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Recipe for success: skipping paragraphs and video games

Khun Kolkosal, 21, is studying for a bachelor’s of education at the Institute of Foreign Languages and a bachelor’s degree in dentistry at the University of Health and Science. Despite double work load Kosal has received the number one student award two years in a row at IFL. Kosal does exceptionally well, but he doesn’t spend all time studying and never seems stressed out. How can he be so successful, seemingly with little effort? LIFT reveals.

Doing two full-time degrees at two universities, you probably don’t have much time to study left. How do you handle the work load?
I don’t spend much time studying. I just read through the course material and take down the most important points. When some of my friends don’t understand a paragraph they try to read it again and again. I just skip that part and go to the next paragraph because the explanation usually follows.

Skipping paragraphs makes you so successful in your studies?
It is mostly how about how I acquire my English skills. I don’t sit down with grammar books or listening tests but I enjoy English entertainment like music, movies, books, and video games. I like playing games, but I read all the text in them. Most of my knowledge comes from reading.

What other secrets are there to your success besides reading?
I am never afraid to ask! Some people say that I am outstanding but I still make mistakes. I don’t care because I’m not a god. We all make mistakes.
I am also modest about myself. It is good to be confident but when you are too confident, you start to think that everyone is below you and then you don’t really seek improvement anymore.

What inspires you to try hard to be outstanding student in university?
An unpleasant high school memory relates to this inspiration. One time I got a D on a test. That felt devastating! I got home and locked myself in my room, didn’t call any of my friends and even ignored my mom when she called to ask about my result. I didn’t want to repeat that experience ever again.

How did you change study behaviour after this experience?
In high school I picked up the book one night before the exam. Now I try to pick up the course material little by little and remember a few of the main points in the chapter.

Many students lose interest while reading because they tend to check the vocabularies. How do you deal with this problem?
The first novel I finished was Harry Potter. I had the same problems. My advice is: ‘don’t check everything’. You lose interest. Just read the next sentence instead and try to guess the meaning of the word you don’t understand. This is called getting a context clue.

What are the advantages of self-study for university students?
I think self-study is everything for university students. Lecturers cannot fill the students up with knowledge. Don’t just sit down in class and expect to learn things.

Any other suggestion for university students to succeed?
Be competitive! If you see that one guy gets higher scores than you, try your best to beat him!



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