Things Students Do During Exam Time

If you are a student and you find yourself nodding while reading this post, well, congratulations! You are not alone. It happens to all of us at some point in time or another. What happens you ask? Read on to find out.

If you’re a student, you tend to:

  1. Worry…A LOT!:  And there’s a good reason why you worry and that reason is – sudden manifestation of dementia! You forget to remember things you studied and remember to forget almost everything you studied.

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Solution: Relax. Freaking out ain’t gonna fix anything. Worrying only adds to your stress. Just take some deep breaths or listen to your favorite song or go out for a small walk. If nothing works, take a cat nap. That should free your mind a little.

2. Shoot in the dark: You’ve never liked maths, but come exam time, you tend to become a mental-math expert and do amazing things like calculating the score you need to get the grade you must achieve.

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Solution: Forget mental math. Give yourself a head start by studying a little each day if you want to be able to score well and get good grades. Finish at least one round of revision if want decent grades.

3. Freak out: So that long overdue essay is still due just before your finals and you don’t know what to do? Well, get down to writing. That’s the only thing that can save you! If you think you can tweak an old essay and resubmit it, think twice. I’m a teacher and I’m no fool. May be that strategy would have worked during the pre-internet days, but not anymore. Why? I’m sure you know why!

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Solution: Sit and write as much as you can. Sincere efforts are almost always rewarded.

4. Burn the midnight oil: In other words, try to study everything overnight. As for what makes students think it is actually possible, is beyond me. I tried my best, I swear, to understand, but I just don’t get it! Also, losing out on sleep is the easiest way to weaken your memory and wear your body out.

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Solution: A good night’s sleep before your exam can help ease you and reduce your stress and help you remember better. Get some sleep if you don’t want to feel pathetic on the day of your exam.

5. Cry: You kept telling yourself all is well and all of a sudden nothing really seems so! Besides, you can’t decide what you hate more. Studying or crying?

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Solution: It’s human to cry and it is good, too. Crying your stress away can do you some good. Cry, get over with it, and get back to studying. Let the tough get going while you go on. Don’t give up, don’t give in. If nothing works, listen to Eye of the Tiger and do a little jig. Let go of your stress.

If all else fails, just think of the happy days and post-exam celebrations and partying! That should help motivate you, right?

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Just breathe…Stay calm and study. Good luck!

Mid Year Exam Preparation Part 2: Section A Specifics

The single most important thing you need to remember about Section A of the exam is that it is focused on providing analysis of historical and cultural context. And the most important part of providing that, is to ensure that you aren’t just “fact dumping”. We looked at samples in class recently, so you should […]

via Mid Year Exam Preparation Part 2: Section A Specifics — Marist English Literature

Take Control of Your Classroom: Like a Boss

The other day, I was on a forum discussing everyday challenges teachers face and there was this rookie teacher who shared her story about how she was dragged into something, rather unwittingly, by some of her students.

So here’s what happened: During her class, student ‘A’ told her how he disliked another teacher, for which she didn’t quite know what to say. She asked student ‘A’ what made him say so and that, backfired. Students ‘B’ and ‘C’ who had taken a liking to the other teacher in question ended up saying nasty things to Student ‘A’, which made his parents furious. They complained to the Head and the Head took the rookie teacher to task.

While many people on the forum thought that the Head was right in blaming her, I thought otherwise. They were of the opinion that she shouldn’t have acknowledged the student, while she defended herself by saying that she didn’t want to hurt her student’s feelings. Such a mess.

I don’t blame the rookie teacher though. We all make mistakes, don’t we?

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Image courtesy: classroomclipart.com

And what makes it more so, is the fact that each teacher has different sort of an experience and there’s no possibility of one rule fitting all. When such is the case, only time can help teachers get better at being a teacher. Although there is no get-great-quick formula, there are some basic things that could help a newbie teacher take control of his/her classroom:

Avoid favoritism: We all know that there will always be that one student we can’t help but adore. But then, praising one student in front of all the others is not a very good idea. It could be deemed as favoritism.

Treat students the way you want your students to treat you: A great teacher is someone who is loved by a majority of students, if not all. To be able to be liked, it’s important to maintain a safe and equal distance from all students. If you don’t want them to treat you like a peer, then you’d be better off not behaving like one. It’s good if they like you, but it’s great if they respect you.

Remember, each student is different: While some are quick learners, there could be others who need a little extra help or that much-needed nudge. Some quiet encouragement can work wonders for such students.

Get student feedback: Hand out a questionnaire and ask your students for their feedback on your style of classroom management. Use that feedback to see if there is something you can do differently.

Be prepared: Preparation doesn’t just mean being ready  with a lesson plan. You ought to be prepared for handling all kinds of challenges, expected or otherwise. Make mistakes, learn from your mistakes, and while you’re at it, keep your chin up.

Here’s wishing all newbie teachers, the very best. Enjoy your journey!

If you want to add your two cents, the comments section is all yours.