Several times in our clinical interaction with students and parents, I have had instances of students understanding, comprehending and grasping study material well but not able to perform equivalently well in examinations. Upon contemplation, several general and specific factors come to the forefront.
Performing to the best of one’s ability is important as admissions into good colleges and schools depend to a large extent on the scores on your report card. There is still time before the main exam that each student can work and eliminate every single determinant of poor performance. With board exams round the corner, we take note of all factors that may in one or several ways affect performance in exams.
Working on the following pointers will not only decrease exam anxiety but will also boost confidence such that each child can perform to the best of their ability. And this also leads to a much clearer vision on career options after 12th
- Environmental Factors
Who knew that the environment whether family, school or college, social and experiences can drastically affect a child’s performance?
- Family Environment
The way a child is reinforced at home shapes up his mental attitude towards studies, exams and life. If parents continuously reinforce over-competition, pressure, comparison and always-winning attitude, children take these as the way to live. They are in a mode to prove these to their parents all the time. Additionally, there is fear of punishment and rejection which creates anxiety and low self esteem in them. Most children try to do well to please their parents nonetheless. This however, deteriorates the child’s actual potential and flair.
If the child is living in a healthy family environment with supporting and nurturing parents, students are more likely to obtain good grades. Most children try to do well to please their parents nonetheless.
Pressurize them but only to beat their own records and that too with a supporting attitude.
- School or College Environment
School/ college is the place where students meet other students and teachers who come from diverse backgrounds and bear varied experiences upon them. If the school or college environment is the one that focuses and encourages all round development of the pupil or if it strives to help students by preparing them at a young age to tackle the unknown has a bearing on the child’s performance. As it teaches them life skills that can assist them and it too plays a vital role in a child’s life and growth. The kind of people their classmates and teachers are, affects the performance. The way they are treated by their teachers or professors also affects their performance. If the students are highly motivated by the teacher or the teacher is the one that inspires, students try to perform well in an attempt to be like the teacher. Similarly, the attitude of teachers and principal towards exam will impact children’s attitude too.
- Individual Experiences
Whether these experiences come from interacting classmates, teachers, parents or family members, it invariably affects the child as a whole. Avoid being surrounded by negative people and circumstances that will de-motivate you and impact your performance.
- Faulty Study Habits and Learning Methods
Most students usually follow faulty learning methods such as rote memorization, studying one night before examination, not preparing own notes, huge dependency on coaching classes, not revising the matter taught in class the same day, etc. This impacts their notion of studies as a whole. They tend to develop dislike for most or specific subjects and this apprehension in turn affects their attitude towards studies and exams as a whole.
Employing the right study habits will make studies and exams a very enjoyable experience altogether.
- Differing Interests
We all have varying interests. Interest affects what we will enjoy more when compared to others. The best way to perform well in exams is to identify your areas of interest in different subjects and among various subjects. This will help you know where you can give more thrust. If you follow this methodology, you will not only cherish studies but will also save yourself from the attitude of avoiding it. However, this does mean that you can totally avoid areas of disinterest. To score well, you need to strategically plan your studies to incorporate everything.
- Ineffective Memorizing Methods
Our course and syllabus especially for board exams is quite vast. To be able to remember everything and reproduce it at the time of examination is a task. This seems difficult but is not impossible. Use of memorization techniques will help you to cover up everything in the most effective way possible. Most toppers have reported its effectiveness and need always.
Several psychological studies have been conducted. And several memorization techniques have been derived based on these studies. Ideally, the best way to remember any type of material is by using Mnemonics or developing associations. These techniques are best to remember subjects like Science, History, Geology, Geography etc. Students are either unaware of these techniques or think that they are time consuming and ineffective. However, they don’t realize that for these techniques to show results one needs to use them right from the beginning of the term and continue it right through exams also.
- Health Matters
It is important for students to ensure that they get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and most importantly exercise. It is important that you sleep in time, eat properly and exercise, if you wish to perform well in the examinations because both the body and the mind need to rest to function to its maximum potential. This is another reason that affects the performance. Lack of any of these three aspects will impact mind-body coordination and this will in turn impact performance in examination.
Therefore, it is important for us to help children realize their mistakes and assist them in their preparation in the best possible manner we can. Especially, if we can help them to improve their grades and get them interested in a subject that they dislike, by highlighting the fact that it is actually easy once you are clear about the concepts and have the basics in place. We need to make them realize that the only way to overcome their fear of the subject and to memorize the formulas or chemical compositions is through practice.
As Jaspher Kantuna rightly noted, “Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.”
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Careerfutura is counseling and Assessment Company, providing informed career based guidance to students from 8th standard to graduation/professional level. It helps students gain insight into their inner strengths like aptitude, personality, multiple intelligences, adjustment levels, learning styles and interest areas such that students can make wise career and personal decisions.