Things Every Student Should Avoid In Order To Excel Academically

Things Every Student Should Avoid In Order To Excel Academically

Things Every Student Should Avoid In Order To Excel Academically – Do you see yourself as a smart student?

Do you want to be a smart and successful student?

Do you feel there are some things that you are not doing right as a student?

Well, being successful as a student requires a lot of hard work and focus. It goes beyond being intelligent though its part of it but you have to be disciplined, focus and motivated. Most times, we advise students to study smart so as to complement studying hard.

Being a successful student in school is what every student wants and strive to achieve in school. From your first year to your graduation year, you work so hard to do well in school and come out with good grades.

Anyone can be an A-student if only you do some things right and avoid some other things.  Some students do really feel that they are smart; maybe after seeing their results for the first year. The truth is not that you are not intelligent; there are some things that you are not doing right or maybe you don’t put in much effort or you don’t have a positive attitude and study habit.

There are skills that you should develop as a student in order to perform well academically and even in life generally. You might spend a lot of time studying but yet you don’t get the results you want, these skills will make you work smart and achieve better results.

Well, you are lucky to have come across this article. We are going to be sharing some habits and things you should avoid as a student in order to excel academically. Graduating with good grades or a very good result in college will make it easy for you to fit into the world after graduation and do well as an individual.

You can be a successful student, if you are ready to avoid the things we will be sharing with you in this article and these things can also help you proceed in life.

So as a student whether you are a freshman or upper level, here are few things you should avoid…

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Things Every Student Should Avoid In Order To Excel Academically

  • Studying without a plan or study goal

For you to study effectively, understand and remember what you have studied; set out an outline on

  • What you want to study
  •  How you want to study
  • What you will accomplish at the end of the study session.

This will help give you a direction and also help you remember what you have read or studied.

You could also set academic goals that will help propel you to success. These goals serve as a driving force to push you towards excelling in your academics. So we advise that you set goals and plan towards achieving the set goals.

  • Spending all your time studying and not doing anything

Some people see studying and reading always as a way to be a successful student but let’s break it to you. Studying always is good but it doesn’t guarantee your success in school. Have you heard of studying smart; it means understanding yourself and the best time to study.

You cannot study all the time and leave certain things left undone like extracurricular activities, relating with family and friends. Your education is important and so is your social life.

There should be a balance between your education and social life. You should try to know the best time to study; it could be at night when the brain is settled from the day’s activities or in the morning hours after you have rested and the brain and mind is fresh and ready to assimilate.

Knowing the best time to study will help you to study smart.

  • Not taking notes in class and writing everything down

Taking notes helps you take down vital information in class. You should always write down everything in class and do not sieve out any information. Never assume that you will remember some information; do well to write down every information.

It goes a long way in making you an effective student. Taking notes and writing down things will help you remember what you have done and also what you have to do. You should also have an organized note for every subject you take. When your notes are organized, you wouldn’t have a hard time studying effectively.

Have your notes well dated and up-to-date. Being organized helps you both as a student and for the rest of your life.

  • Multitasking

Do you have tasks you want to complete and you feel that doing them simultaneously will help you to finish the work on time? Well, the truth is that you might finish the task on time but with little efficiency.

Multitasking is a bad habit that all students should avoid in order to excel academically and even in life generally. It reduces the efficiency of anything you do even if you finish the job on time. Multitasking uses up your energy and also leads to distractions.

You will not concentrate on a particular task and do it well when you are multitasking. With multitasking, you are not after the quality of the job you are doing but the quantity. You want to finish a large number of tasks in limited time.

Every student should avoid multitasking in order to concentrate. Complete one task and move to another.

  • Avoid procrastination

This is one bad habit that most students develop which is really bad for your academic success and also success in life too. Never leave a day’s work for another day because each day comes with its own task.

Procrastination comes as a result of laziness and lack of self-discipline. Always make sure you complete any assignment given and do not postpone it to another day so as not to increase the stress and activity of that day.

When you procrastinate, you get forced to do hasty work which might lead to not doing the assignment well or looking for a short cut to success. Remember that there is no short cut to success. Avoid procrastination and do the right thing at the right time.

  • Being distracted

You can never do well as a student if you are easily distracted. Distractions hinder your success in school. There are many things that can distract you and you have to try to overcome these distractions and study focused either in class or while studying. You need self-discipline and concentration to overcome distractions.

We are in a digital age where a lot of things can distract us; mobile phones, computers, television and many other technological devices. All these can easily distract you while you are in class or when you are studying. 

You have to…

  • Turn off the television set when studying
  • Turn off your computer
  • Restrict your internet access when you are using your phone or computer to read
  • Put your phone in another room and turn off notifications
  • Delete or freeze any application that would distract you
  • Have someone that would make you do these things

If you try one or two of these ways to eliminate distractions we have highlighted, you are certainly going to focus while in class and also when studying. You need full concentration when studying and also in class so as to gather as much information as you can and take down vital information.

  • Not knowing or understanding your priorities

In order to organize yourself and your activities, you have to know what is more important and less important too. You have to know how to arrange your activities according to how important they are so as to know how to carry out these activities and the time to allocate to each activity.

You should know that time is a valuable but limited resource and so you have to spend more time on things that are relevant so as to yield better results. This is why you should know your priorities.

  • Time mismanagement

Like we have said earlier that time is limited and should be managed properly. Every student should avoid not managing his or her time properly. For you to be successful both in your academics and in life generally, you have to develop time management skill. It will help you manage you time wisely.

You get to know how to allocate time to everything you do and discipline yourself on sticking to the time allocated for each task or assignment. Even when studying, time management will help you allocate time to subjects you want to study and how to work with the time.

Time mismanagement will make you procrastinate and reduce the efficiency of your studying. So you have to manage time properly as this has a way of making you a smart student.

  • Not being self-disciplined

As a student, you have to be disciplined in everything you do. It helps you know what you should do and why you should do it. Every student needs to be self-disciplined. It helps you stick to deadlines, dates, time allocated for activities and your priorities too.

Self-discipline is a skill that is also needed to succeed in life. You have to be able to control your feelings and overcome your emotions and weaknesses. With this skill, you tend to perform tasks that you planned to do but might not want to do them due to laziness and time mismanagement.

Self-discipline will help you to focus, concentrate and be organized when studying and relating with others.

  • Not learning from mistakes

Your mistakes or failure makes you better and experienced. Like we have always heard that failure is a stepping stone to success. You have to always learn from every misstep and come back better and stronger. If you failed a particular subject or course, do not see yourself as a failure. You have to ask yourself…

  • Why did I fail?
  • What did I not do right?
  • Where am I lagging?
  • What did I do that helped me in other subjects?
  • What is the difficult aspect of the subject or course?
  • How is my studying skill?
  • How can I study smart and effectively?

You do not have to be harsh on yourself but see the positive aspect of failure. If you do not fail, you will not learn and this ideology will also help you excel in life. Be good at failing but better at learning from your failures and improving.

  • Not revising what you have learnt that same day

Many students fall into the category of learning and not revising what they have learnt that same day. When you revise what you have learnt the same day you learnt it, you tend to understand the topic better and have a better chance of remembering the information you have gotten.

While revising, you start to see a clearer picture of what the teacher or professor was saying in class and how he or she was saying it. It is very important that you do not let that day pass without revising or going through what you have learnt for the day.

  • Not asking questions when you don’t understand

Being inquisitive helps you to understand a lot of things. Curiosity helps you become creative and innovative. Never hesitate to ask questions when you do not understand; ask open ended questions so as to make the teacher or lecturer explain better so that you can understand better.

Asking questions doesn’t make you a dullard, it means that you want to know and understand better. If you are studying and come across a problem and you are confused, meet your professor for further explanation.

Always ask relevant questions; do not ask for the sake of asking questions. Listen attentively, concentrate and ask for clarification when you don’t understand.

Never be afraid or shy to ask questions; you will be surprised that someone else has the same question in mind.

  • Studying to remember not to understand

Many students just study to remember and pass their exams and after that, they forget what they have studied. This is a bad study habit. You have to stop this and always study to understand.

Let me tell you a secret; when you study to understand, you will certainly remember what you have studied. Studying to understand makes the knowledge you have gain stay with you for a long time and become part of you.

The best way to study as a student that wants to excel academically is to study to understand. Make out a good time and place to study and study well to understand what you have in front of you.

Make studying a habit and not a duty. Enjoy it and do it.

  • Not studying in the right place

Do you think you can study while the television set is on or with your phone in hand and internet access turned on?

You will certainly be distracted. You have to look for the best place to study. A conducive environment or place that is quiet and peaceful. This will help you assimilate faster and understand better.

In as much as some people study with music as they say it helps them to relax the nerves; you cannot study when the music is increased to the highest volume. You will get distracted and lose concentration. Look for a good place to study; it could be a library, somewhere in your dormitory or hostel.

It should be a place with little or no distractions so that you can stay focused while studying.

  • Cramming for exams or tests a night before

Many students fall into this category. They tend to cram in order to pass an exam. Like we have said earlier, study to understand and not to remember. Cramming is a bad reading habit and cramming for exams a night before that exam makes it hard for you to comprehend and assimilate.

Always read two-four weeks before the exam or test and what you do the night before is to revise what you have been reading. Make a reading timetable as this will help you read easily and prepare for any exam or test.

Never study to cram; you might forget what you have read or confuse yourself.

  • Not preparing yourself for classes

Preparing yourself for classes either before leaving for class or before the lecturer comes into the class shows that you are organized. You should always try to prepare yourself for your classes, it could be by:

  • Revising the previous topics before class
  • Reading ahead
  • Arranging your books
  • Preparing yourself to listen attentively and wade-off distractions

When you are prepared for a class, you tend to listen attentively and take down every information you get. Settle down before the lecturer or teacher comes in. Do not come to class late so as not to get disorganized as you would take some time to settle down both physically and mentally.

So it is always better you get to class before the teacher and get yourself ready for the lecture.

  • Not completing assignments on time

Not completing assignments on time or procrastinating to another day only makes that day stressful. Take your time to do and complete any assignment given that same day. You get to remember what has been taught in class and it will help you in studying.

Never leave your assignments undone. If you do not complete your assignment on time, you hastily complete it which might lead you to getting or doing it wrong or copying wrong answers from others.

Take your time to study the questions or problems given and do the assignment. You can also study before doing the assignment as it helps you remember what was said in class and help you do the assignment as you will understand the lesson better.

  • Thinking negatively and letting your emotions overwhelm you

Many students do not see themselves as smart students. Some others are clouded with negative thoughts that they lack enthusiasm and motivation to study and do well in school. Like we said earlier, failure doesn’t mean you cannot improve; it is an avenue to improve and do better.

When you lose focus and willpower, you easily get discouraged and lose hope. You can learn a thing or two from Ben Carson. You have no limit to your abilities and strengths except the limitation from your thoughts. You can do more if you are able to think more.

You have to be self-disciplined like we have said earlier and put in effort. Even when you feel like there is no need, just believe that you can excel and put your mind and heart to it. Nothing stops a determined mind from excelling. Always think and act positively.

  • Not being consistent in studying

One thing is setting out study goals and plans and another thing is keeping to them. For instance, you set out a schedule to study for an hour everyday; you have to make sure you stick to it and do that everyday.

Your consistency makes and turns it to a habit. You have to discipline yourself to do it even when you don’t feel like doing it.

Train yourself to be consistent in studying and let your academic goal you set for yourself motivate and keep you focused.

  • Not keeping the right friends

Your friends have a lot to do with your academic success. They have a way of keeping you motivated and focused. You have to be around the right people and friends. When you are with the right friends that are motivated to excel, you share ideas, study together and motivate yourselves to be better.

Your friends act as a safety net in times of trouble and are there to support and advise you when you need them.

Keeping the wrong type of student network or friends will affect your academic performance. They will either make you derail or discourage you from putting your best to achieve success.

  • Not evaluating yourself

Always find a way to evaluate yourself and also your performance. It is not just about doing assignments; you can go ahead to ask yourself questions after studying. Do more exercises or problems from your textbook, practice more and take note of you mistakes so you won’t repeat them in your exam or test.

Train yourself to work with time and pressure of exam; it will help you to prepare for exam and test.

  • Not having time to eat and rest

Students are so focused on their academic performance and the will to excel that they neglect the importance of eating well and resting too. It is important that you don’t skip your meals and also eat healthy food so as to remain healthy and strong.

Also make out time to rest and sleep; it is needed to refresh the brain and mind too. Resting will not stop you from achieving what you want to achieve academically, it is even good that you always rest when you feel tired so that you won’t break down.

You should know that when you fall sick, you will certainly miss classes and this will in a way affect your academic performance. So always make sure you take breaks to rest when studying and also make sure you eat too. Your body and brain needs it.


Anybody can become a successful student if you put your mind to it. We have given you some things you should avoid in order to become a successful student and excel in your academics.

If you apply one or two of the tips we have given you in this article, avoiding the bad habits we have highlighted in this article, be sure that you will come out as a successful student and it will also help you develop as an individual too.

Developing time management and self-discipline will not only help you as a student but also as an individual and life in general.

So make sure you study this article very well and one important thing you should know is that you should always study and be ready to learn new things; this way, you become creative, vast in knowledge, grow and develop in all facet of your life.

We hope you have learnt a lot from this article…

READ ALSO: What You Should Do In Your First Year In College As A Freshmen

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