11 Dec

How To Deal With Achieving Poor Exam Results

Most students will encounter poor exam results at one stage in their education. The Ezy Math Tutoring approach is to reflect, make changes, improve. The main thing is to learn from the mistakes made, and not to dwell on the poor grades. Students can sometimes think that poor grades in an exam can be the end of the world. Explain to the student that failure is one of the lessons of life, and the only real failure, is not learning from mistakes. The mistakes made in one exam are going to be the reason for success later one!
The first thing would be to examine how the student prepared for the exam. Consideration much be given to thinking about: Did the student begin studying with sufficient time to achieve a good result? Was the time effectively spent on the correct areas for the exam? Was extra time spent on weaker areas or complex concepts?
The second things to consider is the student’s exam paper, and see how they feel about the mistakes they made in it. We can categorise the mistakes into different areas, so we know how to deal with the problems effectively. Some of the main errors made on exams are: misreading question, carelessness, wrong concept used, incorrect application of concept, poor time management, and silly mistakes. There may be other types of errors as well particular to each individual student; however this is a guide of the most common errors.
Once the student realises the type of mistakes made in the exam, it follows for the student to try and explain how or why they made those mistakes. This can give a good indication as to what the student was feeling when making these errors; it also allows them to explain any pressure they felt about the exam. This also is a great time to reinforce the importance of constant revision to the student, and the significance of beginning an early study-regime.
After going through the errors with the student; ask the student if there’s anything they would like to happen different to the current lesson style. The student might have some ideas about what they would appreciate more of during lessons. Explain to the student that you’re going to place greater emphasis on the weaker areas in the student’s knowledge. Create a study plan together about overcoming the current academic hurdles. Organise a revision timetable so the student can show that they have learned from the poor exam results and now won’t make those mistakes again.
The most important thing is that the student recognises the mistakes made, the reason why the mistakes were made, and how to ensure they don’t make them again. In other words, they are developing self awareness in regard to their strengths and weaknesses. Ensure your student remains positive and motivated through a troubling time for them. A poor exam result isn’t always a negative thing; it can be the beginning of a very positive thing, however, the wrong attitude can easily paralyze a student, especially if they were expecting to do much better.


1 comments Posted in All About Exams by Gene

One comment

  • Roden said 20 January 2014

    This is the process I went through with my student when I set him an exam-style test to consolidate his learning from previous sessions.

    The questions were intentionally challenging, and served as a great opportunity to address a range of small problems that added up to an overall problem in approaching questions and problem solving in general.

    It also helped to reinforce the point of how important it is to revise, as well as prepare. This will help him to learn from his mistakes and keep moving forward in the year ahead.

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