108 What makes a good student?

Six people share the qualities that they think make a good student.


Nydja / United States
speakerA good student is somebody who has a keen interest and a desire to learn and a willingness to work hard.

Jeff / Canada
I think what makes a good student is perseverance and discipline. I think that nothing comes easy in speakerlife and that you have to work at it, and that if you really want to learn, you have to stick to it. You have to work hard, be disciplined, and continue doing it until you get it, so perseverance and discipline.

Demelza / Australia
speakerI think a good student is somebody that consistently tries. I think when students get hung up on ideas or previous ways of learning, it stops them being in the moment, and being receptive to what the teacher is saying.

Ray / United States
speakerWhat makes a good student? Somebody who's willing to make mistakes. You have absolutely got to make a lot of mistakes if you want to learn anything. So if you just sit back and you're passive about what you're trying to learn, if you don't take risks, if you don't try to use what you've learned, even if it makes you look a little bit foolish at times, then you're not going to be making mistakes that you need to make so that, "Okay, I didn't get this right. I don't quite know this yet, but let me correct it here." Anytime you learn something, it's trial and error. If you're not making mistakes, you're not learning.

Hoa / Vietnam
speakerI think a good student should be hard -working obviously, and they should eager, you know, students should be eager to study which means that they should initiate their study and then try to start learning by themselves, not like depending on the teacher, and you know, just doing what they are told to do. They have to you know be a volunteer, and I think they should have the motivation to study, so that would make a good student.

Mauro / Brazil
speakerWell, what makes a good student? First of all, I think what makes a good student the will to learn what you are studying because if you are studying just because you need and you don't really learn how to love what you're studying, I don't think you're going to make much progress about what you're doing, so you need the passion of what you're studying.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

keen interest


A good student has a keen interest.

When you have a keen interest, that means you are very interested in something. You are perhaps very passionate about it. Notice the following:

  1. I have a keen interest in ancient history.
  2. Parents have a keen interest in their children.

nothing comes easy


I think that nothing comes easy in life.

The phrase 'nothing comes easy' means that if you want something, you have to work for it. People sometimes use the phrase 'nothing comes easy' to try to motivate someone who is discouraged about something. Notice the sample dialogue:

A: This paper is going to take a lot of work.
B: Well, as they say, nothing comes easy in life.

stick to it (stick with it)


If you really want to learn, you have to stick to it.

When you stick to something, that means you do not give up and you keep trying. For example, if you are learning how to cook and having trouble, you might need to stick to it, and not give up before you show improvement. Notice the following:

  1. I did not like the book at first but I stuck with it, and now I love it.
  2. The class is hard now, but if I stick to it, I am sure I will learn a lot.

get hung up


Students get hung up on ideas.

When you get hung up on something, that means you have a hard time understanding it or accepting it. People often get hung up on new ideas or concepts that seem strange to them. Notice the example:

  1. I got hung up on this one concept in class but I eventually got it.
  2. He was hung up that his wife made more money than he did.

sit back


If you just sit back, you're not going to learn.

When you sit back, that means you do to try to participate. You sit and observe but you do not actively try to be apart of something. To sit back, also means to sit and observe without doing much. Notice the following:

  1. After a long day I just like to sit back and relax.
  2. In lecture I just usually sit back and sleep. I never ask questions.

trial and error


Anytime you learn something, it's trial and error.

Trial and error means to try something and then to learn from the mistakes that are made. When something is trial and error, the participants expect to make mistakes and know that this is how they will learn. Notice the following:

A: How did you learn how to cook?
B: It was all just trial and error. I would try something and see how it tasted.

Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
keen • stick to • sit back
hung up • trial and error
  1. If you your goals, you will eventually achieve them.
  2. I keep getting on how to do this. Please help me.
  3. A poor students like to just and not try anything.
  4. She has a interest in history.
  5. I learned how to do web design by .