By Paul Culp, MA (Oxon.), CFT, GCDF, CCSP

And so we prepare to conclude our off-to-college and back-to-college series, which we’ve adapted from last year’s Ten Commandments (And Then Some) for College Success. We hope you’ll keep an eye on this blog, as we post regularly about college success as well as admissions and financial aid.

The Tenth Commandment for College Success: 

Thou shalt take feedback seriously.

Whatever your grade might be on a particular assignment, there are reasons for it. Sometimes those reasons are good ones, sometimes not (as with the egregious Dr. Y of commandments five and nine), but reasons there are. If you just look at the number and walk away with the attitude that there’s some stuff you didn’t know, no big deal, this one’s over with and there’s always next time, you nullify the point of college—learning—and you compromise the opportunity to perform better when that next time comes.

If your teacher has made comments on the assignment or assessment, failure to read them and take them seriously is foolhardy. Where did you do well, or badly, and why? What did you study, and how? Are you deficient in matters that are relevant to the future direction of the course? In matters related to your overall academic abilities and methods? Even in the absence of comments, if you know from the grade and the markings which answers you missed or where your reasoning broke down, you can deduce the nature of the problem and build for a better future.

If the feedback is in the form of an actual piece of paper or test booklet that is returned to you, don’t let the teacher see you casually dropping it in the wastebasket on your way out. This makes a very poor impression. One day you might need a bit of grace from that teacher, and you’re not likely to get it if you have displayed apathy by ostentatiously spurning the written feedback that has consumed that teacher’s time and energy.

That’s your Tenth Commandment for college success. But there’s more…

The original article contained a bit of “then some” in addition to the ten commandments. To learn about the “then some,” read that article here.

Getting into the college of your choice and finding the wherewithal to pay for it is wonderful. That’s what The Coaching Educator is here to help you do. But that’s not the only reason we’re here. We also try to be expert in all things related to college success, and to pass that knowledge on to our student/clients and our readers. The quest for college success begins with the college search process and continues until you take your diploma and shake hands with the president.

To learn more about our philosophy and capabilities, be sure to watch our free webinars, listen to our podcasts, sign up for our four-week College App Boot Camp, consider our Ultimate Programs and our special services for athletes and performing-arts students, and book a consultation to hear what we can do for you and how we do it. Keep reading this blog, and look for us on social media (see links below) as we keep our clients and admirers advised of new developments in our effort to help students get into and succeed at the right school.

Paul Culp is certified as a global career development facilitator and writes about college admissions, college costs, financial aid, and college life in general for The Coaching Educator team. A former journalist and corporate ghostwriter who now operates Shenandoah Proofreading, Editing & Composition Services (SPECS), he has also been a humanities teacher at all levels from university down to sixth grade. Paul has degrees from Oxford University, Jacksonville State University, and Samford University, and also is certified as a fitness trainer.


Recommended Reading About College Success

Culp, Paul. “Beyond Tuition, Fees, and Books: The Other Costs of College,” The Coaching Educator, 7 June 2018, http://tce.local/2018/06/07/beyond-tuition-fees-and-books-the-other-costs-of-college/

Culp, Paul.”Getting to Grips With Test Anxiety,” The Coaching Educator, 28 November 2018, http://tce.local/2018/11/28/getting-to-grips-with-test-anxiety/

Culp, Paul. “More Than Half of American College Students Leave Without a Degree. Here’s Why,” The Coaching Educator, 8 September 2018, http://tce.local/2018/09/08/more-than-half-of-american-college-students-leave-without-a-degree-heres-why/

Culp, Paul “The Myth and Madness of Multitasking,” The Coaching Educator, 18 November 2018, http://tce.local/2018/11/18/the-myth-and-madness-of-multitasking/

Culp, Paul. “The Prez, the Prov, the Profs, the Veep, and the Redge: Who’s Who on Campus,” The Coaching Educator, 17 December 2018, http://tce.local/2018/12/17/the-prez-the-prov-the-profs-the-veeps-and-the-redge-whos-who-on-campus/

Culp, Paul. “Remedial Nation: The Ghastly State of College Preparedness,” The Coaching Educator, 19 January 2019, http://tce.local/2019/01/19/remedial-nation-the-ghastly-state-of-college-preparedness/

Culp, Paul. “These Go to Eleven: Our All-Star Lineup of College Illnesses,” The Coaching Educator, 19 October 2019, http://tce.local/2018/10/09/these-go-to-eleven-our-all-star-lineup-of-college-illnesses/

Culp, Paul. “What the Cap and Gown Mean and Why They Matter,” The Coaching Educator, 21 December 2018, http://tce.local/2018/12/21/what-the-cap-and-gown-mean-and-why-they-matter/

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