A good student is someone who ...

Un bon étudiant est quelqu'un qui ...

completes his/her work on time and does all the assignments.

develops interesting ideas that can be substantiated by existing scholarship.

Is attentive in class, works hard, and asks questions.

is diligent and tries to understand the material on a deeper level.

is interested in what she is studying, puts a lot of time in preparing for classes and finishing assignments, and is organized.

loves learning and wants to use what they've learned to help the world; doesn't give up easily; respects their teachers and mentors; is not arrogant

pushes the boundaries

Puts the necessary time and effort to make sure that he/she fully understands the material being presented.

questions everything, is always curious, and realizes that success is mostly connected to work ethic.

respects his or her teachers and peers, gives his or her all in studying, and does more than what it is expected from him or her.

sets goals.
is organized.
works hard.


studies hard. does good work. is intelligent.

studies, asks questions, and is willing to work to earn their grades.

tries hard, does their work, likes to learn

tries his or her best at all times.

works hard in all subjects,
excels in the subjects they truly care about,
applies what they learn in the classroom to the outside world.

assimile les connaissances qui lui sont tranmises tout en s'intègrant bien à la vie de l'établissement et à la vie sociale étudiante

est présent, prend part aux cours et s'intéresse à ce qu'il étudie.

fait le bon équilibre entre les études et les autres activités

Participe à la vie de l'école, prend au sérieux les enseignements et respecte les professeurs.

pense à l'avenir en même temps qu'à ses études.

s'intéresse aux matières,
fait son travail,
trouve d'autres occupations que les cours,
connaît l'équilibre entre travail et vie sociale

Sait allier études et loisirs, sait s'amuser, a conscience que ce temps ne dure pas

sait faire la part des choses entre ses études et la vie étudiante.

ne se repose pas sur ses capacités.

va et apprend ses cours.

sait profiter de sa chance.

sait quand il faut travailler et se détendre

sait trouver un bon compromis entre le travail et le développement personnel.

travaille correctement.

travaille de façon assidue et ne retarde pas ses coéquipiers.

travaille intelligemment et qui a de bons résultats

travaille sérieusement,
assiste aux cours,

va en cours, écoute, travaille

va en cours, révise


Toutes les réponses parlent beaucoup de travail dur et sérieux. Personnellement je trouve qu'il est aussi important de développer ses intérêts personnels et pas seulement professionnels à cette période de la vie.

Comment vos professeurs se positionnent par rapport à cette question ? Sont-ils conscients que vous êtes pour la plupart de jeunes étudiant(e)s, et que vous avez une vie sociale, peut être associative, sportive, artistique, que sais-je encore ... qui vous prend beaucoup de temps ?

Comme Benjamin, je suis assez surprise de voir que la plupart des réponses américaines ne parlent pas de vie "en dehors des cours". Ma question est donc la suivante : est-ce votre cas à tous, ou est-ce que ces réponses reflètent juste votre vision de l'étudiant parfait (et dans ce cas, vous ne vous consideriez pas comme un étudiant parfait...) ?

Benjamin, I agree with your point. It is important for one's sanity to develop interests beyond school. To that degree, we are encouraged to do so. Frequently, teachers remind us to exercise, get enough to eat, sleep well, and have some time to just relax. That being said, they do not assign homework and assignments with that in mind. Most classes actually operate independently of anything we might have going on personally.

Alexia, these responses are given with the ideal student in mind. I can only speak for myself, but, technically, I am actually a very bad student. Far too often, I procrastinate, forget about assignments, only put partial effort into my homework, etc. However, I (and everyone else here at MIT that's the same way) can get away with it because I work quickly when I do work, and understand new concepts faster than normal. i don't want to put in the work which is why I tend to get mediocre grades is classes like history, but good grades in math and science. And yet, I my response was very much the average amongst the others.

When I looked at the responses for 'My greatest worry is...', the French responses were more abstract ('Future') than the American responses ('Success'), which I feel is connected to how much focus is put upon studies, which give one a higher chance of success in life here in America, than upon developping oneself personally.

I think that when most people think of a good student, they are only thinking academically. There is a balance between academics, extracurriculars, and family, but when looking at a child as a student, one only looks academically. I guess a well- rounded student might get the same answers that the French students put down, but that question could also get answers like : a student who takes classes in various disciplines etc. And our professors do know that we have a life outside of school, but they assign the same amount of work anyways. If you need an extension on an asignment, usually you can get one, but it all depends on the professor and the reason.

The word 'student' gives the connotation of studying, and this is why most of the responses on the American side reflect just that. Someone's life inside the classroom at MIT is generally not concerned with the their life outside of it. Being likable and socialable does not give you any points on an exam, and for this reason, most of the 'brilliant' students here, that is those on the higher end of the test score curve, have little or no social life. This has detrimental effects on their mental and psychological health though.

Good students to me are those who are willing and able to pass on their knowledge, those who are willing and able to play both roles: that of the student as well as the teacher.

How is the balance at french universities? Are anti-social high scoring students seen as good students? How are the social aspects integrated into academic life?

I think it's interesting that, despite this whole discussion on how important it is to balance academics with personal life, it seems like many people's definition of a "perfect" student is still someone who works all the time. Maybe people would stop taking work to unhealthy extremes if society stopped calling them "perfect" when they do that...

I also agree that the word "student" is inherently linked to "studying," and it doesn't make sense to use our responses to this word to form generalizations about what we think a good person is. Many American students' responses, while not mentioning a balance with social life, do show an admiration of sincere passion and excitement for learning, something that I think is more relevant to a discussion about students than love of extracurricular hobbies.

In response to Benjamin's question, I think that, appropriately, our professors think of us as students - their job is to make sure we have have the knowledge and training we need to pursue the careers we want, and they structure their classes to do this. They don't think about what we do in our free time not only because that's not the role they play in our lives, but also because, as Carlos' comment shows, everyone works differently, and it would be difficult for the professors to decide a level of work that's "optimal" for everyone. Rather, they count on us to develop our own working habits and schedules.

In my experience, many top students here have found their own happy medium between work and social life. For some who are more introverted, they are fine working alone more often and having less social interaction; others rely on their intelligence to carry them through when they've spent less time working and more time with friends; I personally prefer to integrate the two, and often work together with my friends. I don't think social life and academic performance (even measured by test scores) are as mutually exclusive as some people seem to think, and everyone finds their own version of balance.

As everybody has already said, here there is the understanding that a good student excels in his or her studies, and maybe more in an extracurricular basis. At MIT, there are no classes between 5pm and 7pm, as these times are alloted for sports. Therefore the school as a whole does encourage extracurricular activities, but professors are not considerate of students' extracurrilcular activities otherwise. How about in france? Are Professors involved in students lives other than in class? Do they give homework extensions if, for example, a student who is in the swim team has an important competition coming up?



To go off of your swimming point, I know a couple of people on the swim team who are going to be away for NCAA Nationals next week and they are going to iss some tests because of the swim meet. These students have worked out with their professors the their coach will Procter two of their tests for them, and they will be excused from the others that they're missing. So the professors are available to compromise with the students, but they will not just not give work because of the students extracurricular life.

A l'ENSEIRB-MATMECA, les professeurs sont assez compréhensifs sur le fait que la période de vie d'un étudiant est unique et que nous pouvons avoir des projets personnels en même temps que notre préparation à notre avenir professionnel.

Par exemple, certains élèves de notre école pratique un sport à un très haut niveau (Equipe de niveau nationale), les professeurs sachant cela, excuseront plus facilement les absences de cet élève (à cause de ses entrainements herbdomadaires importants).

Egalement, les personnes fesant partie d'une association de l'école et étant actif dans cette association peuvent bénéficier d'un bonus de 0.2 point sur leur moyenne générale, car ils accordent beaucoup de temps dans cette association et font vivre l'école !