Improving Academic Performance

Mark Skoskiewicz

Recent Posts

A Strategic Approach to Earning Higher Grades

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

In a recent Linkedin article, I wrote about how we tend to underappreciate the importance of strategy relative to hard work or intelligence in understanding why some people succeed and others fail in any given professional, academic, or personal endeavor. I also suggested that my experience as a business strategy consultant has helped me realize that there are powerful principles of strategy development used by businesses that students could borrow to improve their academic performance. The idea that you can perform well in school by

In that article, I introduced three particularly important elements of business strategy development.

  1. The strategy development process – or, the process companies use to come up with ideas for what to do or not to do to beat the competition.
  2. The concept of market attractiveness vs. competitive position, which explains whether a company is likely to succeed (or fail) because it operates in a good market (or a bad one), is doing something better than its direct competitors, or some combination
  3. The notion of key success factors vs. core competencies, which helps explains why a company is positioned well in any given market (or not)

In this article, I’ll explore point 1 above, how an understanding of the strategy development process could help students improve their performance in any given class.

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Tags: Strategy Development, Market Attractiveness v. Competitive Position, Key Factors v. Core Competencies, Heidi Grant Halvorson

How Children Succeed: Part three

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 @ 01:39 PM

In part two of our introduction to How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character we explored the cognitive hypothesis, which suggests that success today depends primarily on cognitive skills (e.g., reading, writing, recognizing patterns, calculating, etc.) the type of intelligence that gets tested on IQ or standardized tests, and that the best way to build these skills is to practice them as early and often as possible.

In part three, we’ll explore one of the major themes of the book, which is that “character,” and more specifically “performance character” is the more fundamental driver of success, and it too can be nurtured and developed. Tough believes society has gotten significantly off track, focusing too much on building a narrow set of cognitive skills and abilities, and taking a misguided approach to teaching children how to build all-important “character” skills.

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Tags: academic performance, hard work, Performance Character, Paul Tough

How Children Succeed: Part Two

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 07:29 PM


In part one of this three-part introduction to How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character we are introduced the main theme of the book, that grit and character, not intelligence, is what drives academic performance and helps children succeed. We left off with the introduction of the cognitive hypothesis.

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Tags: Success requires more than intelligence, Grit drives academic performance

Focus: The New Key to Academic and Professional Success

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 01:32 PM


I just finished listening to a great podcast episode from Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman’s Psychology Podcast (one of my favorite podcasts because it’s generally, entertaining, informative and practical as it relates to helping you better understand the world around you) about the concept of Deep Work.

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Tags: deliberate practice, focus, deep work

How 1% improvement can turn an F into an A

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Nov 23, 2016 @ 11:00 AM


Most students don’t realize how small, incremental improvements can accumulate over time to create significant jumps in skill level or academic performance.

Let’s begin by exploring some theories about performance and success that have a lot to do with becoming comfortable struggling and striving to make small improvements. Later, we’ll show how a seemingly small improvement of just 1% a week can turn an F into an A.

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Tags: academic performance, growth mindset, studying, math skills

Making the Most of Summer

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 @ 03:37 PM

 

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Tags: increase your academic performance

Mindfulness as a Vehicle for Improving Cognition & Reducing Stress

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

There’s been a lot of talk recently (in certain psychology or educational circles, at least) on the topic of mindfulness practice and its various benefits. What was once a feature of eastern philosophy/religion has grown into an increasingly Western and somewhat mainstream activity. Two of the most potentially powerful benefits of mindfulness practice include cognitive enhancement and stress-reduction. As a result, mindfulness has started to be implemented in school systems and curricula worldwide. But what is the practice of mindfulness, just how effective is it, and how can we reap the benefits by incorporating mindfulness into our lives? .

“Mindfulness can be defined as the psychological capacity to stay willfully present with one's experiences, with a non-judgmental or accepting attitude, engendering a warm and friendly openness and curiosity” (Kabat-Zinn, 2005). This article explores the science behind mindfulness practice and its effects on academic performance and stress reduction along with a few helpful tips to incorporate mindfulness practice into your daily living.

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Tags: mindfulness, improving cognition, reducing stress

Does Better Sleep Equal Better Grades?

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 @ 05:00 PM

Just as the energizer bunny must recharge his batteries every now and then, humans must also take time to power down, rest and recharge for the following day. But just how important is it to get a full nights rest?

 

Could getting the right amount of sleep (which for many people nowadays means more sleep) beneficially affect academic performance? Indeed, this is exactly what much of the data shows. 

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Tags: academic performance

Are you studying effectively? (For your learning style?)

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Jun 08, 2016 @ 10:00 AM


We’ve all heard someone say: “I’m not doing well in this class because I am a visual learner and all the professor does is give boring lectures.”

What does this really mean?

There are four Learning Styles; visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic. Understanding which one/s you fall into can prove beneficial in the development of study and retention skills. Though we may feel we identify with one type of learning over another, the following are undoubtedly study tips that can help us all- not just in studying for exams but in actually retaining the material we’ve learned beyond them.

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Tags: auditory learners, learning styles, visual learners, kinisthetic learners

Improved Academic Performance through Better Nutrition

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 10:00 AM


Numerous new studies show a promising link between good nutrition and optimal academic performance.

So, let’s explore whether you should start drinking green smoothies and munching on kale chips to increase your likelihood of getting that ACT score or grade you want (to use a few examples of strategies we've encountered...).

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Tags: academic performance, IQ, increase your academic performance, nutrition