What Is a Model Student and How to Become One

One student teachers always love having in their classroom is a model student. While teachers can like all their students equally, a model student is a delight to teach. The model student participates, listens, and doesn’t cause a disruption that stops the learning momentum. The model student does not always have to be the smartest one or the one with the best grades, but that willingness to learn and do their best in school is always appreciated.

But contrary to what other students may believe, the perks of becoming a model student is more than just being a teacher’s pet. Here’s everything you need to know about being a model student, the traits you need to have, what you can get out of it, and how to become a model student yourself.

What Is a Model Student?

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A model student is simply someone who shows up to school with the willingness to learn and grow from their school experiences. They do well in class (but don’t necessarily have to be the best pupil), does not cause trouble inside and outside the classroom, and has time to be involved with school activities or extra-curricular organizations.

There can be more than one model student in class, so it’s not a competition between students. Given that there are around 76 million students in the United States, there doesn’t have to be only a handful of model students in any given school. In fact, it’s even possible for an entire school to be filled with model students as long as they all fit the mold of model student characteristics.

Perks of Becoming a Model Student

Glowing Recommendation Letters

If you’re in high school, you can expect glowing recommendation letters from teachers, classmates, and co-curricular members. This is particularly important if you’re a prospective student for a prestigious college or university, as having three or four glowing recommendation letters from teachers can be your competitive edge against other prospective applicants. And if you’ve graduated college or are planning to skip college altogether, some future employers ask for letters of recommendation. If you don’t have any work experience, a recommendation letter from a teacher can be just as good.

Preparation for College and Work

One important lesson my career counselor taught me in college was that the point of attending schools was not limited to one’s academic capability. When you step into the real world and apply for colleges or jobs, they won’t care that you got the highest score in a quiz that one time or that you were one of the ten students that got a passing quiz.

While academics is an important factor of consideration for some career paths, employers are also looking at extracurricular activities, volunteering, and anything else that suggests positive characteristics often exemplified by model students. Because you can put in your resume that you’re hardworking, but how can you prove you’re more hardworking than others if you don’t have any evidence to suggest you are?

10 Characteristics of a Good Student

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Various schools may have their own list of values they want their students to embody. These may vary, but here are some of the typical characteristics expected in a model student. Here are the values you need to develop to become a model student yourself.

A Hunger for Growth

A model student comes to school with an “I’m here to learn” mindset, not a “I’m required to be here” mindset. They come to school knowing that they don’t know everything or have wrong assumptions, but rather than refusing to change their stance on certain topics, they come willing to learn from teachers. These are the students that grow inside and outside the classroom because they are open to learning.


Being an organized model student does not necessarily mean everything about them has to be spotless. Being organized means they keep track of everything they need to do, regardless of the way they do it. Whether it’s using a planner to list down homework or a calendar app on their phone to keep track of after-school meetings, a model student doesn’t let forgetfulness affect their studies.


A model student communicates with everyone. Even if they are introverted or prefer to do the work alone, a model student can communicate with others when necessary. This can be a student who knows how to talk to their peers about homework or group projects, or someone who can approach a teacher with questions and concerns they might have.


A model student doesn’t mind putting a little elbow grease into their studies. They know that getting an education isn’t easy, but they’ll make the most of what they have and work hard to get a good education. For some, this means going the extra mile and seeing how far they can go. But for others, working hard simply means making sure they make it through the end of the day with good grades. Either way, putting in the extra effort makes you a model student.

A Problem Solver

When faced with a problem, model students don’t look to their classmates or teachers for a solution. Rather, they take the initiative to solve it themselves. Sometimes the solution is as simple as telling a teacher or faculty member, but sometimes it also involves thinking out of the box and handling the problem before it gets worse.


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Motivated students are actually easier to teach because teachers don’t have to pause the lesson to try to convince students to pay attention. Whatever their motivations are, model students do not need to be told what to do as they have the motivation and initiative to do it before they are told.

Respectful to All

When model students deal with students or teachers, they treat either with respect. They don’t have the “respect is earned, not given” mindset and simply choose to respect everyone regardless of their reputation. This is because they want no quarrels with anyone in school, so they treat everyone with the same amount of respect. This means giving classmates the chance to recite even if they know the answer, or being respectful to a teacher and not complaining that it’s illegal to keep students after the bell.


Model students are not perfect and may experience failures in their educational career. A model student has the willingness to bounce back in the face of failures rather than letter their failures define them. After all, there are lessons to be learned from failures, and they will take this along with the feedback and criticism from their teachers and peers to find these lessons rather than become overwhelmed by it.

Unafraid to Ask Questions

During the end of the lesson when the teacher asks “Does anyone have any questions?” a model student is not afraid of asking questions even if they might think it is stupid. It is much better to ask for help and learn rather than to pretend they understand and then fail to grasp concepts. A model student can also ask their classmates for help, not just their teachers.

Applies Knowledge in Real Life Applications

The point of learning is not to simply collect knowledge. One must also use what they learn and apply it in everyday situations. A model student doesn’t zone out and refuse to listen to a lesson even if they don’t understand the point of it later in life. Because they know that, eventually, the information they’re taught will serve a purpose outside of school.

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