Ever wonder why some students read very hard
every semester but surprisingly fail their exams at
the end of it all?
Such students read almost every day and night and
are perceived by their mates as hardworking
students who deserve to succeed academically;
however, their poor grades keep surprising them
and everyone else.
If you study hard and your grades seem not to
reflect your hard work, then its time you stop
working hard and start working smart.
Here are some reasons why some students study
hard but fail.
1. Upholding hard work while neglecting smart work
Hard work is good but hard work when done
smartly is far better and produces greater result.
Hard work starts with reading and ends with more
Students who uphold hard work while neglecting
smart work believe they must read every note, text-
book, handout and all materials they can get to be
able to pass.
On the other hand, smart work involves reading and
settling back to self-examine whether what is being
read is really required for passing exams.
Students who seem to read less but still perform
excellently well have been able to combine smart
work and hard work. They are able to smartly figure
out what they need to read to pass. They know they
don’t have to read all the textbooks in the library to
be able perform well.
2. Not knowing when it’s enough
Studying saps energy. When you become tired
while reading it is important you take a break, take
a walk or go watch TV before returning to your
Most students read hard and fail because they stay
glued to their books even when they’re exhausted
and need rest. In such condition everything they’ll
be reading stops making sense but they continue
3. Having difficulty prioritizing what’s important
Not all courses or subjects are read the same.
Seemingly difficult subjects or courses should be
given higher priority. Also, courses that are
prerequisites are more important than electives and
thus must be given more priority as we study.
4. Focusing on “I don’t want to fail” instead of “I
want to pass”
This is a mind game. Winners always focus their
minds on winning.
From personal experience, I see that most students
who read more than others but still fail do their read
out of fear. They afraid of failing hence they often
say things like: “I don’t want to fail”. Fear is their
The solution to is to focus our minds on “I want to
pass” so I’ll read.
5. Putting their books first and themselves second.
They read all day and night while they forget about
the need to take care of themselves. Haven’t you
seen those who read from the first day of
resumption to the last week of lectures only to fall
sick in the week of exams? They stress and wear
6. They read all the time instead of at ‘their right
There is often the ‘right time’ to read for every
student. This is often the time of the day when you
are able to grasp and understand more as you read.
For some their right time to read is at night.
Students who read hard and still fail read at all
times even when it’s not necessary.
At the end of the day, they are perceived to be
serious and hardworking students but they have no
results to show for their labour.
If this issue affects you I hope this write-up helps
you to understand how you ought to adjust.
wishing you success in your career pursuit.