In over 13 years of working with students one on one, many common themes have become apparent.

The purpose of today’s blog is to share some observations about the TOP REASONS students do not meet expectations and, in turn, WHAT IT TAKES (that seems to really work) to become successful.  I have made it my mission to help students develop necessary skills in exactly these areas.  Let’s face it, the skills that are necessary for students to successfully manage and meet or exceed expectations are the ones we are talking about here.  It typically has nothing to do with intelligence or grades (although grades provide a wealth of information and can serve as a gauge – more on this another day).

Top Reasons Students Struggle or Do Not Meet Expectations:

    • Not managing time well; lack of structure
    • No plans for breaking down large amounts of work and information
    • Poor study skills/not understanding HOW to study or “work”
    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Lack of prioritization; poor choices/decision making skills
    • Anxiety or social-emotional distractions or concerns
    • Not relying on resources or tools (or not following through with these)
    • Not taking responsibility/ownership; blaming others; not holding self accountable
    • Quality of work not up to par; doing work to “get it done”; doing the bare minimum


What it REALLY TAKES to become a successful student:

    • Learn to manage time – including academic and non-academic commitments
    • Have plans, structures and protocols…and follow through/use these
    • Break everything into manageable pieces
    • Learn to identify the expectation and create a plan for meeting or exceeding
    • Develop problem solving skills and the ability to make good choices
    • Explore and develop study skills, how to better process and apply information, and test taking skills
    • Anticipate and predict possible outcomes and prepare yourself
    • Become self aware; check in and assess frequently, set goals, self-advocate and adjust plans as you progress
    • Be sure plans and strategies are SPECIFIC, practical and efficient
    • Rely on outside resources (people, support tools and strategies, etc.)


For additional information about products and service offerings to help guide you in developing these important skills, visit some of our fantastic resources below.

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