A student’s academic success depends more on hard work than on intelligence.
Describe a specific situation in which a student’s academic success might depend more on intelligence than on hard work. Discuss what you think determines whether a student’s academic success depends more on hard work or on intelligence.
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Intelligence can be defined as the innate ability for fast, accurate thought processing, which can be measured using the Intelligence Quotient. Clearly, both the innate ability and the training and practices are imporant in determining a student’s academic success, but whether nature or nuture has a larger influence on how well a student does in school has never been settled. The statement in question clearly lands support on nurturing the student by intense training and education, or what the statement calls “hard work”.
In most cases, this may indeed be true. In a classroom of students, the brightest minds may not score the most points on a given test; rather, those who work hard on reviewing the material covered obediently are often the good test-scorers. Academic success beyond grades also befalls those who work hard rather than those who are born intelligent: in a research lab, where a collection of bright minds work together in understanding the subject in study, good experimental results are more likely obtained by those who painstakingly repeat the trials with high precision. Intelligence may play a limited role in this setting because research groups work in teams, where collective intelligence is somewhat normalized.
However, at least in some subject areas, academic success requires more intellectual talent than can be compensated with hard work. In mathematics, the ability to do arithmetics can surely be trained, but a comprehensive understanding of mathematics seems to require some instinct of the subject that cannot be taught and learned. In Asian countries, students train systemically to do arithmetic operations faster and more accurate than any other students in the world, but the winners of World Olympiad in Mathematics are not always Asian. Einstein doesn’t even have a well-founded degree in particle physics, but his academic success in this field outshines every modern physicist.
It is discouraging for the students to tell them that academic success depends on intelligence, for this would strip the relevence of education. For students of all intelligent levels, the harder they work, the more likely they will achieve greater academic success. If Einstein slacked off, he probably would not have created the Theory of Relativity. However, the same encouragement may become a frustration when students are put in a competitive environment; for an intellectually less previliged student who cannot seem to do math as well as the more intelligent students no matter how hard he tries, telling him that his success depends more on hard work than his intelligence only implies that he is not working hard enough. Rather than insisting that hard work is more important, one has to personalize the education for each student and find out which is the limiting factor for him or her, his or her work ethics, or intelligence.