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Tweet may be familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule”. In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Gladwell claims that the common denominator of those who are ‘successful’ is that they’ve spent at least 10,000 hours developing/practicing/polishing their skill.

10,000 hours equates to approximately five years full time work at 40 hours a week.

That’s a lot of hours.

But are we really surprised by this claim?

It’s not rocket science. People who spend a lot of time doing something tend to get really good at it. And as far as your teen and their academic success go, the rule is no different. The students who achieve above average at school do more work than those that flunk.

Funny that…

We come across a wide range of teens with our tutoring, and with the exception of one or two, those who are behind simply don’t do enough work at home, NOT because they’re not capable.

The time spent in the classroom is not enough for your teen to do well at school.

They may tell you it is – but it’s really, really not.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to doing well at school (and by doing well, we mean at least passing).

Your teen needs to decide whether they’re prepared to put in the work required, or not.

Are they willing to commit to getting the grades they’re capable of getting?

Are they willing to knuckle down in their own time and take some responsibility for their own learning?

If not, KFC are opening lots of new stores and are looking for people who have no choice but to get a job working for minimum wage.

So how can your teen practically apply the 10,000 hour rule?

40 hours a week breaks down to eight hours a day, Monday to Friday.

Unless exams are looming or an assignment’s due, let’s leave the weekends out of it for this particular argument. Already six hours a day is taken up at school, meaning your teen needs to commit to only two self-directed hours of learning a day after school.

Two hours a day, that’s really not a lot.

If your teen’s really struggling, two hours may not be enough. But geez, if every high school student started putting in two hours of study each day after school, there’s no doubt we’d see an Everest-sized jump in examination national averages.

It would be huge.

If you think you telling your teen they need to do two hours of study every day after school would be poorly received, your teen does have a few options to lessen the pain.

(Remember, the goal isn’t to try and convince your teen studying is fun at this stage, just that working at KFC full time isn’t either.)

How about striking a deal of one hour of study before dinner and one after? That sounds less painful already.

Or one hour before school and one after?

Or four half-hour stints to build up their study stamina?

However you and your teen work it out, the point today is simple: People who achieve have worked hard.

But your house doesn’t have to turn into a boot camp, because as you can see, when you break 10,000 hours down, success is perfectly feasible!


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High School Study Advice | The Study Gurus