A good student is ...

Un bon étudiant est ...

a student who is willing to learn, understands concepts and works hard.

ambitious, always striving to achieve greatness in all he does.

ambitious, attentive, and dedicated

attentive, ambitious, intelligent, and completes her work on time.


curious and wants to learn. It does not matter if they attend class or not (although it is preferable), but it does matter if they are curious and will follow up on queries.

dedicated to his or her work, able to keep up with the pace of the material, and never gives up.

disciplined, smart and hard-working.

efficient, hard-working, and responsible.

enthusiastic, diligent

hard-working, dependable, honest, and eager to learn.

hardworking, humble and polite.

one that cares about learning,
that works hard,

one that follow directions, is studious, and enjoys learning.

one who tries hard.

one who tries their best when doing their work, is generally successful on exams and classes, one who can teach others what they have learned.

organized, intelligent, motivated

Respective to his teachers; ask good questions; passionate about the subject which he studies; listen to others' opinions.

someone that works hard, knows what he/she is pursuing and never stops thinking.

someone who is aware of his interests and talents, and uses the available resources to pursue his interests and goals

Someone who tenaciously completes their tasks in a timely manner.

studious, creative, intelligent

studious, hardworking, intelligent, punctual

successful, active in class, hardworking

who works hard and completes his/her work properly.

actif, ambitieux, curieux, qui s'applique à toujours être en cohérence avec son projet professionnel.

assidu, intéressé, qui participe

attentif, ponctuel

investi dans la vie de son école, aime profiter de la vie, travailleur.

investi, ouvert, qui anticipe

investi, travailleur, ouvert aux autres

sérieux, concentré, capable de faire la part des choses et motivé par ses études.

studieux, poli, ponctuel, attentif

studieux, sérieux, organisé, efficace

travailleur quand il le faut, heureux car il sait s'amuser.

travailleur, assidu, présent en cours

travailleur, intéressé, participatif

travailleur, rigoureux, preneur d'initiatives

un étudiant assidu, autonome, capable de comprendre et d'écouter.

un étudiant autonome, capable de prendre des décisions, travailleur et sociable.

un étudiant motivé, autonome, et surtout sociable et capable de s'amuser.

un étudiant qui arrive à concilier bonnes notes et vie social active.

un étudiant qui arrive à trouver un équilibre entre travail et sorties.

un étudiant qui réussit à concilier son travail avec la vie extrascolaire.

un étudiant qui sait réussir et profiter de la vie en même temps.


Bonjour à tous, j'ai remarqué que pour la plupart des étudiants américains, un bon élève est quelqu'un qui est totalement dévoué à son travail scolaire, alors que pour nous français, un bon élève est quelqu'un qui sait être efficace dans son travail mais qui est capable de le concilier avec une vie en dehors de l'école, en somme quelqu'un qui ne délaisse pas sa sociabilité. Pensez-vous vraiment que les études doivent prévaloir sur la vie sociale?

It seems like maybe for us the word "student" encompasses only the academic aspect of college; someone can be a great student but do nothing else in their lives besides study.  There is definitely value attached to the ability to balance one's studies, social life, and extracurricular activities, but it seems as if the measure of a "student" here is only in terms of their schoolwork and how good their grades are.  

In France, how much importance is placed on the grades a student earns in school? In particular, how much do employers value grades when considering students for jobs?

I agree with Kate in that a "good student" is mainly associated with the academic aspect of school. That is, in the eyes of most people, the grades are what make the person.

In France, why is a social life given as much emphasis as academics? That is, is there any specific reason why a "good student" is not just one with good grades?

I think in America, college is an important period to study. The attitudes towards study and grades decide whether a student is good or not. In our answer, some people mentioned about "trying hard"; but in yours, there isn't any.

Do you think a student who has very postive attitudes towards study is also a good student?

The only time I have ever heard "good student" refer to someone who has a good balance between academic and extracurricular activities is when I was applying to college. College admissions boards wanted to see students who fit the French description of a good student: those who could balance their work and other activities. Aside from that, when I think of a good student I only consider academics.

To apply to college in France, is there any pressure to be involved in extracurricular activities? For me I felt as if I needed to be a member of every club in high school to prove that I am "well-rounded." What do your schools do to encourage balance between academic and non-academic lives?

I agree with Lauren that extracurricular activities do matter in term of college admission in the US. If I remember correctly what I read from your school webpage, to get into l'ENSAM, students have to compete for the limited spots. So based on what criteria does your school determine who would get in?

To respond to Alain's omments, I believe that in the US, a good student is someone who watches out for himself academically.  The social aspect of being a student is left untouched by the academic side so there isn't any controvesy.  I have mixed the two at points and it turns out to not be pretty most of the time.  Anyhow, I really think that if the enviroment, and by this I mean the enviroment in the US, was more conducing to having a mixture of social life and academic life, then we would have the same views. However, it is not like this and being a good student means watching out for yourself.

I believe that a good student can be meant in a couple ways.  The most popular way as stated earlier has to do in an academic sense; the student that earns good grades.  However, I believe that a good student can also be one who works hard and always put forth their best effort, regardless of their performance in a class.  Also, a good student can be seen as a person who behaves well.  Particularly when listening to authority such as teachers, principals, coaches, etc. I feel that the well rounded student is valued but not the same as a good student.  I think that good student does not include sports and extracurriculars and such because many times, the best athletes in colleges are not associated with good grades.  Exceptions are made for many athletes that are at big sports schools because they bring so much money, recognition, and pride to the schools they play for.  This is the main reason for such a divide in our perception of a good student.

Are sports scholarships a common thing in many French universities, or is this unheard of in France?

En fait, nous ( étudiants de l'ENSAM ) n'avons je pense pas donné la même définition que vous : nous avons donner la notre, personnelle, et non celle qu'un professeur ou que n'importe qui donnerait. En effet, avant d'arriver à l'ENSAM, un bon étudiant est une personne qui travaille dur et apprend vite et bien. Mais une fois arrivé à l'école, il n'y a plus vraiment de compétition et on essaie de s'extravertir de plus en plus. L'école n'aide pas particulièrement ( un peu quand même ). Par contre, nous avons une vie d'école partiuculière et très intense.

Cependant, si par bon étudiant/good student on entend "celui qui réussi le mieux", là je pense qu'effectivement notre définition se rapprochera plus de la votre. Nous préférons entendre "celui qui se send bien, qui réussi et qui profite de ses années d'étude"

Tout est dans l'interprétation du bon ...

It is interesting that none of the American responses mentioned work-life balance. This may be particularly representative of MIT more than other schools, though. Balance is not something that most MIT students effectively manage in my experience. Out of curiosity, how much homework do you guys have on average?