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Last week, we started this series on why students in Higher institutions do not succeed as much as they desire in their academics. Grouping the first set of reasons under PHYSICAL/MORAL CAUSES OF FAILURE, we considered the first 3 reasons namely:

If you missed it, you can still read it up here. This week, we will continue with other Physical Causes of Failure.

Besides hatred for lecturers, another cause of students’ failure is hatred for the course. There are lecturers who teach their courses well, yet, some students still fail them because of their preconceived idea about the Course or what they have heard about it. Some students have been made to believe from their childhood days that any subject/course that involves calculation is very difficult and is not easily understood, no matter how hard the student tries. Some students have carried this notion all their lives.
Some of such courses include: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and other Science related subjects. Some students got this wrong idea from older people when they were very young and the effect has remained long lasting on them. No matter how well such people are taught, they may end up failing the courses because of this preconceived idea. They need a change of orientation.
If you have unconsciously fallen into this same error of believing that some courses are difficult and you have allowed this mole-hill size thought to develop over time into a big mountain, such that it has affected your performance in the past, the first thing to do is to erase such thoughts from your mind. They are baseless. This change of orientation will help change your reasoning and assessment concerning the course.
Once you see the course as one that can be easily understood in the same vein as others, your rate of assimilation will increase. Come to terms with yourself. You can excel in them. Rise up and face the challenge. Prepare adequately for the exams and before you know it, you may be awarded the prize for the Best Student in the same course.
One of the greatest enemies of progress is procrastination. It limits achievements and hinders progress. It is a friend to failure and has led many people down its path. When a student begins to procrastinate he begins to deteriorate.
Procrastination, simply put, means to postpone to some other time what can be done now. Many students have fine and well-planned personal timetables, but do not follow them because of procrastination.
Procrastination does not allow students to read their notebooks or textbooks. It discourages them from doing assignments or going to read in the library. It will always ask, “Must you do it now? Why not do it some other time?” If you listen to its voice you are dead. Students that have given procrastination the direction of their lives, have always lived to regret the action. Do not try it. If you do, you will end up the way they did.
Never postpone to some other time what you can do now. Learn not to delay. Delay is bad. Delay is risky. Delay is dangerous. Delay is disastrous. Delay is devastating. Delay is catastrophic. Delay is deadly.
It is good to read wide. Reading wide, on any topic, gives the student a wider scope and makes him better than his mates many times over. However, some students’ quest for more knowledge get so much out of hand that they consume everything they see whether related or not related to the topic at hand. It is a generally accepted fact that no knowledge is lost, but not all knowledge is useful. Some are harmful to a man’s system.
Having read more than the school syllabus or the course outline probably including some unnecessary and irrelevant details, the student in the examination hall may be tempted to go beyond the examiner’s questions, explaining in details irrelevant points. This is not bad in itself but it will cost precious time that should have been spent answering other important questions and there may not be enough time to answer those other questions.
Some lecturers may even decide to subtract some of the students’ marks because of this ‘I too know’ attitude. When studying for examinations, make sure that you read the recommended textbooks and study aids very well. Use other sources judiciously but with discernment. Know what to read and also know when and where to stop.
 (To Be Continued)

Sam. O. Salau
(Africa’s Leading Author On Campus Issues)

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