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What shapes success among top achievers

By By PETER KAMURI | March 7th 2014


Each time national examination results are released, there are mixed reactions about the outcome. There are candidates who perform well as  well as those who fail. Candidates who excel are usually celebrated while as those who failed are downcast.

 Poor outcomes dim their career ambitions or shatter their dreams.

The release of last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results early this week was no different. Depending on the grades each candidate got, there are those who lived to see their dreams fulfilled.

These will be able to pursue courses that will land them the careers of their choice while others will have to go back to the drawing board. Good performance in national examinations is one of the keys to career success. Many people today are in the wrong careers, because they floundered in their national examinations.

Access to the various university programmes is pegged on the grade one gets. This is the same with the competitive middle level colleges — where one has to perform well to be admitted for a degree or diploma course of choice.

But what is it that those who do well in their national examinations do differently from those who fail?

Listening to students who excelled in last year’s KCSE examination respond to interview questions from the media, a number of factors popped up.

Syllabus completion

Many attributed their success to good collaboration between teachers, parents and students and others cited early completion of syllabus. However, the key factors to success in examinations are discipline and hard work.

Working hard and being disciplined ensures that one remains focused and develops a positive attitude towards what they want to achieve. Experts argue that career success is dependent on the willingness to work hard. Since most students know what they want after high school, they are aware that the only way to get there is through hard work.  Disciplined students do their work in time and shun shortcuts. Simply, they are responsible and consistently pursue their dreams even when the situation gets tough.

On the other hand, those who work hard do not shy away from toiling and soiling their hands. They relentlessly chase their goals that they have set for themselves.

Great opportunities

They make good use of their strengths, which pushes them to the next rung on the journey towards academic success. Good career paths are usually worked for, not dished out. It takes hard work and discipline to reach the top. That is why successful students see opportunities in challenges as opposed to weak ones who see challenges in opportunities.

The former do not allow barriers to blur their vision. Nothing can put their goals off the track.

For top students, they know that the responsibility for their career rests solely with them and that success does not just come on a silver platter. They earn it by plunging themselves into work that eventually sees them do well in examinations.

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