Good Students Blog post

Is a good student someone who makes the best grades or always comes to class or what? Having taught university students for over twenty years, I have seen all sorts of students and have a mental list of what a good student looks like. So, what are some characteristics of a “good” student?


This student is actually excited about the material being covered! She asks questions that sometimes are “outside the box.” She takes learning opportunities very seriously and may even go to extra tutoring sessions to make sure that she is at the top of her game.


He sits as close to the front of the class as possible most of the time because he doesn’t want to miss anything that is said or that is written on the board. As the professor scans faces throughout the room, this student stands out because he looks interested – he is not “zoning out.”

Eye contact

When the professor asks a question of the entire class, she doesn’t look away or down at the desk like most of the others. Even if she doesn’t know what the answer is, she is willing to give it a try and is not afraid of being wrong.

Knows the professor

He takes opportunities to drop in and meet his instructors. Some students think that the only time to talk with an instructor is if there is a problem. NO! Surprise your professors and come in to just say hello or tell them what you like about what they’re doing.


She takes responsibility for her own learning and does not blame other people, including the professor, for her grades. She doesn’t complain about professors who don’t teach to her learning style. She turns things in on time (or even early) and makes sure that she is prepared for class. She doesn’t procrastinate, and she does the best work that she can.


He can be depended upon to come to class on time and ready to participate. He doesn’t give up when he faces failure but figures out what went wrong and tries to fix it. You won’t hear him whining or complaining. If he says he is going to do something, he does it or makes sure he explains why he can’t do it.

Self-knowledge & discipline

She knows her strengths and weaknesses and tries to maximize those strengths and improve on weaknesses. She knows when her mind is the sharpest and arranges her study times to coincide. She knows how she learns the best and disciplines herself to study that way.

These are certainly not the only characteristics of a good student – but they are some important ones that I look for in a student. Good students may not always have the highest grades, but they are maximizing their potential during the years that they are at college and developing a character that will ensure a successful future.

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