Strategies to help achieve better academic success

Friday, 03/03/2017 Posted by: Annabel Irvin

As students enter the busy period of assessments, it is important to remember that the ULTIMATE goal of achieving excellence in all we do cannot be gained without discipline to manage time, to prioritise goals, to overcome fears of failure, to be strong in the difficult moments, to resist peer pressure or the pleasure of the moment. ORDINARY is easy, EXCELLENCE takes energy, resilience and belief in ourselves.

The best way to improve exam grades is to consider the entire length of the course as a pre-exam and preparation period. Because units last a few months, students may find it difficult to make the connection between daily homework, revision, assignment time management, and end of term or end of semester examinations. These strategies can help students keep pace throughout the semester to ensure success and mastery of the subject;

  • Set your goal: Incremental goals are more achievable e.g B to A-
  • Manage your time:figure out how much time is needed outside of class in order to keep up and in order to do well.
  • Identify your learning style: visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic learner.
  • Develop a study plan: For each course, plan a study schedule that allows you to stay in control of the academic workload and balance this with ‘me time’.
  • Keep up with reading:Staying up-to-date in terms of required reading is critical to success. Class lessons often require some preparation work so that the lesson focuses on understanding and thinking skills.
  • Develop effective note-taking techniques:A variety of note-taking styles can help you record key information and see the bigger picture in terms of subject matter.  This is especially important in Yrs. 11-12. All students are taught note taking skills in junior classes.
  • Active listening to teachers and students of questions and explanations.
  • Create mind maps:Mind maps are graphic organisers can help students summarise vital information from classes and textbooks, review the key sections of each course and get a broad view of how each topic relates to the others.
  • Lead up time for examination: Swatting (leaving studying to the night before an exam) is not as effective as constant revision of key terms, factors, reasons and examples. As a rule, students should be spending 10 minutes on each subject taught in the day followed up with revision. Each Sunday night, students should revise the past week’s work in preparation for the week ahead.
  • Surround yourself with learning:Create a 24-hour learning environment by putting up review charts and points where you can see them daily.
  • Work with concentration: One hour of concentrated study is worth several hours of distracted study. Shutdown phones and social media to allow time to be in the ‘study zone’.
  • Apply memory techniques:Take the time to learn different memory techniques. Acronyms for lists, sequence of events, elements belonging to concepts, repetition.

(Adapted. )

Improvement in grades is a product of revision and not just homework. It is not always fun, but the reward will be with an adventure that they may never have dreamed possible.

Albert E Grey said  ‘All successful people have the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose’.

Ken Turnbull

Deputy Principal –Learning