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  1. Motivation: There are two kinds of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside sources – like grades, rewards, and treats. This kind of motivation typically results in short-term success. Intrinsic motivation, in contrast, is what leads to long-term academic gains. When you’re internally motivated to do your best – whether because you truly want to learn or because you’re interested in the subject – you’ll be more likely to sustain your efforts over time, with or without an external reward.
  2. Ability: Ability is an important part of student success, but there’s more to ability than meets the eye. While many people think that ability is static, research shows that it can be enhanced with time and effort. You can grow and develop your abilities by adapting your studies to your learning style. For example, if you’re a visual learner, ditch the audiobooks and draw mind maps to help you study.
  3. Support: A network of teachers, professors, parents, family, and friends who believe in you and support your educational goals can make a world of difference. These people can give you the feedback and encouragement you need to succeed not just academically, but personally! Invest in your support system by identifying and building positive relationships with trusted mentors and peers.
  4. Goals: Students who know what they’re aiming for have a much easier time in school. Why? Because students with goals in mind can clearly articulate why studying is important and how it will help them get from Point A to Point Z.
  5. Practice: There’s really no better way to improve than to practice – and that principle is true for most, if not all, things in life. Academics are no exception. Students who are committed to practicing what they learn (whether through homework, self-assigned quizzes, attention checks, or practice tests) are more likely to be successful.