Are ‘A’ Students Different?

This is the story of how Adam Khoo went from “dunce” to “gifted”.

Taken with his permission from his marvelous book I Am Gifted, So Are You!


In every class, in every school, there is almost always a handful of very bright students, the ‘A’ scorers, a breed apart from the rest.

During all of my primary school years, I was one of the ‘rest’, for whom the grades of the top students seemed quite unattainable.

That was the way my parents and my teachers saw me, and it was also the way I saw myself. In short, I was a ‘below average student’, who might have been able to do a bit better if only I ‘weren’t so lazy, so indifferent and such a TV addict.’

Certainly, no one ever imagined that I would amount to anything. Sounds familiar? Sounds like you? Well, I surprised everyone, even myself, so do read on and you could even surprise yourself!

But back then in 1987, no one was surprised when the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results were announced and I didn’t even do well enough to make it to the secondary schools my parents listed as their preferred choices. I was dispatched to Ping Yi Secondary school, a relatively new school no one we knew had heard of.

While I was not expected to suddenly shine at this new school, no one expected that I would backslide so far that my exasperated Secondary One Mathematics teacher would call my mother to ask why I could not even remember what I had been taught in Primary Four!. At that time, I was ranked among the last ten students in my entire cohort of over one hundred and sixty students.

My parents responded like typical concerned parents and engaged yet another private tutor! It did not help one bit. I responded with lackluster grades in all my subjects.


It was at the lowest ebb of my school career that my father learned of a special five-day residential program for teenagers designed to teach them how to study and take charge of their lives. Deciding that they had nothing to lose, except their money, my parents enrolled me for the Super-Teen® Camp.

So, on a Sunday morning in March 1987, I was dropped off at the Ladyhill Hotel and put under the charge of Master Trainer Ernest Wong. I was a mere thirteen-year-old among forty other students aged between twelve and twenty.

On that day, I was far from thrilled about going to the camp but at the end of the five days, I was a completely changed teenager. The camp transformed my whole attitude and outlook, and I have never looked back since.

What brought about this complete transformation in personality was what Ernest Wong shared with us. Using American-developed learning technologies such as Accelerated Learning, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Whole-Brain Learning and adapting them for students, Ernest completely transformed our beliefs about what was possible. He showed us that everyone, even the most mediocre students among us, had the potential to be geniuses and leaders. The only things holding us back were our negative mental states and disempowering beliefs.

Intrigued and challenged, I left the camp with newly acquired Super Learning Tools, ready to claim my birthright. For the first time in my life, I set my sights on getting straight ‘A’s.

khoo-a-student-patternACTION….WITH ‘A’ GOALS AHEAD

Back home and in school, I swung into action. Up went the self-drawn motivational posters on my walls.

Within three months, I had pulled my grades up from an average of fifty-two percent to seventy percent. This enabled me to rise from the one hundred and fifty-eighth position to being among the top eighteen, all in one memorable year, 1987

From there I went on to top my school in the GCE ‘0’ Level Examinations with six distinctions and was admitted to the junior college of my choice, Victoria Junior College. In the ‘A’ Level Examinations, I scored three ‘A’s and after National Service, I entered the National University of Singapore to study for a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA).

Starting from the first year of university, my grades earned me a place on the Dean’s list (honor roll) and also a place in the NUS Talent Development Program (TDP). The latter is a program offered to the the top one percent of students at the University.

I achieved all this not as a ‘mugger’ but as a student who still found time to run a profitable event-management business (Creatsoul Entertainment, which was featured in the Teenage Magazine of June 1997) with several fellow undergraduates. In addition, I spent much of my after-school time as Executive Trainer in the Super-Teen~ Program, helping thousands of students to unleash their true genius.

khoo-you-can-doIF I CAN…SO CAN YOU!

Yes, you can do it too, not necessarily by taking the same path, for you have your special talents just waiting to be tapped. It’s true. No matter how badly you are doing now, no matter how many times you have failed, your potential for improvement is phenomenal.

I strongly believe that if a person like me, once labeled a ‘bum’ by some of my teachers, can turn around to achieve consistently good results, then you can too. Remember, I have been down there, at the bottom, so I understand your feelings and your needs. I want to share all I have learned because the journey of self-discovery is the most exciting one anyone can embark on.

See Next  >>  I am gifted So Are You! By Adam Khoo.