Abdulazeez Toheeb Olawale writes,

When a student is asked why they failed, their likeliest comments are; “The lecturer failed me”, “the exam was too hard” or “we were not being taught well.” These and many more reasons are excuses students give. However, the common causes of failure are interrelated and consequential. Students who fail might not even consider these causes to be a source of their failure but they are really the cause of their academic downfall. 

Firstly, there are a lot of activities going on within the school environment which, if not well controlled and carefully chosen, are capable of burning up the entire reading time of a student.

This piece is however aimed at highlighting the subtle causes of failure that students probably aren’t aware of and then embedded in it are recommended solutions to keep failure at bay.

A combination of one’s knowledge of what leads to failure and how to avoid it, I believe, would give students their best-desired leap of academic excellence. The first consideration in the list is laziness. This is one of the major reasons for failure. When you are a lazy student, you would find it hard to get up to do important things like reading the notes given by the lecturer, doing assignments and carrying out research to expand knowledge about a particular course. Some students even find it hard to attend lectures. But the solution to this is that a student who falls in this category has to be aware that the primary assignment in school is academics, and when the primary assignment is not prioritized in any cause, every other prioritized thing is what will lead them to their failure sooner or later.

The second is procrastination and lack of time management, most lecturers know it when you rush to do your project or essay. If you have the habit of waiting until the dying minute to complete your assignments, you would always end up with little or no quality. I need not tell you that this usually results in poor performance and grades. At the heart of this habit is procrastination. When you keep shifting the time to read forward until there’s absolutely no time to read again, it will lead to rush hour preparations. The solution to this is to plan one’s time well. Assignments should be done early enough, read as much as you can, carry out appropriate research and write your essays almost instantaneously.

The third reason is overconfidence. As much as confidence is good, a student must be very careful not to cross the thin line from confidence to overconfidence as this is one of the common attributes that make students fail. The reason for this is that some students become so full of themselves in knowledge and then go on to miss out on tiny details that are crucial. 

Overconfident students sometimes think they know more than their lecturers. While this might be true in some cases, an overly confident student will not believe he is wrong when he is. Just because you are a brilliant student doesn’t mean you will notice every twist to a particular question or topic. However, you need to read and learn new things. The solution to this is if you are overconfident, take time to relearn whatever you might have known so well or seem to have figured out yourself as paying attention to the little things bring the very best out in an individual.

The fourth in the list is a faulted reading habit. Some students read at the wrong times and in the wrong way. If you have always been trained to sleep early from home, it might be a struggle to wake up really early to read. However, with determination and consistency, you can reshape things and get used to them. Similarly, if you are engaged during most of the day, you won’t be able to read efficiently at night, a dim light in the night will make you not read and assimilate properly as you’ll definitely fall asleep. The solution is that it’s your duty to study how your body system works and then read accordingly. You may also inculcate reading habits at some specific times, but this will take a lot of discipline.

Practice, they say, makes perfect. Students in this category should try as much as possible to avoid a disorganized reading habit. Nothing profits more while schooling than timely reading.

Fifth is relying on others’ knowledge. This is in one way or the other the same thing as malpractice. There is a habit that is common amongst students – relying on one another in the examination hall. A group of students might share the topics of a course amongst themselves, with a plan to provide answers together whenever a question on that topic comes up in the examination. There have also been times when the person appointed to read a particular topic isn’t able to read it and in the exam hall, you would go blank, thus, you would end up failing the examination. There are many forms of exam malpractice. However, the only solution to avoid the numerous consequences of exam malpractice is to prepare adequately for examinations and not expect to be helped by anyone.

The sixth reason is a bad sleeping habit. A study has shown that good hours of sleep helps to relax the brain and make the brain rejuvenated. If you spend the whole night reading, you will need time to sleep during the day. If you also read the whole day, you should sleep at night. You can’t stay awake for 24 hours. If you do, you might end up sleeping on your exam sheets. The solution to this is that any student who doesn’t want to fail his examinations must have a good sleeping habit. The student must learn to sleep well and early enough. The reason for this is because sleeping or resting has a way of improving the memory and retention capacity, plus it makes the brain alert to take in new information.

Inability to read extensively is the seventh reason why students fail. Many students have a problem with reading further. They prefer to stick to what the lecturer gives to them as notes. The truth however is that teacher’s notes are not sufficient for outstanding excellence. If you rely so much on your lecturer’s notes without moving further to know more, you might be heartbroken during exams. The solution to this is simple as excellent students would also want to go the extra mile to study beyond the notes given in class.

The eighth and last reason is a wrong mindset. It is what makes one’s mind do or believe in what works. If a student has a mindset of always failing, there is almost no way he will succeed in any examination. Why? He has given up even before writing it. This also works for a person who has the mindset of success, no matter how hard a course is, he will pass the examination. Even if there’s a mass failure, there Is a probability that he will slightly pass because he believes he will surely pass. The solution is having an incredible mindset that portrays you as no matter what the circumstances around maybe, you will eventually pass an examination and succeed.

Finally, the failure or success of an examination is mostly dependent on the students’ habits rather than circumstances or the teachers. Therefore, it is ideal for every student that doesn’t want to fail to prepare adequately for examinations.

Are you a diligent student? If not, prepare and be one today!

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