5 Habits of Students Who Excel
Over our 35 years of operating SuperCamp and Quantum Learning school programs, we’ve found that excellent students share many traits and strategies. In an effort to share the most important, we’ve boiled them down to five basic habits:
#1 – PREPARE
Prepare yourself by cultivating a winning attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude is a vitally important learning asset, and has a tremendous effect on your success. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” Remember, your attitude is your choice—you can choose to keep it positive.
Prepare your space by creating a “home office” for study. Make sure it’s comfortable, quiet, and well-lit in an area where you can limit interruptions. Play baroque music softly in the background while you’re studying, and upbeat music for breaks. Hang inspirational signs to remind yourself: I am an excellent learner! Remember that school is only one place where you will be learning. Make sure your home study area supports your learning.
#2 – FOCUS
Focus by being clear on your outcome. Define what you want to achieve and in how much time. Chunk your content into small sections then focus your attention on one piece at a time. Take short breaks between sections of content.
#3 – MAXIMIZE
Maximize your learning by utilizing strategies for all learning styles—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Use visual notes and posters, use color, talk to yourself (yes, out loud), and move around while you’re learning, making up motions to remind yourself of main points.
Maximize memory by creating mental images of the content. Make content meaningful by connecting it to something you already know.
Maximize motivation by finding the WIIFM (what’s in it for me). When you come up with ways the lesson will benefit you, your ability to focus and learn increases, it’s more fun, and time goes faster!
Maximize your thinking by analyzing the content. Ask yourself questions. Do I agree? Is this fact or opinion? What do I think about this material? Actively participate in your learning.
#4 – REVIEW
Use the 10-24-7 strategy to review your learning. Quickly review small chunks after 10 minutes, review important points and sub-points within 24 h ours, and review often during the next 7 days.
Use the theta scan strategy. Your brain moves information from short-term to long-term memory during sleep so just before you turn off your light, scan your notes and think about what you learned during the day that you want to transfer to long-term memory.
#5 – GIVE YOUR BEST EFFORT – and CELEBRATE YOUR LEARNING!
Don’t settle for less than your best! Track your progress, analyze your results, and consider what you can do differently next time. And always celebrate your successful outcomes as well as your progress along the way. When you give your best effort, learn from your results, and celebrate your learning, you succeed as a student!
Cultivate these 5 habits and you become a student who excels!