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What Do the Top One Percent of High-Achieving Students Have in Common? What Can You Do to Become a High Achiever?

You may have observed the high-achieving students in your class. Is there anything they do that makes them high achievers, and can you replicate these things? How can you become a high achiever yourself?

For the answers to these questions, you must understand who high-achieving students are and what separates them from their peers. Are high achievers “gifted,” or are they just “smart”?

 A high achiever is smart — very smart — but they are not necessarily gifted (although some of them are). They are students who earn excellent grades in high school and perform very well in college. They are well organized, have excellent time-management skills, and have the ability to concentrate or focus on their studies.

High achievers are generally well behaved and do very well in the classroom environment. They may have a high opinion of themselves, and are internally motivated to succeed. They work hard and never take anything lightly. They always earn straight A’s. They are genuinely interested in what they learn in school, and are highly attentive. They generally perform at the top of any group of which they are a part.


High achievers complete all their assignments on time. They typically enjoy going to school, they are highly alert, and they are respectful of their teachers.


So, could anyone be a high achiever? What can you do to become a high achiever?

To become a high achiever, you must start thinking like one. To begin with, develop a very clear idea of what you want to be and how you can get there.

If you intend on being accepted in a top business school such as Wharton or Harvard, for example, make a clear plan for that and be prepared to work hard to achieve your goals.


Having the ability to focus separates the top one percent of high achievers from their peers. Therefore, to become a high achiever, you must learn to concentrate and control your mind. Mental discipline is very important.

The mind, like a monkey, is prone to wandering off. To counteract this tendency, practice mindfulness techniques, discipline your mind, and train it to focus on the task before you. It is very hard to succeed at anything in life if you lack the mental strength or willpower to focus and persevere.

Don’t settle for mediocrity; always strive to be the best in your group. Make a road map for success, and always try to make the right choices. Maintain a strong sense of purpose in your life and stick to it at all costs.


Always think before you act, remain calm, and never resort to impulsive behavior. Develop good, effective habits, and work on self-improvement. We are all creatures of habit, after all.

What separates high achievers from the rest is that they have developed better, more productive habits, which help them produce outstanding results.

So, do you think you have it in you to be a high achiever?

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