Characteristics of "A" Students
from an article by Paul Solomon and Annette Nellen in The Teaching Professor, February 1996
- Ability (Talent) . . . have special aptitude, motivation, or a combination of both. This talent may include
either or both creativity and organizational skills.
- Attendance (Commitment) . . . never miss class. Their commitment to the class resembles that of
their professor. Attending class is their highest priority.
- Attitude (Dedication) . . . show initiative. Their desire to excel makes them do more work than is
- Communications Skills . . . write well and speak confidently and clearly. Their work is
well-organized, covers all relevant points, and is easy to listen to/read.
- Curiosity . . . are visibly interested during class and display interest in the subject matter through their
- Performance . . . obtain the highest scores in the class. They exhibit test-taking skills such as an ability
to budget their time and to deal with test anxiety. They often volunteer thoughtful comments and ask
- Preparation . . . are always prepared for class. They always respond when called on. Their attention to
detail sometimes results in catching text or teacher errors.
- Retention . . . learn concepts rather than memorize details so they are better able to connect past learning
with present material.
- Time Commitment (Effort) . . . maintain a fixed study schedule. They regularly prepare for each class
no matter what the assignment. They average 2-4 hours of study for every hour in class.
- Adaptability . . . have made the transition to the university academic paradigm, where active
engagement for learning is the norm.