If we can be honest, most of us don’t have a soft spot for books. We will, at one point or another, come face to face with a horror known as an exam! Now, since nobody enjoys flunking their end-semester exams, we all have to study at some point. If you are that type of student, who requires motivation to focus, one of the many ways you can get your head down and focus is by watching movies. I know it has been said that a film that makes you want to study has to be appalling, but I can recommend a few movies that should inspire you in your studies.


  • Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Based on a true story, the film explains the journey to the success of a young Ben Carson, raised by a single mother in Detroit, Michigan. Ben`s poor performance in school has his mum, who did not receive a good education herself, worried and she does not go quietly about it. She enforces new rules on Ben and his elder brother, restricting their television time and ensuring they read two books a week and write reports about them. The brothers hate it but eventually grow fond of it and within a year, Ben makes a turnaround in his performance at school, moving to the top of his class. His hard work eventually earns him a scholarship to Yale University, on his way to becoming a world-renown neurosurgeon.


  • The Blind Side

The movie describes the life of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatised boy who ends up playing as an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens. Michael is moving from one foster home to another but in the midst of all the confusion in his life, he manages to get a place at Wingate Christian School, despite having a 0.6 GPA. Most teachers deem him unteachable except for Mrs. Boswell, his science teacher, who believes that his way of learning is different. He is invited to stay with the Tuohy family who eventually come to understand him and take him in. Michael has to deal with his poor academic performance which may stand in his way of taking part in extra-curricular activities and his learning disability that may extend to another aspect of his life beyond school.



  • Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting tells the story of Will Hunting, a man with a genius-level intellect working as a janitor working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Having had a hard childhood, he blames himself for it and he, in turn, sabotages his life, both emotionally and professionally. This makes him unable to hold any job or romantic relationship. Will manages to solve a difficult math problem, which garners the attention of the professor who tries to track him down. The teacher discovers that Will is in need of psychological help and embarks on a journey to help him find direction in his life.


  • The Paperchase

The star of this movie is a brave and tenacious scholar who goes by the name of James T. Hart, and the challenges that he faces while at Harvard Law School. Here, he realises the magnitude of the pressure to succeed. Most of the students go to the extents of forming study groups, so as to assist in their mastery of content.

The going does not get any easier as one of his greatest challenges is dealing with a demanding lecturer, in a subject that he does not often do so well. Mr. Charles W. Kingsfield Jr expects a high level of creativity and accuracy from his students, and he does not shy away from publicly humiliating those who are unable to cope.

Hart, however, begins to accept the realities of life and anything that time may bring his way.

  • Dead Poet Society

In this breath-taking and eye-catching movie, Tod Anderson, a shy young lad joins the school where his older brother was very popular earning the title valedictorian for his professionalism and know-how. He has a roommate called Neil Perry, who despite being very famous among his peers and quite intelligent, is still under the firm grip of his overbearing father.

They both learn about the dead poet society from their new English teacher, Professor Keating. He further gives them motivation and encouragement of pursuing this opportunity, a factor that ends up changing the landscape of their lives.


  • Stand and Deliver

The Movie stars Jaime Escalante who is a teacher of Mathematics living in a Hispanic neighbourhood. He realises the immense potential that is hidden within the abilities of his students, and he sets out to implement different teaching techniques. This is with an effort of ensuring that all his students, who so happen to be gang members and people with little to no hope, excel in their studies.

Escalante motivates his students to take on the challenge of studying and passing the AP Calculus test. The students show tremendous progress over a year, from struggling with simple fractions to being proficient in calculus. Some of the extra effort the students had to put in was to arrive at school very early. This goes to show that a student’s success in his or her studies is a factor of both individual effort and a committed instructor/teacher to guide you through your educational struggle.

  • Freedom Writers

This movie tells a true story based on the success of Erin Gruwell, a teacher whose techniques of teaching took a group of underachieving kids to heights of academic achievement. She leaves her hometown to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School where she meets a school culture that shocks her. She is assigned to a class of students considered as “at risk.” Racial segregation and gang fights are an everyday occurrence.

Gruwell takes it upon herself to address this problem. In a clever, subtle way, she manages to capture the attention and interest of her students. She uses the day to day experiences of her students such as local incidences of violence and rap music, to make them understand, in a deeper sense, how they don’t have to propagate the ills in the society. She shows them how they can be instruments of change and bring about a transformation one small deed at a time.

The most memorable thing she does has to be getting each one of them to have a diary and write in it. This is how they become the Freedom Writers.


Sophia Clark is a creative writer from New York who loves to share her thoughts with readers. In my free time, she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Her big dream is to publish a novel one day. Connect with her on Twitter and Google +.