Academic excellence should be the goal of every student, especially the ones that are serious. excellence in knowledge must be their aspiration. One who has neither attained excellence nor is striving for it is simply a mediocre. Unfortunately, the society in which we find ourselves mostly in Africa does not encourage excellence. But, serious student purpose must be different. Academic excellence is needed in other to have Professional Engineer that will build bridges that will not collapse. Excellence is the stuff those who will construct airplane that will fly and not crash needed to be made of. It is a requirement for those who will build roads that will last, persons who will construct durable cars that will generate foreign exchange for their nation, pharmacist that will manufacture drugs that will cure debilitating sicknesses and diseases and carry out research that will lead to discovery of drugs that will cure ravaging diseases. Academic excellence is important for Doctors who will perform complicated surgeries without losing the life of their patient or causing permanent organ or bodily damage to them. This way, there will be no need to always fly patient overseas for treatment from complex diseases, thereby impoverish our nations further. Academic excellence will help produce lawyers who can argue cases in such a manner that judges and the society can see far reaching implications of cases in hand, so that the legislators can be guided to make laws that promote equity and justice. Academic excellence will produce politician whose pride and joy will be in making laws that promote egalitarian society not in his pay package. Academic excellence will produce a teacher whose joy mostly will be in imparting knowledge to his students and making intelligent citizens. We can go on and on.
Academic excellence may ultimately result in much wealth, especially for those who add entrepreneurship to it, but it guarantees financial security of those who possess it. It is sure to promote sane society, ensures functional institutions and promises national wealth. It is a precursor for having functional hospitals, courts where justice are dispensed, effective educational institutions functional and effective water corporations, good governance and the rest.
Every child must therefore aspire for academic excellence, regardless of field of studies or chosen career. For students, here are some tips for academic excellence:

Tips for academic excellence for students

1). Never miss your classes or other opportunities to add to your knowledge: A class is a formal organization where important subjects are taught to students. The one who guides and give instructions on the subjects is the teacher. Whether or not the teacher is good, a student striving for excellence must always attend classes and pay good attention in classes. There is always something to learn, even from common day-to-day activities.

2). Be eager to learn new things and new methods of solving problems: To attain excellence, a student must seek answer to questions on every subjects he takes, even if the teacher does not mention it in class. One of the ways to do this is to look at the course content and study it, look for practical problems or likely examination questions on the subject matter and ensure that he/she solves them. There should be no room for giving up on any difficult topic. Many resource materials are available now a days. The internet can be used by typing the topic on Google, reading some important information about the subject, watching the movie of practical demonstrations of the some important lesson or teaching on the topic on YouTube. Student only need to type the questions he/she wants answered and the internet will come up with toms of options from which a student can pick and choose as necessary. An important caution here is you must not allow yourself be distracted by other things.

3). Do your homework and assignments even when they are not checked by the teacher: A student who is aspiring for excellence must, apart from reading his/ subjects to ensure the everything that has been taught is well understood, must also ensure that he/she is up-to-date in his or her homework and assignments.

4). Cultivate healthy habits: These include eating healthy food, taking adequate rest and keeping simple rules of hygiene. In other to have a sound mind, students must avoid any thing that could cause ill health. When the body is unwell, attending classes may become impossible or comprehension of the subjects may be impossible or difficult. It is therefore important to seek immediate medical attention when you feel unwell, before the situation becomes aggravated. Engage only in activities that promote sound mind. Avoid relationships such as having "boy or girl friends" before final year of tour studies in tertiary institution if you are not thinking of marrying in a year or two. This could lead to unnecessary distractions.

5). When you can't understand what you are reading anymore, take time off to rest: Mistake often made by many students is to try to spend long hours reading without break. Every individual has his/her attention span and limit. It is therefore, important for you to understand this and be guided by it. Reading beyond your attention span limit will amount to a waste of time and would do you no good. When you feel like resting, please go and rest. If you need to shower, do so. If you need to go and sleep, please do so. In some cases, you may just need to take a few minutes off walk or discussion with someone.

6). Be humble: No one knows everything. Do not pretend that you know what you do not know. Be humble enough to ask questions even if some people will consider it stupid or look down on you for it. I bet, you know better than many of those who may castigate you for being humble enough to ask questions about what you do not know.

7). Be in the right frame of mind: Being in the right frame of mind or rather maintaining a sound mind at all times is critical to academic excellence. Maintaining a sound mind involves avoiding anything that will confuse or blur the mind; auch as drugs, alcohol, inadequate sleep, relationship or activities etc. Sound mind is necessary for assimilation of different subjects that are taught or read and for their application or regurgitation during examinations.

8). Ask questions always and try to find correct answers to the questions that comes to mind about your subject of interest: When questions are left unanswered, very important opportunity for advancement and gaining knowledge are thrown away. Students seeking academic excellence must therefore find answers to all their questions.

9). Never cut corners: Most students often want the easy way out. They want to be crown without carrying the cross. The truth is that the difficulties you encounter while insisting on following the principled position increase your experience and add to your knowledge. A story was told of Thomas Edison who failed 10,000 times, using different ways, in his attempts to make a light bulb. In is popularly quotes as admitting that he succeeded in knowing 10,000 ways of not making a light bulb. He did not give up he continued until he succeeded and his effort paid off. Shortcut cuts life short, therefore, endure the hard discipline of following the hard, right and principled path.

10). Never give up on difficult problems but keep working on them until you are able to solve the problems: You need to persevere through difficulties and stay focused, if you are to become successful. You may after all be a few inches from the solution that you need for solving the problems on hand. If you give up too soon, your efforts may be wasted and you lose the gains that should have accrued to you.

11) Pursue knowledge, don't try to impress anyone: To attain excellence, it is important to be curious and to pursue knowledge always. Almost too often, particularly in Africa, the people you are expecting praise from may end up not appreciating what you are doing and may even castigate you instead of praising you. Academic excellence in itself, sooner or later, will not only sit you among the honorable, but has the potential for making you famous and winning you a lot of respect. Therefore, even when you are not appreciated, continue to pursue it. Seeking to impress some people or group of people has the potential for making you cut-corners and making you become proud. Seeking it because it is right thing to do helps you to remain humble.

12). Be organized: Organization involves arranging your things and your movement for maximum benefits. Sometimes it may involve labelling some items that could bring confusion when you store them. Similar or related items kept together helps you to find everything around the same place without having to waste much time. Planning your outing for maximum benefit helps you to save a lot of time so that it can be used for something productive.

13). Never allow work to pile up: Procrastination is the thief of time . Just the way time is needed for healing of wound, for digestion of food, for bad memories to be erased and for growth of plant and animal to take place to maturity and all these processes take place gradually. Acquisition of knowledge for academic excellence is also a gradual process requiring time for deep understanding. It is therefore important to know that academic knowledge rushed cannot be of much use. Reading, studying and practice of academic exercises or studies must be done regularly, consistently, utilizing whatever opportunity presents itself. A student who decides to leave his reading and studying until when tests and examinations are fast approaching CANNOT excel academically. Reading and studying must begin the moment you know a particular course is a requirement for you. Under worst case scenario, the day the first lecture on the subject is received is the day to start studying it.

14). Share what you know with others: A story was told of a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year, he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.
"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with you each year?" the reporter asked. "Why sir," said the farmer, "Didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbor grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If i am to grow corn, i must help my neighbors grow good corn." So is with our lives... Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. Those who want to excel must lift up others to position of excellence. The more you share your knowledge the brighter it becomes and the more insight gained.

15). Apply what you have read: One important way to have a grasp of concepts is by putting them to use. What you do not use becomes forgotten and useless. Putting into practice what is learnt helps one to understand better some things that are lacking in the theory and helps one to excel in one's endeavors. Conceptually, the learning modules were based on principles that were enunciated by Chinese philosopher and reformer Confucius (551 BC to 479 BC), who stated "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Everyone who must excel academically must learn to practice what is leant.


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