Whilst it may seem very pastoral to advocate a no-work policy during term breaks, in reality we need a more balanced approach. In the words of one ...
Whilst it may seem very pastoral to advocate a no-work policy during term breaks, in reality we need a more balanced approach. In the words of one LAL, “While it is appreciated that the students may be tired, having zero expectations on work requirements during term breaks will fail to support students in their very important years of study. Students need to understand and appreciate a concerted approach is necessary to support academic success”.
The reality also is that in many professions (such as ours) out of hours and holiday work is sometimes necessary to keep the wheels of life turning. The upside for our Grade 12s in particular, is that they are headed towards one of the longest holiday breaks ever – that between TCE and university work.
Tips and tricks to boost your Grade 12 score over the break
Study smarter not harder, with tips for students and parents from an educational view.
We think that one sure way to boost your final year school scores is to study harder: losing the next couple weeks of your life to textbooks and note-cards, but a better way to boost your scores is to study smarter.
As Grade 12 school students across Australia start to gear up for exams later in the year, here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most bang for your study buck.
Tips to Students
Stop reviewing – start recalling
Many people believe if they repeatedly expose themselves to a piece of information, it will eventually sear itself into memory. This is why most study sessions are filled with re-reading text books, re-watching lectures, and re-copying notes.
Here’s the problem: repeatedly reviewing content does not lead to better memory. If you want to build deep memories, you must focus on recalling information. The more you access a memory, the stronger it will become. This means focus less on cramming info into your brain and more on pulling information out of your brain. For example:
- Use flashcards that require you to recall facts.
- Use practice quizzes to force you to call-up information.
- Summarise complex ideas into single sentences and share/ discuss these with others.
Mimic the exam environment
Space it out
“Cramming: it feels so right. What better way to learn material than to spend six straight hours reviewing and recalling it.”
Unfortunately, this age old sentiment may do more harm than good.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
It might feel like wasted time, but sleep is the only way to ensure new memories are permanently stored within your brain.
If you do not sleep, you will not remember: simple as that.
Tips for Parents
Involve yourself, but not too much
Sometimes, parents think it best to leave their children alone during final year exams study period. Why add to their stress levels?
Unfortunately, this well-meaning sentiment may do more harm than good.
When parents are completely absent from the study process, children may feel overwhelmed, isolated, and ultimately unable to effectively learn material. The answer, however, is not to over-involve yourself. When parents control study and solve problems for their children, learning also suffers. The key is to:
- Focus on helping your children stay motivated and positive during studying.
- Be your child’s sounding board, let them summarise ideas for you, and help them recall material by quizzing them.
Done in a loving and supportive manner, this will help create a calm and safe environment that can diminish study stress and boost exam performance.
Help construct a schedule
Help your child develop a study schedule that is easy to adhere to and effective. A common schedule involves, each night, studying one subject for 20 minutes, taking a 5 to10 minute break, then studying a different subject for 20 minutes. By helping your child develop and stick to a clear routine (without nagging) you will not only improve their self-efficacy and sense of agency, but also their learning.
Errors, blunders, stuff-ups … this is how we learn. Each mistake serves as a clear signpost to guide us down the learning paths we most need to travel. As you help your child study, embrace each error they make. The more mistakes they make now (and the less judged they feel) the fewer mistakes they will make come exam time.