How to Be an Effective Student

by Michael Attaway

Originally published to

Why is it important to learn to be a effective student?

It’s simple. We all start out as students before we ever enter the professional world. However, there is a characteristic that you will find in the most successful people. They are life long students.

With that in mind, it is important to learn what it means to be an ineffective student and what it means to be an effective student.

Characteristics of an Ineffective Student

There are some obvious things that we could list here. Students that do not do their work or get things done on time are definitely ineffective. If you’re late to important events or lack ambition, you are no doubt a pretty lousy student.

With that said, there are some not-so-obvious qualities that you find in people that are ineffective students.

Ineffective students (and professionals) are concerned with doing only the minimum in everything. They want to know only what is required of them, and they never pursue material that is above and beyond the scope of their learning.

Ineffective students have a self-serving motive when it comes to their teacher. They think, “What can my teacher provide/give/spoon feed to me?”  The reason why this makes them lacking as a student is because there is a one hundred percent selfish attitude about the learning process.

Also, ineffective students lack any sort of bigger picture. They do not have clearly defined goals and certainly do not have any idea of what they are trying to accomplish.

Characteristics of an Effective Student

Now that we’ve talked about ineffective students (and maybe you relate with some of the things listed above), let’s talk about what it means to be a great student.

The obvious qualities are being a hard worker, getting stuff done on time, and having an ambitious attitude towards the subject matter. However, truly great students dive deeper into what it means to be great.

An effective student has an absolutely insatiable appetite for their subject matter. They absolutely cannot get enough, and many people will think that they have a slight obsession. I love the quote, “Obsession is the word that average people use for passion.”

Effective students are constantly looking for ways to help their teacher teach more effectively. This quality is not necessarily being a “teacher’s pet.” Master teachers have a wealth of knowledge in their head, and the way to access that information is to help foster an environment where it will surface. No great teachings ever occur when the teacher is uncomfortable, irritated, in a rush, tired, etc.

Effective students have clearly defined goals, and they are able to use all types of teaching styles to help them achieve their goals. In fact, truly great students can take information from bad teachers and turn it into gold, because they have that clearly defined path.

Occasionally, it is a good idea for people that want to excel in a field to check themselves and see if they are being the best student possible. By always seeking greater understanding, you help to build passion in your work, and that passion gives you the tenacity that you need to succeed.

Read the original article here

Subscribe to the BUZZ to receive 3 weekly articles for Performers, Students, and Educators

First Name:
Last Name:

Join the conversation