The Role of Reason in Human Intelligence and Strategies for Success

Lucas Charbonnier

Lucas Charbonnier

Sep 27, 20234 min read


The Role of Reason in Human Intelligence and Strategies for Success


The question of whether reason is unique to humans is a topic that has been widely debated. By distinguishing between animal intelligence, which is instinctual, and human reason, which allows for independent thinking, we can argue that reason is indeed a defining characteristic of humans. This pursuit of autonomy drives individuals to become the foundation of their own thoughts and actions, learning to think and make decisions for themselves.

Strategies for Success in Integrating HEC After a "Small Preparatory School":

Integrating prestigious institutions like HEC after attending a smaller preparatory school can seem challenging. However, with determination and the right strategies, it is possible to achieve this goal. Gradually improving academic performance and targeting higher-ranked schools over time can pave the way for admission into the top institutions. It is essential to focus on personal motivation, effort, and the belief in one's own potential. Here are three actionable pieces of advice for success:

  • 1. Assess Strengths and Weaknesses: Before entering preparatory school, take the time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Begin working on areas of weakness during the summer before starting school. Additionally, invest time in reading classic literature to develop a strong foundation in cultural knowledge, which will be useful in subjects like general culture.
  • 2. Target Desired Schools: Identify the schools that interest you, including both your preferred choices and backup options. This will help to maintain motivation during challenging times. Additionally, consider forming study groups with like-minded students who have similar goals and aspirations. These groups can provide support and help in studying effectively.
  • 3. Time Management and Self-Care: Develop effective time management skills and adapt your study routine based on the weighting of subjects for different schools and the nature of the exams. It is crucial to strike a balance between study and rest, taking breaks when needed. Pushing through when feeling unproductive can lead to frustration and lack of progress.

Strategies for Effective Preparation and Study Habits:

To excel academically and perform well in exams, it is essential to adopt effective preparation and study habits. Here are some tips for various subjects:

  • 1. Economics: Focus on solving as many practice questions as possible to identify the most relevant concepts for exams. Roughly 30% of the course material is highly useful in exams. Master the ability to problematize topics effectively. Prepare comprehensive summary notes on major economic theories, including titles, authors, and publication dates. Additionally, create separate notes with up-to-date data and significant historical dates related to economic events.
  • 2. Mathematics: While it is important to understand the course material, memorizing proofs is not necessary. Focus on practicing questions and exercises instead. Utilize resources like textbooks and online materials to enhance learning. Consider using study aids such as the "Maths ECE" red book and solved papers by Pierre Veuillez. Regularly read publications like "The Economist" to improve both English language skills and economic knowledge.
  • 3. Personal Interviews: Prepare for personal interviews by recording and reviewing your practice sessions. This will help improve performance and understand feedback from interviewers. Create a concise elevator pitch that highlights your background and future career aspirations. Be prepared to answer questions regarding why you are the ideal candidate for the institution and demonstrate knowledge about the school's associations, specializations, and academic partnerships.

Maintaining Motivation and Overcoming Challenges:

Staying motivated throughout the preparatory process can be challenging. Here are some strategies to help maintain focus and drive:

  • 1. Focus on Progress: Instead of fixating on the long road ahead, celebrate and appreciate the progress made along the way. Treat each low grade as an opportunity for improvement before the final exams.
  • 2. Seek Inspiration: Attend events and listen to the experiences of alumni who have successfully achieved their goals. This can provide inspiration and help visualize post-preparatory school life, allowing you to identify areas of interest.
  • 3. Set a Bigger Goal: While preparing for exams is crucial, it is equally important to have a broader goal beyond the immediate exam. This can provide additional motivation and perspective. Remember that the journey itself is as important as the destination.


Reason is indeed a defining characteristic of human intelligence. By cultivating independent thinking and embracing reason, individuals can strive for autonomy in their thoughts and actions. When preparing for exams and striving to integrate prestigious institutions, it is essential to assess strengths and weaknesses, target desired schools, and manage time effectively. Additionally, staying motivated and seeking inspiration can help overcome challenges and achieve success. Remember, success is not solely determined by one's background, but by personal motivation, effort, and the belief in one's own potential.


  1. "La raison est-elle le propre de l'homme ?", (Glasp)
  2. "Comment intégrer HEC après une “petite prépa” (sans cuber et en revenant de loin…)?", (Glasp)

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