studying and applying myself

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Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book by John Kavanagh.

"When I went into secondary school, I was in the lowest stream of students. I had done terribly in the entrance exams because I’d spent my last two years of primary school messing around. I wasn’t outstanding academically, but I was pretty good when it came to studying and applying myself."

What does "studying and applying myself" mean in this context.

If he says that he wasn't outstanding academically, what he means by saying that he was pretty good when it came to studying?
And does "apply myself" imply that he worked hard to improve his studying?

Thank you.
Last edited:
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    It means that he was good at working hard at his homework even though he didn't get very good grades. Perhaps his previous negligence prevented him from excelling in secondary school. Perhaps he simply wasn't talented enough to excel in secondary school.
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