The Key to Superior Academic Performance and Success

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Dr. Khurshid Ahmad Tariq

This essay is dedicated to our children. They are the future and the nation’s prosperity and development is dependent on them. It is only how we will nurture, motivate, guide, counsel and educate our children that will find an echo in our society and future. Here the role of the teacher becomes critical. The teacher is a role model for students as well as in society. Teachers have a multi-dimensional role in society besides imparting education. Teachers inculcate moral education and academic ethics among the students. How many of us become successful entrepreneurs, innovators, scholars, doctors, engineers, professors, scientists, civil servants and so on or for that matter good human beings high in morality and ethics, depends on how good an education we have obtained.
The true secret of a successful academic life is learning “to motivate our self and those around us in a proper direction”. It is not literacy but a lifelong education that enables us to achieve this motivation. According to Albert Einstein, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”. There is an inspiring proverb, “a power which can’t control itself is no great power”. We need to search for that power which will keep us motivated, passionate, goal oriented, focussed, self-tolerant, inquisitive and visionary. Another great quote that ‘knowledge is power” is a supreme reason to strive for knowledge. It is axiomatic that it is scholarly knowledge (or education) which provides that firm power and motivation to build ourselves. Therefore, measure of a person’s success is what he or she does with the education he or she has imbibed.
Based on personal experience, I have come across some effective learning capabilities which could enable us to gain the power to lead a superior and successful academic life. I call them as “secrets for superior academic performance”. Below are these qualities and features, a student should possess and imbibe to achieve a successful academic life and superior career.
The first responsibility is that of parents; as parents, we should peep very early in life about the academic interests of our children towards different domains of science, arts and mathematics or, for that matter, some other field. This is critical. We can mould our children from the very beginning and invest in proper and right direction, taking due cognizance of their choices and aim.
Students should be habitual and desirous of book reading. To love books is the best love one should possess and there is no friend as loyal as a book (Ernest Hemmingway) and we should be motivated to treat books as our best friends. Students should be habitual of e-book reading (computer and mobile) too. They must know and understand the positive use of internet where the best books are available.
Gaining education should always follow these specific steps: How do we read, understand, interpret and explore?
In this sense, we need to understand certain factors: What constitutes targeted and focussed study? How do social contacts and the acquaintances influence the academic success of a particular student? What is the role of the home environment and education level of the parents? There is also an important role of good diet and healthy life: a sharp mind resides in a sound body. Taking care of children’s’ diet and health should be an utmost priority of parents. We have to provide them the timely exposure to the outside environment to enable sustainable learning.
We should maintain a healthy and stress free learning atmosphere at the home. At the very beginning, we should watch our children’s actions, at home, and outside home, monitor their friend circles and so on. Watch them while they are glued to TV screens, computers and mobile phones, and keep a vigil to the contents they look for. Involve ourselves in discussions and problem solving with them, play with them and don’t keep them in isolation. Always involve in group discussions with our children, motivate them to do good and stay away from lies and ill behaviour.
Although, there is no clear cut formula or short cut, but there are ways and means to achieve a successful academic profile which, of course, can lead to a successful life. What is critical here is honesty, diligence, modesty and a disciplined life defined by moral values. We have to believe that there is a proper scale to measure success and this depends on the path we chose to achieve that.
A student should possess good behaviour and discipline, always surround himself/herself with success oriented peers, mentor, good models and advisers.
Students should be motivated, passionate, goal oriented, focussed, inquisitive, and visionary. Do what you are, don’t pretend, and always carry a positive attitude. Prioritising is a nice way to tackle friends, time pass, leisure time, entertainment, sports, play and so on. Learning and prioritising the day to day schedule is a prerequisite to aspire for success. Be organised and always follow a plan of work and proper time table whatever you have to do.
Be polite, humble, helpful and kind. Develop leadership qualities and managerial skills at every aspect of life. Be responsible and share responsibility at your home and at the institution you are part of. Treat and respect others as you wish to be respected and treated. Create the opportunities to work with talented and successful people. Learn ethics and moral principles which govern every aspect of life, be it how to behave in a class, how to behave with your friends, family, relatives and how to behave at a public place.
Have confidence, be optimistic and believe in yourself. Take chances in life. This will help you to develop faith, trust and confidence in you. Don’t commit sins and never lie. Lie eats up the whole good what we earn and develop in life. Develop a lovable and a good behaviour; be nice to everybody. Always carry a smile on your face. Demonstrate your potential before your parents, teachers and peers. Develop an analytical framework of mind and help people in solving day to day problem. Strive hard to acquire required job skills, knowledge to achieve the competitive edge in the market.
Improve writing and communicative skills. Nurture and develop the art of expression. Be very enthusiastic to participate in debates, seminars, quiz programmes, group discussions and other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Demonstrate mini project works, minor scientific experiments of a wide nature and try to understand the major scientific concepts through simple and lucid way. Develop research aptitude right from the very beginning.
Academic failure has its implications and influence on personal life as well as family and social problems on large scale. But one failure opens the door of many successes. Learn from the mistakes and failures, which carry the life ahead to a greater success.

—The writer teaches Zoology at the Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Srinagar. He can be reached at: