m going to show you later on, grades are actually one of the easier measures of success to get under control.
I understand If it’s hard to believe that high scores are the easy part right now but I’ve worked with tons of successful students and they all seem to come to that same conclusion eventually.
Most people are taught the exact wrong way to becoming a successful student. They’re taught to do the very things that stress themselves out to the point that success would be a miracle.
The right way to become a successful student is about balance. It’s about setting reasonable priorities and acting based on them. It’s about making smart decisions (and less about working super hard.)
And that balance has a seriously important prerequisite…
This Is What A Successful Student Doesn’t Look Like
I knew a student in high school that got killer grades.
He was a straight A+ student.
He also was miserable all the time. He spent virtually all his time doing school work. He was bad company because he was always so stressed. He was 30-40 pounds overweight. He kind of smelled and when walking by at the wrong angle it would make you gag. He never did anything with anyone outside of school. And from our conversations, I could tell that he really hated his life.
That… is not a successful student.
I also knew another guy that didn’t score quite as high. He was still an A student. But he was always smiling. He never seemed to work too hard. He had this thing called sprezzatura. (He did everything with a casual nonchalance that made it look easy.) He was good company. He was happy.
That… is a successful student.
Scoring high is important but it’s not everything.
And to emphasize that point…
That guy I knew that was scoring high but had everything else falling apart… Last time I heard about him he was still living at home with his parents because he dropped out of college.
You may be able to force yourself down the miserable road of academics uber alles for a little while but it doesn’t solve your problem.
What Do You ACTUALLY Need To Do To Be Successful
I’m going to make the standard Smart Student Secret’s case.
It’s a case that I’ve been making for a decade now. It’s been learned by thousands of the most successful students you’ll ever know. It was a lesson I was taught from one of the most successful students I knew and that I’ve been backing up with university research from all around the world from the last few decades.
You don’t need to spend a long time on school to be successful at it.
You don’t need to spend hours a night studying. You don’t need to think about school 24×7. You don’t need to do every assignment you get. You don’t need to sacrifice doing the things you enjoy.
If you can get yourself to focus hard on school for 15 minutes a night and complete most of the important assignments for class then you can score near the top of your class. It’s not instant. It may feel automatic but it’s not. It has the most basic need: for you to take responsibility and care about the results you get.
The key is developing the kind of strategies we teach here on Smart Student Secrets. (If you’re in a hurry and totally ready to make it happen then sign up for the email list. I’ve got some books and free stuff that can speed the whole process up.)
Getting that stuff down is going to take a little bit of time but once you get it – you’re going to be like a machine when it comes to getting consistent good results.
But what’s really important (and a big problem for most people) for being a successful student is getting the rest of your life managed.
5 Things That You Absolutely Need To Get Under Control Before You’re A Successful Student
1. You need to maintain a regular schedule for the basics.
Studying, brushing your teeth, showering, sleeping, and all those basic essentials should be habitual. That means you do them everyday and probably at the same time every day.
Fail to make this stuff habitual and you’ll be forced to waste your motivation forcing yourself to do this stuff – instead of using it where you can actually make a serious positive impact on your results.
2. You need to know what work is important and what work isn’t.
Not all school work is created equally.
If you get 100 homework assignments through your semester but homework is only 10% of your final grade then each homework assignment is only worth one tenth of one percent of your grade… (0.1%) It would take skipping 10 of those assignments to lose a single point. If the homework assignment ends up taking you 3 hours to complete, is it really worth it?
Save your energy for the meaty assignments worth 1% or more of your grade. Or if it’s a low value assignment, do it but don’t stress out over it. Rush it. Enjoy it. Or skip it if you feel like it.
3. You need to use active recall for studying.
Active recall is the most powerful and well-researched study strategy in existence today. It’s better than reading, highlighting, mind-mapping, or just about anything else you can imagine.
Active recall is just practicing remembering. It’s like a flash card. You look on one side. You remember what’s on the other side.
Do you want a better explanation?
Check this out:
4. You need to have time to do the things you care about.
Balance is important in life.
You may be able to work for days straight without a break but at a certain point, you’re going to burn out doing that.
If that burn out happens at the wrong time then you can cause serious grade-threatening damage that can ruin a semester.
It’s much safer just to plan out some time to do the things you care about. Put in on your schedule. It’s just as important as getting in that study session.
5. You need to wrestle down and pin procrastination – for good.
Procrastination is deadly to your grades. It’s the force that robs your life away from you one decision at a time. It’s a problem that – if you don’t deal with it now… will haunt you for the rest of your life.
This can be a big subject that you should read about here.
Successful students don’t just get good grades.
They get good lives.
Study better immediately and not 6 months from now when the stars are all aligning
T had her head down staring at her grade. She’d kind of curled up the edges of the paper a little to casually hide the teacher’s red pen from the people in the chairs next to her. It was another disappointing grade and she just ran out of ideas.
So that afternoon, after class, she went up to the teacher and asked for some advice.
She got an answer – work hard. Study more. She politely responded but felt a little disappointed because she was sure that was what she was already doing.
But… she tried harder.
And a month later, she was staring back down at the same disappointing grade on her paper…
She thought she’d talk to the teacher and clarify how hard she was working. Then ask for advice.
The teacher responded that ‘you shouldn’t expect results so fast. It takes time.’
I agree with that teacher in some sense.
But in another sense, I want to throw him off a bridge. (Not a mortal fall. Just a scary, think-twice before saying that stupid thing again fall.)
Good studying shows instant results. NOW! Not 6 months from now. – for most classes… math has some complications but more than a month is too long to wait.
Maybe not in your final grade. But on the single assignment and test grades – results should be showing up.
If not, change something. (Even if it’s something small.)
To take it farther –
For some students, the second they stop studying using a Smart Student Secrets/Active Recall strategy, they can instantly feel the difference in knowledge. Instead of ending their study session worried, they end the session with confidence.
Results aren’t something that you should wait 6 months for.
You shouldn’t have to wait until everything goes perfect.
Are you ready for results?
That’s what I teach.
I’ll also send you some awesome freebies.
Write your email in the box. Check the confirmation you want emails. Confirm your email. And see for yourself.