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Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772

How Mediocre of a Student Are You?

How Mediocre of a Student Are You?

Have you seen a dog that isn’t very good at being a dog? The kind that sleeps all day, doesn’t bark at strangers, and really only puts effort into begging for food and belly rubs? This dog isn’t trying to be a dog, it’s just getting by. They’re still definitely a dog, but you could fairly say they’re doing a mediocre job of it.

You’re probably many different things. You could be an accountant, a runner, a musician, a friend, and so on, and you might be many of them at the same time.

But no matter who you are or where you are in life, if you’re studying for an exam, you’re also a student.

It might be painful to realize, but many of us are being mediocre students right now, especially if we’re excelling in other areas. (There’s only so much time in the day, after all!). But while we’re not harming anyone else by being a mediocre student, we’re definitely not giving our best to ourselves.

When the best is mediocre

In a world measured by tests, a mediocre student is anyone who falls between the overachievers and underachievers. Someone who’s good at doing average stuff well, and other stuff averagely.  Among these mediocre students are many who have the potential to be at the top. They might not be at the top of the class, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make it at the top of the ladder.

What stands in the way?

The reasons range from intrinsic factors (like time-management, motivation, and personal skills) to extrinsic factors (such as your learning environment, support network, and resources). They’re all highly interrelated and can be difficult to tease apart, but there are some behavioral patterns you can use to help identify what type of student you are. More importantly, once you know where you’re falling short, you know where to improve.

Here are nine important factors that separate an “A” student from a mediocre student (let’s call them a “C” student):

1. Commitment

A Student: nearly perfect attendance, rare excuses, makes prior arrangements for missed content.

C Student: occasional absences; frequently puts other priorities ahead.

2. Preparation

A Student: well-prepared, completes assignments on time with great attention to detail; doesn’t miss deadlines.

C Student: assignments completed with little attention to detail or further contemplation; work often appears “draft” quality.

3. Curiosity

A Student: has a motivating purpose, inquisitive, asks thoughtful questions.

C Student: uninterested in subject material, participates without enthusiasm.

4. Attitude and Dedication

A Student: has winning attitude and shows responsibility; enjoys and values learning; listens to feedback and acts on it.

C Student: rarely does more than required; seldom shows initiative; defensive about feedback.

5. Ability

A Student: possesses special talents such as exceptional intelligence or outstanding commitment. 

C Student: can have greatly varying natural talent, but lacks organization or motivation; others are motivated, but lack special aptitude.

6. Retention

A Student: learns concepts rather than memorizes details.

C Student: tries to memorize facts at last minute rather than learn concepts.

7. Effort and Time Commitment

A Student: begins assignments and projects well before deadline; attention to detail.

C Student: frequently begins assignments at the last minute; rarely willing to devote time necessary to develop deeper understanding.

8. Communication Skills

A Student: speaks confidently and writes well.

C Student: presentation and written work lack organization and clarity.

9. Performance

A Student: insightful contribution, high quality work.

C Student: inconsistent quality work that indicates only a cursory understanding rather than mastery of material.

Did you know you don’t need a perfect score on your exam in order to pass?

If you earn a professional certification, you get to use the same honorifics and post-nominal letters as everyone else.

If you strive for mediocrity, you are doomed to achieve it.

Very few people check all 9 boxes, but with the right motivation, goals, and support system, a mediocre student can achieve almost anything they want.

If you’re being a mediocre student right now, don’t give up. You can pass. You can get certified. Change what you can from the list above to get there faster, but as long as you cross the finish line, it doesn’t matter what kind of student you are right now. Soon, you’ll be a successful CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, or FMAA. You prove you can do it when you cross the threshold.

Success in your career isn’t pass/fail, and the business world isn’t governed by tests.

At Gleim, we believe in every student, and we have 50 years of experience helping our students reach their goals. If you want to pass your exam, we’ll be with you from start to finish.