The 4 ingredients that improve examination success
It's that time of year again. All over New Zealand, intermediate and high school students watch with varying degrees of anticipation or despair as exams loom over the horizon.
Whether it's NCEA, Cambridge or school exams that your son or daughter is approaching, NumberWorks'nWords has advice on how to reduce stress and ensure the most effective approach to examination study.
- First, designate a good place to study. Make sure it's available whenever required; if the space is shared then reserve it when required according to a study plan.
The desk or table should be large enough to hold everything needed, so that study materials and resources, computer and stationery are within reach. A comfortable, upright chair is also a must.
Eliminate interruptions: no telephone, texting or Facebook; if television or radio are present their volume should be low, as research shows that study is most effective in a quiet environment.
- The second essential ingredient is motivation. If your child is not naturally self-motivated, use the following steps to increase motivation levels. Those who require more independence may self-manage if you provide them with the information.
The first step is to answer the question, “why do I need to study?” What's the student's objective? Short term, such as getting into a good school or university course? Social: to keep up with peers? Long term: achieving a career goal? All children are different, but most see the benefits of achieving well in their exams.
With their goal in mind, encourage them to find an incentive. This can be as simple as writing down the desired outcome and placing it in prominent view in the study space. Or it may be that a certain level of achievement may earn a reward or treat. Once motivation is sparked, it can be maintained by putting a study plan in place to ensure that the student studies a pre-determined amount at pre-set times.
- The third ingredient is method. Depending on the subjects involved, there are a number of excellent study methods. A simple one for many subjects is the pyramid study method. Students identify the content they need to learn and, on a flash card, write down key sentences from paragraphs in their notes. On the reverse side of the card, they note the key word or phrase. Once all cards are completed and re-read, they can be used for self-testing or a helper can test the student.
- Finally, if your child is anxious about the upcoming exams, now is the time to give NumberWorks'nWords a call. NumberWorks'nWords centres offer specialist, one-on-one maths tuition and English tuition to school-aged students. Each student has a unique exam study program to suit his or her individual goals, and will even receive exam technique coaching. Call now for a free assessment and see how we can help your child approach exams with confidence.