It is that time of year again when your pupils might be feeling daunted by the mocks or else dreading their results.
It is important to remind your students that the mocks are an opportunity to learn and to help them see what does not work as a challenge. Students can then correct this going forward or change their strategy. They can increase their efforts and seek new learning strategies.
For students who have a “fixed mindset”, performance is the overriding goal and they can see setbacks as a personal threat. They therefore pursue activities at which they’re sure to shine and avoid stepping into the stretch zone. On the other hand, students with a “growth mindset” don’t worry as much about setbacks as each mistake is a chance to learn. To encourage this growth mindset, it’s important to praise effort and persistence rather than just ability or intelligence. This can then foster motivation.
From an academic point of view, there is a way to reframe how your students see the actual exams as our friends at Studyclix have shown:
1.)The experience gained from carrying out state exams in the official time frame and with official material is really beneficial. Students can really learn if there is anything that’s an issue for them such as timing and probably won’t make the same mistake during the real thing.
2.) It’s an opportunity to improve on the results of their Christmas exams, which will have shown weaker subjects that they need to concentrate on most. Although they shouldn’t forget to keep practising the subjects which they did well in as well in for their competency to stay high!
3.) They can try out a study plan and practice giving the right amount of time and attention to the subjects that need it. This ensures they aren’t wasting time trying to decide what subject to do or getting distracted by their phone. You can find a sample study plan here.
4.) Practicing exam questions that are representative of a typical paper within the time is so important for your students. Ones that don’t have hints or tips from you or that you tailored for the class! makes practising exam questions so easy for both you and your students, with the papers broken down topic by topic and the relevant marking scheme available next to each question.
5.) The real exams will soon be over! This should help to motivate students to make the most of the last few months of study when they will then get to enjoy their summer and have their social lives back.
Finally, remember that between now and June it is important to help your students to remain calm. Nature is a simple yet relatively unknown way for students to manage stress while studying and during exams. Check out our previous blog on this here.
We hope this helps and that these practise exams give your students confidence for the real thing! Wishing them all the best of luck!
For anyone interested in finding out more about how to implement a strengths-based approach in your classroom, you may be interested in our wellbeing courses. Find out more here.