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Most students would love to consistently do well in school.  

However, many believe only the gifted or “naturally smart”

can do so. They believe they are not “intelligent enough” to

Achieve Academic Excellence.
How can a student consistently Achieve Academic Excellence, 

regardless of intelligence? Much of academic outcome involves 

mindset/attitude. Students often go into a class focused on

how much they dislike the subject, or how terrible they are 

at it, a negative mindset that concedes defeat before the 

course even starts. Step 1 to Achieving Academic Excellence 

is to reshape the mind to have a positive attitude about 

each course taken.
Most students show up to class without any preparation in 

advance, totally relying on the instructor to impart all required 

knowledge. Step 2 to Achieving Academic Excellence is to 

never attend a class without first previewing the material to 

be covered. Students should also review the material shortly 

after class to reinforce and internalize what they’ve learned.
For procrastinating students, they operate always in “last

minute” mode. Their single focus becomes completing tasks

at hand, causing them to miss out on the learning aspect of 

the assignment, as well as unnecessarily increasing their stress 

level. Step 3 to Achieving Academic Excellence is begin all 

assigned work as far in advance 

as possible, and complete the work 

well in advance of when it is due.
Some courses can contain similar  

concepts which can be confusing. To lessen confusion, allow 

adequate time to fully understand and distinguish between 

concepts. When a quiz or test is coming up, students should 

prepare as if it will occur a day sooner. Little of the infor-

mation gained the night before a test actually sticks for the  

test itself. Step 4 to Achieving Academic Excellence is to  

complete preparation for a test or quiz at least one full day   

in advance, leaving the day before for review only.
The steps leading to Academic Excellence have very little to  

do with intelligence, but instead involve attitude, preparation,  

focus, and dedication. By following these four steps, a student 

will be on the road to Achieving Academic Excellence and 

realize even higher achievement in future endeavors.

Achieving Academic Excellence

by Chris Millett, MS

Pearland resident Chris Millett taught Computer 

Science at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. 

He is currently the founder, President and CEO 

of the Science, Math, and Technology Center of 

Excellence (SMATCOE). You can contact Chris  

at 281-529-6241 or via www.smatcoe.com.

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