How often have you come across stories of children who were in the honor roll until they reached grade 10? Slowly, their grades begin to drop and performance unravels. Why? Because they could not cope with the pressures and demands of higher learning which increases as you move up in year level.
Grade 10 starts the preparatory stages for the ATAR. It is very competitive because the ATAR is the highest distinction you can ever receive. Unless you are able to re-frame your mindset and approach to the challenges ahead, you will be left behind. According to MarkitUP, these are the 10 habits of the Top ATAR students.
- They are not afraid of failure
The ability to overcome the fear of failure is the difference between those who become top students and those who under-perform. The best students understand that failure is a reality in everyday life. But instead of fearing it, they embrace it because they know the outcome is a consequence of their efforts or lack thereof. To them the possibility of failure increases their focus and motivation to do better. If you prepare well for your exams and remain consistent with your studies, the reality of failure becomes more unlikely.
- Respect the value of time
The top ATAR students view time as a valuable commodity. By investing smartly in time management, the student will yield dividends in his studies. Every tick the minute hand takes is an opportunity that is either gained or lost depending on your mindset. For the best performing students, they know that every second, minute and hour is an opportunity to become better and improve. Once that second is wasted, you can never get it back. Opportunity lost represents a cost in generating high marks. If you want to be competitive for the ATAR, you must maximize the value of time.
- Lead a balanced life
As important as study is, the top ATAR students know the real key to success is achieving balance. They view study as a component in the whole scheme of things called LIFE. Their minds are oriented at understanding the context; looking at the big picture. They know that success in life is a consequence of a chain of events with study being one of the important links. But there are other important links to consider as well. These include family, spirituality and health among others. If you place all your eggs in just one basket, you will never find out what your purpose and vision are. Study without purpose and vision will never achieve sustainability.
- Adhere to a study schedule
Because they acknowledge the value of time, the top ATAR students always block out a period in the day to study. During this period, study does not take a back seat to anything else. They respect the schedule because it ensures they remain on course to academic excellence. Adhering to a study schedule also develops important qualities such as discipline, commitment and dedication. These values become crucial as the student moves forward, experiences greater challenges and takes on higher responsibility.
- Focus on quality study
The top ATAR student does more than set aside a period for study. They will not waste a single second of it. They are focused on achieving productivity in their efforts. Thus, the objective is quality study. The best students know exactly how to organize their study period. They do not set up study period blindly; without sense of purpose. If it’s a difficult subject, they will allocate more time and create the conditions for productivity. For example, if the subject is Math and it is scheduled for two hours, they will not study 120 minutes straight. They will break it down into sections which will allow them to maintain their best focus.
- Acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses
Even though they are among the elite in school, they acknowledge they have weaknesses along with their strengths. By accepting their weaknesses, they make a conscious effort to take the necessary steps to improve. Put it this way, if you are overweight but do not acknowledge it, would you make an effort to lose the excess poundage?
- Know when to reward their efforts
Congruent to their mindset of achieving balance, the top students are never hard on themselves. They know the road to a successful life goes through the academe. But as hard as the journey can be, you should have moments to enjoy every obstacle you have conquered. The reward does not have to be lavish. For some, the reward can come in the form of a favorite sandwich. Or perhaps a pint of ice cream! Then you have those who just want a 30 minute nap or a walk in the park to reflect. Whatever the reward is, they know they have earned it.
- Do not hesitate to ask for help
The best students are able to overcome difficulty because they utilize every resource they have at their disposal. Despite the depth and expanse of the Internet, nothing beats close collaboration with trusted counsel. The best will seek out assistance from people they know are capable and willing to help them get better.
- Quietly confident
You know them when you see them. In class they have an air about them that exudes confidence. You can detect it in their body language and manner of speaking. Most people wonder why they never seemed anxious or stressed out. It is because the top ATAR students are quietly confident. They have prepared to the best of their ability and allow their efforts to bear fruit on their own.
- They are goal oriented
What is the difference between a person who exercises in the gym and one who trains in the gym? The one who exercises does the same thing as everyone else. But the one who trains has an objective in mind. The same goes for the top ATAR students. They set goals to give them direction and reasons to achieve. They view each day as another opportunity to move closer to accomplishing that goal.
As you have read, it is not all about having the technical and fundamental components. For the most part, success depends on your attitude or ability to cope with the challenges in higher learning. Everyone wants to succeed but not everyone WANTS to take the steps necessary to succeed.