Achieving Examination Success
The habits that successful learners develop to achieve examination success.
Reaching The Next Level
We have the potential to achieve: 40%+ at 5+ National 5 by end of S4 85%+ at 5+ National 4 by the end of S4 95%+ at 5+ National 3 by the end of S4 13%+ at 5+ National 6 by end of S5 30%+ at 3+ National 6 by end of S5 55%+ at 1+ National 6 by the end of S5 16%+ at 1+ National 7 by the end of S6 Consistently strong performance within quite narrow parameters on a yearly basis.
How To Achieve Exam Success
This evenings presentation seeks to offer a range of ideas and guidance on how you can encourage your child to gain the most out of their studies. It will seek to demonstrate a range of study ideas and approaches that will allow your child to master what they are being taught in school and use that knowledge to achieve success in their course work and examinations. S.Q.A. examinations are demanding and success requires application and determination from our students to achieve success. A strong school and home partnership that supports every child within the school is a key ingredient to achieving success.
Be organised for class and take neat notes.
The classroom jotter often contains all the information and examples that a student will need for the whole of their course. Notes copied from the board should be neat and the full note should be copied. Hand-outs, worksheets and other additional information should be carefully kept and referenced to the pages in the jotter that they refer to. Once a jotter is complete it should be kept in a safe place at home from where it can be easily retrieved. Parental Help: Parents can help by checking through the neatness and contents of a jotter and ensuring that their child has a space at home
Ask for help if you don’t understand.
The school’s core business is to provide your child with the very best education possible. Within the classroom teachers will try to fully engage with all of their students to promote understanding and insight into the topic that is being taught. Students have to listen hard, fully take part in that engagement and ask questions if they don’t understand. Parental Help: Discuss with your child what they have been learning in school and help your child to ask for help whenever it is required. Checking through a jotter can be a good source of material for discussion.
Commit to studying each evening for several productive but effective hours.
Each teacher will issue an appropriate amount of homework to your child that they should record in their planners. Homework should be done at home in a quiet environment as it allows for a review of learning to take place outside of school. As well as doing homework your child should get into wider study habits that involves reviewing what they have learned and require to master over a longer period of time. Your child will have course work tasks and assignments for some subject areas. These can form part of the exam process and as such must be completed to a high standard and on time. Parental Help: Ensure that your child has a quiet working environment within the home where they can organise and store their school books, jotters and materials. Encourage your child to get into a routine of study during each evening. Make sure that you are aware of deadlines for projects, course work tasks and other assignments that are part of the course for that subject and encourage your child to complete these timeously and not at the last moment.
Review lessons each day and make sure you still understand.
Beyond any homework that has been issued it is important that your child looks over their notes, examples and work that they have completed each day. They should check that they fully understand what the lessons were about and identify specific things that require to be both understood and in some cases memorised. The review process should be the starting point of your child building a body of knowledge and skills that will allow them to engage with questions, problem solving and tasks related to the topics they are studying. Parental Help: Encourage a review cycle of lessons to take place each night that will encourage your child to develop a deeper understanding and better memory about the work they are undertaking.
Create a clear set of summary notes for quick reference and test yourself. Use the internet.
Once a set of notes have been reviewed the key ideas and concepts can often be summarised in a much shorter set of notes. These notes encourage a keen focus on key ideas, words and concepts that allow for a quick revision of the key facts to take place on a regular basis. Summary notes can be used to test a child’s memory of key ideas, words and concepts and the creation of such notes often helps with that memory process. Summary notes should also highlight areas of learning that may require to be revisited if the concept appears vague or unclear when the summary notes are being revisited. If an idea is not clear or further insight is required then Google, You-Tube, school websites are excellent sources of material along with U-Tunes. Parental Help: Encourage your child to create summary notes and help them to test their memory and understanding of such notes. Remind them that help is often a Google away.
Challenge your thinking and don’t hide from issues.
If when your child is reviewing their lessons and creating their summary notes etc. they find that there are ideas and concepts that are not clear then support and encourage them to seek help. Parental Help: If your child is reluctant to seek help then phone or the school to ask for assistance. It is in everyone’s interests that all problems are overcome. Keep encouraging to read and study more from all of the sources of knowledge available to them.
Apply your learning to questions, problem solving, essay writing and related topics.
Once your child has reviewed their lessons and created summary notes etc. and endeavoured to learn the basics then they are ready for further challenges. To deepen understanding they must apply their knowledge to a range of tasks and activities. Text books often have sections of questions and tasks that will test both knowledge and understanding. Class hand-outs will cover additional material and often contain examples, questions and tasks. Past papers will ultimately show the standard to be reached for the examination but care should be taken to reach this point carefully. Parental Help: Ensure that organised school materials are fully utilised and revisited on a regular basis to ensure that knowledge and understanding are routinely challenged and developed further.
Revisit prior learning to permanently embed your knowledge.
Your child will face an exam that will examine all aspects of a course that has been taught over the past one to two years. Alongside routine homework the review cycle of prior learning becomes more and more important as the course progresses. Some homework will test prior learning but often due to the time constraints of a course the homework tasks may focus on what is presently being taught. Your child should ensure that they are revisiting previous topics, summary notes and attempting again tasks that have previously been set as homework. The more independent your child becomes in their studies the more able they will be to challenge themselves and take forward their knowledge and understanding without direction from the teacher. Parental Help: Be aware of what your child is studying and encourage a routine and regular daily revision cycle.
Attend targeted study support and use past papers.
Study Support classes are offered for most subject areas in the school and are aimed at those who are finding the subject challenging. Your child should be encouraged to attend study support for the areas of the curriculum that they find most difficult. Regular attendance at study support alongside a period of reflection after the session has proven to make a significant difference to our students’ progress. Specialised whole day study support sessions are offered in the run-up to the S.Q.A. examinations after the Easter break. Past papers and solutions can be downloaded from the S.Q.A. website (Google SQA) for all subject areas. Parental Help: Your child should be encouraged to take full advantage of the study support arrangements. Past Papers and Solutions should be downloaded and used from January onwards unless advised differently by the class teacher.
How To Seek Help For Your Child.
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress then: Contact your child’s Guidance teacher and give them full details of what your concerns are. Your child’s Guidance teacher will ensure that the issue is fully dealt with and resolved. The single point of contact ensures that we are aware of all issues and problems affecting any individual student.
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