With places in top schools getting more and more limited, it has become almost a prerequisite that one needs to be an academically adept student in order to stand a chance at the big leagues. This starts right from high school, goes on to university and finally ends with students deciding their careers. A major factor in all of this is the academic performance of the student. But most students who don’t do well don’t even know how to be a good student. It’s very simple as you will soon find out after reading our list of the top 10 traits of a good student.

The Top 10 Traits of a Good Student



This is the first and the most important dimension of doing well academically. A good student is regular in both attending classes as well as catching up with schoolwork. It might be tempting to let work pile up until the last day when you think you can cram it all in one go. But that has never worked out for anyone. You might be able to get through exams that way but doing well consistently is a whole other ball game. Studying regularly also keeps you confident before tests.


Sleep is key

This might seem counter-intuitive. Here we are, talking about studying hard and one would think that burning the midnight oil would be a part of that. But that is not so. All you need is a few hours of solid studying everyday (worst case) and you’ll be sorted. To know how to be a good student is to know that sleep is important. At least 6-7 hours of sleep every night is a must; 8, if you can manage it. Not sleeping enough doesn’t let the brain recover and it has detrimental effects on your processing capabilities.


Try the visual way

Making things fun for the brain helps it retain much more information than what is possible otherwise. One good way to do this to learn pictorially. Visualize the information you are reading as a small video clip in your head. Illustrate your notes with flowcharts and encircle the important words. Graphic guides also exist to help you learn your course more easily. Think about it, you can remember the actor in a movie better than a character you read about in a book. Same principle!


Create mock tests

Self-evaluation is another really good way to go about learning your coursework. In order to get over the fear of exams and memorize your notes, kill two birds with one stone by creating mock tests. Be sure to time yourself and be strict, otherwise there is no point of this exercise. Mock tests can help reduce the exam anxiety while also helping you learn the matter very quickly; quicker than it would be possible through other methods. It will also help you adapt to recalling information at will, while being under pressure.


Take care of your body

Just training the mind and completely neglecting the body isn’t a good way to go about things. There is no point of being fully prepared for an examination if you fall ill right before the test. Join a gym, go out for walks or runs and generally keep your body active. It will help reduce stress and increase your mind’s thinking capabilities. Maintain your diet properly as well. Eat healthy and sleep on time. This will keep your body in top shape to handle whatever the curriculum throws at it.


Take notes

It is often said in order to know how to be a good student, one must know how to take notes. Taking notes engages the mind better and helps you understand and retain the matter that is being taught in the classroom. Always keep a notebook and pencil handy. Stop using highlighters as they only distract your attention from the task at hand. Instead, scribble with a pencil. Make margin notes and underline the relevant section and you would have mastered the course in no time.


Ask questions

Good students are rarely the silent ones. They are the ones who raise their hands without hesitation and voice their doubts regarding the topics being taught. This has two benefits: one is the obvious: your doubts are cleared on the spot, making you ready for the subsequent topics. The second is that the teacher or professor will learn of your existence in class and this will be very helpful in the future when it comes to him or her deciding your grade or helping you out in any other way.



A cluttered workspace is reflective of a cluttered mind. You don’t want all your thoughts to be muddled up when you need them the most. In reality, this is exactly what happens. Students who keep themselves organized tend to think more clearly as well. They also perform better. Keep your books shelved properly in your room and your desk free of unnecessary clutter. You will notice the composure that brings into your thought process.


Find your own sweet spot

Abilities differ from person to person. So do habits. Don’t go by what someone else in your class is doing. Figure out what your needs are and work accordingly. If you think you work better at night, nap in the afternoons and study till late night. If you think you work better in a library, sit there. Do what works for you instead of following a recipe that works for someone else. There is also no fixed quota of how much you have to study per day. If you are satisfied with your output, that is all that matters.


Divide up your time

Those who know the secrets on how to be a good student realize the importance of partitioning your workday and allocating specific hours to specific tasks. Create a daily schedule which tells you exactly how much you spend studying and how much on recreation. This will help you keep track of your life and make it more controllable. If you are able to keep your life under control, it will help you think better and retain better with no distractions.


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