What do top students do differently? | Douglas Barton | TEDxYouth@Tallinn

  • Published on Mar 26, 2015
  • Douglas talks about the research on top students learning habits.
    Douglas is the founder and Global Chairman of Elevate Education. Douglas and Elevate has spent the last 13 years benchmarking the practices of the highest performing students in order to identify exactly what drives student performance. Today, Elevate works with over 1200 schools across Australia, the UK, South Africa and the US in order to raise student and school performance. Douglas has been profiled in a series of books on Australia’s top and emerging leaders.​
    Douglas on Elevate Education’i looja. Douglas ja Elevate on viimased 13 aastat uurinud heade tulemustega õpilaste harjumusi, et mõista, mis on nende edu võti. Täna töötab Elevate enam kui 1200 kooliga üle terve Austraalia, Suurbritannia, Lõuna-Aafrika Vabariigi ja Ameerika Ühendriikide, et tõsta õpilaste ja koolide taset. Douglast on mainitud ka Austraalia tõusvaid juhte tutvustavas kogumikus.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx

Comments • 1 909

  • siddhesh narkar
    siddhesh narkar 7 hours ago

    What's the difference between practising and re writing notes?

  • Henok Gebeyehu
    Henok Gebeyehu Day ago

    Practice exams are great because it grants you the opportunity to realize a mistake in your understanding before an exam. Also, the bit at the end was fairly valuable. Countless times I have burned out when trying to try harder when I should have been trying smarter.

  • Liam Cardoza
    Liam Cardoza 6 days ago

    im not a good student

  • mido alfaki
    mido alfaki 8 days ago

    World class.applause.It's like he has my life on the powerpoint.

  • Sabid Mia
    Sabid Mia 9 days ago

    The summary of this 15 Minute long video in 1 sentence : if you get your process right, then the grades or the numbers or the results are going to take care of themselves.
    If Einstein born in the 21st century, he wouldn't invent the theory of relativity. Why?
    Cause he would spend most of the time watching tedtalks and searching 'how to do this' 'how to do that' in google.

  • Sean Yang
    Sean Yang 20 days ago

    I understand how important the first point of iq is, and I agree this is probably the case in 95% of schools around the world. However, in the top high schools in America, most students take a load of difficult courses that all require critical thinking and mastery of a skill rather than memorizing how to plug numbers into a formula or remembering an event in history. Thereby, even though it still is not nearly the largest contributor, IQ is what separates the top 1% from the rest of the 99% because there are more variables in doing well in a top school.

  • Mohamed Imthiyas
    Mohamed Imthiyas Month ago

    The voice is not clear.most people can’t understand what he is speaking ...

  • Mike Hardie
    Mike Hardie Month ago

    I've become exceptionally good at remembering info over the last few months using this little system. I can usually remember the vast majority of what I learn. Some of these might help someone.

    When studying, I usually have 2 documents, one piece of paper for writing down the exact term in the book and another document on my computer for writing down (in my own words) the meaning of the same term.
    *Firstly* - To really store information into your long term memory it's really important to understand the *meaning* of what you're learning, one of the reasons why I found books with a little jargon to be the most memorable was you actually need to translate them into your own words to understand them. They are horrible reads though. I really wouldn't recommend books that require a dictionary.
    *Secondly* - It's essential to constantly relearn at steady intervals through the day and through the week, which is where the paper comes in. The paper I usually have sitting on my desk I glance at throughout the day to really grind in the terms I don't quite yet understand. If you can actually link what you've learned to your own life and own experiences you will understand them and remember them a lot easier.
    *Bonus tip* - If you also look up RU-clip videos while studying to really understand some of the terms mentioned in the textbook that helps, comments on the RU-clip videos too may also be asking questions and if you understand the meaning you will actually be able to explain the concept to the people in the comments and that really solidifies what you know. If you have access to group discussions, I'd highly recommend those for that reason.
    *Some exam tips;* - If you're sitting an exam, your recall is better if you're in the same location as you're studying. If you have access to the room in which the exam will be taken. If you learn concepts you have a hard time grasping in that particular room, it will increase the likelihood of recall. The same is also true of mental states, if you drink coffee while studying, have a coffee before the exam and it will increase recall.
    Lastly, if you're nervous before an exam, write down your feelings on paper beforehand, studies show you actually do perform better once you have your worries written down.

  • M Lo
    M Lo Month ago

    I successfully appealed my denial of admission (denial based on IMPACTION, met academic requirements) ...broke every letter writing rule in the book and also included an audio version of my letter with the one page paper version. I have shared it for anyone who is interested. I had been admitted prior but a clerical administrative error caused me my admission. My admission was withdrawn and I appealed. I was sure a Dean's letter explaining such would suffice so as advised I kept my appeal letter short and sweet. Didn't work. Was denied and so I was forced to reapply. Second time around I was told I met a academic requirements but was being denied based on IMPACTION. The letter I posted is the unedited original I submitted to the appeals committee. If it helps anyone it's on my channel. Thanks

  • Adenike Jimoh
    Adenike Jimoh Month ago

    This is really great. Thank you for sharing your research findings.

  • Xavier Chan
    Xavier Chan Month ago

    If every next idea that appears in my mind takes me to the correct goal, I think that’s a sign of good preparation. Let the ideas come to you. Reject ideas that carry in unwanted directions. Thinking happens all by its own then.

  • BookBaba
    BookBaba Month ago


    (Meanwhile "dont worry about IQ" is written on a huge white screen behind him)

    PROLEAN -X Month ago

    English motherf... Do u speak it?

  • 猫我蜜糖
    猫我蜜糖 Month ago

    A short cut is to plan a regime of rest, eat and exercise. This will forge a tip top condition for one person to learn and work.

    Otherwise fail find something that pushes you so hard that you simply do not want to do any of the above, but just to only do that one thing.

  • umesh bansal
    umesh bansal Month ago

    superb video

  • Bearded Bear
    Bearded Bear 2 months ago

    Watching this to motivate myself to try harder and be an excellent student at school

  • Paoby Obounou
    Paoby Obounou 2 months ago

    Basically, find what is your learning style. Used all the technique possible and enjoyed your life.

  • Koothodil Abhijith Augustine

    Top students do practice exam before exams because they have already done cramming, re-writing and making notes...

  • Mike Wheeler
    Mike Wheeler 2 months ago

    Lol practice exams don't exist in my country

    CHONGE JAMA 2 months ago


  • White Dervish
    White Dervish 2 months ago

    Greatly useful analysis. I'd say one of the most organized videos.

  • Vecinu'
    Vecinu' 2 months ago

    Ok but what about the History Exam can you use the staff the you remembered?Pretty much no cuz you need the specific details in a history test you can't create your own ideas

  • Alex 10,000
    Alex 10,000 2 months ago +1

    The first step to becoming a good student is wanting to learn how to study.

  • Nurain Robilto
    Nurain Robilto 2 months ago

    A lots of distraction must be avoided.

  • Priscilla Liu
    Priscilla Liu 2 months ago

    I know someone who got a 4.0 gpa but never studied, never really did any extra work. I believe it’s partly the ability to just learn stuff quickly

  • Joon Hyuna
    Joon Hyuna 2 months ago

    Concept beats memorization my friends, especially in science courses (not saying memorization isn’t important). Understanding the concepts behind the materials already ingrains the knowledge in your head, then finish it off with a little grand slam of memorization. It’ll come to you like butter.

  • fredrika27
    fredrika27 2 months ago

    In the US, the number one reason students don't graduate is financial! School costs so much and students work so many hours that they are tired and mediocre, loosing their scholarships. Second, multiple choice exams are the norm! Memorization is rewarded above application! This is especially true for test like SAT, ACT, GRE and PMI! He gives good advice, but the reality is different!

    MUHAMMAD DHANISH 2 months ago


  • Stephen Hauger
    Stephen Hauger 3 months ago

    g. o. f. a. s. t. e. r.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Emry Caraway
    Emry Caraway 3 months ago +1

    I didn't even know "IQ" existed!!

  • Alec Alstren
    Alec Alstren 3 months ago

    No, a lot of tests depend on memory as well as ability to analyze so reading over notes to memorize certain things can help too as long as it’s not the only thing you’re doing

  • Eina Jai
    Eina Jai 3 months ago

    Your grades doesn't depend on your IQ I have a high IQ but I only have a bit above average grades

  • Soujanya C. Aryal
    Soujanya C. Aryal 3 months ago +1

    Being a top student , i would say a particular goal leads to better results(my opinion)

  • R -TECHS
    R -TECHS 3 months ago +1

    Do practice exams thank me later🤗

  • Karan.K K.H
    Karan.K K.H 3 months ago

    I am in high school right now and the top 3 students in my class never studies and all cram the night before the exam guess things will be really different in college

  • Sparksterfu
    Sparksterfu 3 months ago

    Have an iq over 115 and work hard and you can do almost anything.

  • Omer Rott
    Omer Rott 3 months ago

    good points but he did he have to repeat the same phrases again and again just to make it longer?

  • Manisha Raut
    Manisha Raut 3 months ago

    Champions don't do different things, they do things differently......

  • Julia
    Julia 3 months ago

    i am a top student and i dont have my life balanced, i dont have a timetable, i dont sleep and eat properly, i dont practice more than doing homework assignments. i just dont care and it works lol

  • Český Hráč
    Český Hráč 3 months ago

    the high IQ people with bad grades have a different opinion :D

  • Zen Xavier
    Zen Xavier 4 months ago

    Study. That’s all.

  • D G
    D G 4 months ago

    I have an IIQ of 5000 don't do any of this, Just get born with a high IQ.

  • Hyunjun Koo
    Hyunjun Koo 4 months ago +1

    👎👎👎👎👎 Very boring and get to the point!

  • Rose Lalonde
    Rose Lalonde 4 months ago +1

    1) take practice exams
    2) self-motivation, self-discipline, resiliance, consistant/focused studying
    3) don't base learning off of memorization, exams don't test memory, they test use of information. You have to really understand the concepts overall.
    4) Schedule times that you AREN'T going to study (time for fun things/activities you want to do) FIRST, and then schedule studying around it.

  • Chris Plimmer
    Chris Plimmer 4 months ago +1

    I think it's important to divide these statistics by the students subject of study. When I was in university I took a variety of subjects and I learned that the technique used for studying needs to be catered to the subject. For example, practoce exams worked very well in math and physics but in most of the art classes like psychology and philosophy it was very unusual to come across a practice exam. What I found worked well for these classes was a variety of memorizatioj techniques plus the construction of several questions that might be asked based on the the test format. id like to see a study where they look at the relationship between students study technique and their grades but they divide the results between the subject or major of each student.

    I'd also like to point out that you 100% are being tested on how much you know in university, although that is not the only thing you are being tested on. There is typically three categories that every test is made of a)knowledge b)thinking c)application. Furthermore, it is impossible to do well on the thinking and application questions unless you have the knowledge, so memorization is actually very useful. However, literature from cognitive psychology tells us that there are different types of memorization and some are more productive for tests than others. Basically the more meaning you give to a piece of information, the more you connect it to other information, the more likely you are to remember it long term. Interestingly, the brain space dedicated to that piece of information literally grows as you link it to more.

  • Primitive Hacker
    Primitive Hacker 4 months ago

    do people really watch 6 and a half hours of cat videos on youtube? I hear this example all the time and I'm just wondering if anybody actually does that.

    • Abby Lalalove
      Abby Lalalove 2 months ago

      Ikr I don't even understand why it's really boring to watch cat videos I love cats but it's boring

  • Leo
    Leo 4 months ago

    I would rather have a higher IQ than practice exams and a timetable.

  • Bradlee297
    Bradlee297 4 months ago

    What do top students do differently? They do more practice questions and they stick to study time table. Thank you for my listing to my Ted talk

  • NuKe G0D
    NuKe G0D 5 months ago

    I'm quite an intelligent kid but the only two reasons why I'm smart are:
    Good Memory & Concentration

    If you can concentrate and focus on what you are being taught, try to remember what is being taught. Video games I would say have improved my concentration and memory so it's not because of what most people think
    I have an interest for technology which also helps unknowingly
    I am also late to class a lot, my attendance has averaged at 83% but that hasn't affected me

  • Endyra
    Endyra 5 months ago

    No more cat videos?!

  • Luca Dileto
    Luca Dileto 5 months ago

    anyone else watching this to procrastinate actually studying

  • Jude Bell
    Jude Bell 5 months ago

    This goes to show that tests don't show a lot about people.

  • Alina Yurch
    Alina Yurch 5 months ago


  • ZambetulDePrimavara
    ZambetulDePrimavara 5 months ago

    What I found interesting is that I was getting the best results (not passing results, excellent results) when I was able to understand the logic of my courses. I don't just memorize a formula because I can forget it, I understand where that formula is coming from. It's more about understanding how the domain is working, why is it working like this.
    So, the algorithm that was working perfectly for me was:
    1) Read the course really slowly and try to understand where each idea is coming from : you make the course seem logic for you, you see the continuity of things.
    2) Practice on a large number of exercises and examples taking your time. See how the logic that you made out of the course is working on examples, see that you didn't miss anything.
    3) Practice at least 2-3 examples of test in test environment. You start your timer and you begin to do some test simulations. You calculate your points being really strict and you begin the next test trying to do it better. Also, you can try to finish quicker than the time limit: make your home environment stricter than the exam one.
    As a result, in the situations where I was studying like this I have always finished the tests 10-15 minutes earlier, doing around 90% of the test (sometimes some questions blocked me anyway), so I had time to check everything once again and I got grades 16-20 on French scale in Engineering School (quite prestigious type of schools here in France).
    Also, I noticed that paying attention through semester in classes helped a lot with 1) because I have already understood the logic, so just reading the course to remind me what are the details was enough and it was really quick.

  • Kevin Chen
    Kevin Chen 5 months ago

    7 mins in and he still haven’t Saifa anything useful

  • Dooday
    Dooday 5 months ago

    If you are already doing exercises instead of learning the lesson what to you have to do ? Work hard ? i guess...

  • Christopher Grillo
    Christopher Grillo 5 months ago +1

    I can baaaaarely understand this dude...

  • Samoo Diabian al masri
    Samoo Diabian al masri 5 months ago

    Thank you

  • Korvmedmos97
    Korvmedmos97 5 months ago

    What about if the time of the dat isnt enough?

  • Synthenist
    Synthenist 5 months ago +1

    And again I find myself watching RU-clip videos instead of learning for my exams

  • Audrey and Remington
    Audrey and Remington 5 months ago

    What do top students do to get perfect grades?
    They cheat.

  • Hikotakume
    Hikotakume 5 months ago

    Rewrite practice exam

  • Pied Piper
    Pied Piper 5 months ago

    Wrf is practice exams? Do you get the subjects before an exam or what?

  • Bren Pritchard
    Bren Pritchard 5 months ago

    Please, add sub in spanish. Hugs!

  • ComGree9 Yu-Gi-Oh & Gaming

    Just subscribed. Great video.

  • MálagaTOP - COC
    MálagaTOP - COC 5 months ago

    Im top a student and i just dont do anything just copying my friends exam

  • kareem jeiroudi
    kareem jeiroudi 6 months ago

    I strongly disagree with the study timetable thing he mentioned.

  • Ansleigh Knight
    Ansleigh Knight 6 months ago

    and btw I highly suggest Ted Talks vids

  • Ansleigh Knight
    Ansleigh Knight 6 months ago

    im using pepper Nickels comment

  • Ansleigh Knight
    Ansleigh Knight 6 months ago

    I'm writing cornell notes right now

  • Ryan Feliciano
    Ryan Feliciano 6 months ago


  • Ryan Feliciano
    Ryan Feliciano 6 months ago

    sushi rolls
    suchi rolls

  • Ryan Feliciano
    Ryan Feliciano 6 months ago

    chiken noodle soup

  • Ryan Feliciano
    Ryan Feliciano 6 months ago

    con pound chiken

  • Amir Jamili
    Amir Jamili 6 months ago

    I'm so agree with doing as many exam practices as we can.

  • William Templeton
    William Templeton 6 months ago

    be quiet he smarter than you will ever be

  • dance and life made pure

    I wish to add. You can also watch videos about the topic after reading not before reading.
    You read and understand then look for a video about that chapter watch then look for questions . if you don't have any, try getting questions online . thanks

  • dance and life made pure
    dance and life made pure 6 months ago +1

    He is right. Practicing exams. I remember mycology and virology was difficult for me to just read it the way it is. I had to go to the internet and search questions. When I practiced answering them, I got to the exam hall and was just thinking the right answers dough the questions were not same.
    It rescued me from getting a resit exam.

  • Jacob Tsepiso Jackson
    Jacob Tsepiso Jackson 6 months ago

    My mentality kills it all

  • saoud alkuwari
    saoud alkuwari 6 months ago

    my mom's sandals will give u high marks

  • Serhat Kes
    Serhat Kes 6 months ago

    Finally what should i do?

  • World expediaTM
    World expediaTM 6 months ago

    To the point

  • Cheng L. Zha
    Cheng L. Zha 6 months ago

    I’m an Asian, I ap·pre·ci·ate ur thought, however what u said is not so true in Asia, u should extent ur research to China, where every one working super hard, but still someone just get on top every time, I understand that methodology is important beside working hard but IQ is a huge factor for top students. For example, once my professor told our class to memorize a article, my friend had photograph memory it took him 5 min, I took me 5 hrs, another example, another student in my physics class, he don’t study at all, I mean at all, bc he is my roommate, and he got A on all his test, I just can’t understand...

  • Yuriy Dovhan
    Yuriy Dovhan 6 months ago

    Joke on him, I havent done anything I love doing for a year, now im in med school, and I won a scholarship,
    but in all honesty I love med school classes, well worth the pain

  • Raghad 19
    Raghad 19 7 months ago

    My comment : Yes it is useful, we will work together on this until we become better students

  • -Skywalker-
    -Skywalker- 7 months ago

    the start of the talk sounds a bit like an advertisement, but the other part was really helpful

  • Rubber Soul
    Rubber Soul 7 months ago

    " ..... So what do you think is gonna be the most imporant? IQ or hard work?"
    *presentation background saying 'Dont worry about iq'*
    *The crowd answering correctly
    "Brilliant, you're fast learners"

  • Yao Zhang
    Yao Zhang 7 months ago

    Practice the right thing 2. Be self-discipline and stick to your timetable with work and entrainment!

  • alwin van der veen
    alwin van der veen 7 months ago

    What are the other 11 skills that differentiate the top students from other students tho. He only told us 2 :/

  • Nc
    Nc 7 months ago


  • lenz joseph
    lenz joseph 8 months ago

    What he said is true.When i first test my iq at the age of 17 i scored 161 but i wasn't the top student of my class and the iq of the top student was abt 100 this dude was working hard on everything although i was better in maths and physics without the need of practicing too much but overall he always scored higher than me!But i shld say that having the highest score have never being my objective!

  • JacoTheDeadRuler
    JacoTheDeadRuler 8 months ago +1

    What are the other 11 variables he didn't mention? I feel like this whole talk was biased... I want to know!!!

  • Superstar108
    Superstar108 8 months ago

    Anybody have an example of Such a timetable ?

  • jasnajazz
    jasnajazz 8 months ago

    He didn't answer the question really

  • Eliza Hensley
    Eliza Hensley 8 months ago

    this is borinng.

  • Dorryn Staiger
    Dorryn Staiger 8 months ago

    If your in Mr. Thornburgs 8th grade pathways class and your taking Cornell notes use Pepper Nickels comment it goes way faster

  • Black Aryan
    Black Aryan 8 months ago

    Its all wrong , i have been trying to improve my quantitative calculation accuracy for years and is still stuck at level 0

  • M A Ram
    M A Ram 8 months ago +1

    Am really motivated, thnx for those golden tips

    Would try to follow it

  • betu r
    betu r 8 months ago


  • betu r
    betu r 8 months ago