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Exam motivation: Ten quotes to get you inspired

Hui Jun Ng

Wed Oct 30 2013


NEED inspiration to study? Hui Jun Ng draws inspiration from some of history’s biggest names to turn those negative thoughts into positive mantras. 


1. “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” – David Bly

For starters, you have to have at least worked hard to excel. You cannot expect to ace an exam without putting in any effort at all.

2. “Success is a function of persistence, doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 20 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds.” – Malcom Gladwell

Sometimes you look at a complex problem during self revision and during exams and give up instantly. You’re surprised by your classmate’s ability to comprehend the complicated theory. You then resign yourself to statements like, “He’s smarter than me”. But you need to stop coming up with excuses. If you’re willing to put in more effort to understand something, you too will excel. Nobody can look at something new for a short while and expect to understand it immediately and thoroughly. Persistence is the key to success!

3. “Fall 7 times, stand up 8.” – Japanese Proverb

Not everyone has a flawless academic record and experiencing setbacks is okay. Sometimes we get so haunted by one failure, which usually happens to be trivial, that we get too terrified to even try again. But as this proverb suggests, even if you fail seven times, you stand up on the eighth.

4. “In order to succeed, your desire for success must be greater than failure.” – Bill Cosby

And in times where you fall more than seven times, you still need to keep standing up. It’s your drive to succeed that will make the greatest difference.

5. “Forget all the reasons it won’t work and believe the one reason that it will.” – Anonymous

Your perspective means everything and by changing your thought process, you can change your world. So stop coming up with 100 reasons why you won’t do well. Instead, believe that your hard work will be rewarded.

6. “Either you run the day or it ruins you.” – Jim Rohn

We have all been victims of a bad day. Like when your computer crashed, you were drenched by unexpected rain and you ended up being late for your test.

You have two options upon plopping down at your exam desk. You can channel all your energy into being angry and give up on the test you had studied so hard for. Or you can take control of your emotions and shove those negative feelings aside to focus on your test.

7. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The problem with most people is that they doubt themselves. How can you be so sure that you can’t do this and can’t do that if you haven’t even tried? When you believe in yourself, you’re achieving the first step of success, to try.

8. “We become what we think about.” – Earl Nightingale

What you think consciously will affect your subconscious mind, which in turn affects your actions. An optimistic student will fight till the last second whereas a pessimistic student will give up easily.

9. “Don’t wait. The time will never be right.” – Napoleon Hill

Does this sentence, “I will start studying properly soon, on Monday, after I play this game,” sound familiar? You’re simply just making excuses for yourself. Your test will still happen in a month’s time, so  playing that game can always wait.

10. “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Motivate yourself to be motivated. It will benefit you tremendously in the lead up to the exams. Surround yourself with positive and hard-working people as they will remind you to keep the right attitude.