Students across the globe have different systems or methods which they use to read or study. For example, ‘uploading and downloading’ is one of the ways one can read. This is contrary to an ideal method of reading: In-depth learning. This is very effective and will be discussed here further.

In-depth learning means learning as much as possible about a particular topic. In-depth learning brings a clear picture between reading and studying. The in-depth learning enhances the reading for the sake of knowledge and understanding, and not only for the sake of passing a test with high grades or trying to impress people.

This takes me back to the memory lane. When I was doing my Diploma course at Kwara State Polytechnics,Ilorin. The system of reading by many students was ‘cramming’ when going to the examination hall or a few days to the exams. After the exams, if you ask from such students about what they have read, they would not be able to remember again. This is because they only read to pass their exams and come out possibly with good grades.

Cramming is therefore a faulty mode of effective learning. It makes you a little bit different from being illiterate as undergraduate or graduate. One should not be surprised to see many graduates with good  grades but who could not defend their certificates or perform up to the expectation when they get to the labor market. They simply do not derive knowledge from their study.

‘The hallmark of education is character’, if we fail to show the altitudes and the aptitudes of somebody who have been under the citadel of learning, then we are yet to come up to the stardom, because as a complete student or graduate, we should be able to apply and express what we have studied both in and outside the school wall.

Doctor Ben Carson, the medical director at Johns Hopkins Hospital in America, faced two important facts about himself, when he first entered Yale University.

Firstly, though he could consider himself a smart enough person—–he was not quite as he thought. Secondly, he did not know how to do in-depth studying. His pattern of studying in school had been to put off studying until just before exam time, concentrate heavily for a day or two, then slide through the tests, and forget half of the information afterward.

After failing chemistry in Yale’s pre-med program, a required course to stay in the program, he got serious about learning, and did some experiment and tried several approaches, by the time he entered medical school, he had a solid learning program laid for himself.

Doctor Ben Carson used in-depth learning to become not only a medical director, but also, the first doctor who performed operation on Siamese twins in 1987.

For the sake of us who are still in school, we can change the styles of our learning and our mentality towards reading. Instead of ‘uploading and downloading’ system of learning that makes us to forget what we have read in a jiffy. We can adopt the system of in-depth learning, and become ‘knowledgeable graduates, and not certificated graduates’.

The society we found ourselves does not encourage reading any longer and that is why many of us who claimed to be educated could not come up to the stardom. Even our schools are parts of the challenges. They only encouraged us to pass in our exams for the sake of academic excellence, but not for knowledge. This is why we are only certificated graduates.

Some of us read only when the exams are about a week, it means we all go to school just to get certificate and that is all. It is a pity that many of us, who came out with high grades in school could not defend our certificate. I think the students and the society are equally responsible for this. The labor market seems to demand for certificate with high grades but not what the graduate has to offer irrespective of the grade.

The students are not students any longer because of the approach we give to our studies nowadays. I still remember while I was in secondary school when I used to burn the mid night candles. It was not only to pass my exams then but to make me a better student both inside and outside the four walls of the school. As far back as 1980, a very good student who really meant the business would wake in the middle of the night to read, not because of exam but study. I don’t think we still have such students these days.

I always tell my students in the coaching centre that a good student does not wait until the exams time before settling down to read. Reading before the exams will enhance good understanding and also allow for adequate understanding of the topics treated in the class. If reading is done a few days to the exam, this will lead to cramming and after the exams every information is gone.

My father is only a ‘graduate’ of class three and he can write eligibly and read fluently, both in English and Yoruba. What a surprise! Even a student of SSS 3 nowadays cannot construct a simple sentence, not to talk of writing a letter. Our schools these days produce certificated graduates, but not knowledgeable graduates. I don’t think we are better than the illiterates. If somebody like Warren Buffet and Dale Carnegie that could not boast of any academic qualifications are among the richest people in the world, then we should make our reading count..


Dunmoye Femi, He is currently the coordinator of Golden Triangle Tutors in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria where he prepares student for JAMB, WAEC, NECO, IJMB etc. He is also a public speaker, writer and columnist, who has some motivational books yet to be published.