Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Custom Post Type

Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
Fine Print

Having These 5 Powerful Traits Can Boost Your Grades

Written by Pat Fredshaw

It’s a given that intelligent students have a greater chance at succeeding in school, but it’s important to remember that academics aren’t everything to achieving classroom success. Certain personal traits can really help you along your academic life, and if you’ve got some or all of these 5 characteristics, we think you’ll make the grade in school no matter how much of a natural academic you are.

1. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after disappointment. This could be starting a project over after it has failed, continuing to participate in a class discussion after being wrong, or vowing to study more after failing a quiz. To develop resilience, it’s important to have inner dialogue with yourself when things don’t go as planned. For example, instead of thinking you’ll never understand algebraic equations, remind yourself that you can get help from the student learning center (or the wonderful Khan Academy). Don’t default to blaming others (i.e. arguing that the teacher grades unfairly) if you can do something about your problem. Instead, tell yourself to work harder or try living up to that pesky teacher’s standards.

2. Curiosity

Curiosity is simply the desire to learn more. Curious students want to learn how things work—they explore new ideas and concepts, and they express a need to figure things out. Students who lack curiosity often struggle when required to think critically or analyze a concept. If you are not a naturally curious person, you can change that by cultivating your own hobbies and interests or writing short stories. They both require you to constantly learn, and they both encourage problem-solving.

3. Fearlessness

Fearlessness goes hand in hand with curiosity. If you’re a fearless student, you’re willing to try new ideas and freely express your thoughts and opinions. Fear of failure or disagreement will never stop you—that being said, fearless students aren’t actually immune to fear! In fact, they feel it just as strongly as anybody else, since the only way to become fearless is to do things that you are afraid to do. This could mean giving a presentation in front of your classroom, auditioning for a play, raising your hand and asking your instructor a tough question, or submitting a poem to your school’s literary magazine. Even if you fail, that’s okay; overcoming the fear itself is what truly counts.

4. Persuasiveness

Some people are great at forming ideas but may not be great at getting other people to bring those ideas to fruition. Those who can do both are persuasive. Don’t confuse persuasion with manipulation, which involves dishonesty and making false promises. Persuasiveness involves using enthusiasm, communication skills, and hard evidence to get others to subscribe to your ideas and beliefs.

5. Leadership

Fear not: if you’re not a member of your student government or head of some organization at your school, that doesn’t mean you aren’t a leader. Leadership is seldom defined  by specific roles you’ve filled, but rather how you handle yourself in a given situation. Here are a few things that leaders do really, really well:

  • When a problem comes up, they focus on solutions and not on pointing fingers
  • They take responsibility even if others are responsible as well
  • They give credit and encouragement where it’s due
  • They ask for help

You read correctly: even leaders ask for help. Overall, good leadership entails maturity, poise, and a fundamental need to be as fair as possible.

Some of you may feel like you don’t possess any of these qualities, but I’m willing to bet you aren’t being totally honest with yourself. Think on the things you’ve done recently; have you talked someone into watching a show? Did you look up how something works on Google? Did you retry a fight in a video game after losing? Whatever the example, chances are you bear at least some of these five qualities. Which means you can build those strengths and improve upon your good characteristics.

The point? If you try hard enough, you can develop good qualities. And it’s not just your academics that will thank you for it—you will thank you for it.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.