7 Principles of Academic Excellence

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A principle is a laid down rule that will consistently give you expected results if you follow it correctly. Here are seven principles that will guide you to academic excellence.

A principle is a laid down rule that will consistently give you expected results if you follow it correctly.

Here are seven principles that will guide you to academic excellence.


You can only know what you have learnt. One of the basic ways of learning is to sit down in order to be taught. Make it a point of duty not to miss classes. I have known students who dodge particular classes, saying the teacher is boring. So, they prefer to study the subject on their own. Nevertheless, it is still better to add your teachers’ knowledge to the one you are studying on your own, it helps a great deal.


When you are in class, what do you do? Especially when you are in a class that you think is boring? Do you get yourself busy playing pranks on your fellow classmates, reading a comic hidden between the pages of your notebook or are you busy drawing funny faces? If you do such you’re not really in class. To be in class effectively, you must try to listen to the teacher, when your friends call you to show you something else, do not respond. Always tell yourself that the teacher is teaching something valuable. Try your best to focus on the teacher; don’t allow your mind to wander to other things when the teacher is teaching.


Most of the things your teacher teaches you are things you can observe in your daily life. So, try to imagine the implications when you are taught. For example when your teacher teaches you that hydrogen sulphide gas is released when an egg becomes rotten; anytime you perceive the smell of a rotten egg, you should tell yourself “this must be hydrogen sulphide”.


There are times you will find yourself disadvantaged. For example you may not have a textbook that you need or you may not even understand a topic. You must be humble enough to agree that you are disadvantaged; then ask yourself, “Who has what I need?” If it is someone in a lower class that understands the topic better than you, be humble to seek such a person out. Do not worry whether the person will boast on you later or not. The important thing is that you did not know; he knows and he has taught you.


Persistence means insisting on achieving something even when it looks like you cannot. It means doing it over and over until you get it right. You focus on what you are studying until you understand what is written there very well. Sometimes, you will need to use a dictionary to understand difficult words. You may also need to read what other textbooks say on the same topic from another textbook which you can borrow from a friend or from the library.


The friends you keep will affect you. There are friends that motivate you to study harder and challenge you to do better than you have been doing. You will observe that brilliant students move together.

He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 13:20 (RSV)

Your friends will influence you; so choose friends that are serious with their studies if you want to do well academically.


Your teachers will keep on teaching you new things. They will assume that you have not forgotten the former ones. It is your duty to regularly go over what you have been taught over and over again. Do not limit your studies to the take-home assignment that your teacher gives you during your revision, you should read what you have been taught all over again in order not to forget. Revise what you have been taught in such a way that if your teacher or anyone suddenly calls you for a test or an examination without a chance to prepare, you will do excellently. Ensure that you get past questions (where available) and practice answering the questions.

Deji Adepeju

Deji Adepeju

Deji is a practising architect and lecturer. He is a passionate follower of Christ and a balanced counsellor who has a passion for youths. Every time spent with him exudes deep thoughts and insights to living. He has a granary of wisdom very relevant to this generation gained from finely brewed encounters he has passed through in life himself

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