Exams can be stressful for students. Whether it is to get decent grades or to get the highest marks in the class, any student can experience anxiety and performance pressure.
However, preparing for exams need not be challenging and stressful. All it takes is smart planning and proper preparation. The role of teachers is paramount in exam preparation. Read on to know how teachers can help students in performing fullest to their potential in their exams.
The responsibility of a teacher is immensely important in shaping the student’s perception of exams. Revision of concepts, highlighting important questions, and solving model question papers are some of the more traditional methods, but these might not be enough in modern times. The learning and teaching process has undergone a lot of change in recent years. Exam preparation methods also need to evolve, and teachers can play a greater and more proactive role in it.
As a teacher, you can not only help your students successfully clear their exams but also teach them about tackling any fear related to any exams in the future too and emerge victorious out of it.
The following are some study tips and strategies that you can consider for helping your students with their exam preparation.
- Observe the common & repetitive mistakes
The past performance of a student should not be used as a benchmark to judge his or her caliber. However, evaluating past performance can be an effective tool to look for any pattern in the occurrence of mistakes.
For example, a student may be repeating spelling mistakes in similar-sounding but different words, like “week” and “weak” and “observe” and “absorb,” while effortlessly spelling complex words.
You can review the past performance of all the students in a class and make a list of such common mistakes made by students over a year. You can dedicate one or two of your lectures to address these mistakes and how students can avoid them.
2. Help them create a structure
Some students find it difficult to organize their thoughts in addressing and solving a problem. You can demonstrate your way of thinking in approaching a problem and solving it by explaining every step in your thought process aloud. You can select a relatively complex question and speak aloud about how you will approach the question.
For example, you can say something like, “In this question, you don't have to bother about the result. First, write down the given data. Next, you have to create a table with the given data, then move on to....”
Once you are done, take another question and ask your students to emulate your process to arrive at the answer.
3. Make them understand the question
Many students fail to properly understand the question. Devise strategies and tips to help them in understanding the question. You can ask them to reframe the question in their own words. You can further ask them to explain to you their understanding of the question.
4. Identify troublesome areas
Even if the students are well versed in the topic or subjects, there can be some trouble areas. Encourage them to make a list of such points. Compile all such points and look for any common occurrences. Keep aside a couple of lectures to address those troublesome areas.
5. Stress on practical application
Organize activities to demonstrate the practical application of what the students have learned. Practical application of concepts can help students remember complex terms with ease. For example, you can place a paper model of a lizard on the wall and ask students to pinpoint its location through coordinate geometry. You can consider explaining how the leaf pattern of a nearby tree follows the Fibonacci series.
Divide students into pairs. Encourage each student to explain a concept to his or her partner and see if they can explain it correctly to them. Mutual teaching can help students in retaining the concepts.
7. Use technology
We live in a digital age. There are countless educational YouTube videos and infographics available on the internet. Images, presentations, animations, and documentary videos can be a great rescue in teaching complex terms and concepts.
8. Organize informal discussions and brainstorming
Students love to talk among themselves. They like discussing sports, cinema, world affairs, and anything under the sun. The idea is to channel this natural flow of energy toward studies. Choose a topic and encourage students to take part in an informal discussion on the topic.
For example, you can choose a historical event such as the revolution of 1857, and encourage students to discuss the reasons for its failure. Or you can organize a brainstorming session to find possible solutions that could have averted the partition of India.
Such activities can help students in their exam preparation by revising a vital part of the syllabus.
9. Share your experience as a student
Students look up to their teachers. They idolize and revere them. Thus, it is sometimes soothing for them to listen to your experiences as a student. Tell them about your fears and reservations you had as a student and how you overcame them. Reassure them that it is normal to feel pressurized at times. This can go a long way in boosting their confidence. They will relate to your experiences. Make them understand that if you could do this, they can do it too.
10. Organize activity-based games
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This old proverb still stands true, especially in education. The best way for exam preparation is by organizing games that can help in the revision of subjects.
- Divide the syllabus into various blocks.
- Organize a quiz contest related to each block.
- Make advanced planning about the day and date of the quiz.
- Ask students to come prepared for the block/topic for the quiz.
You can even organize stress-reliever activities such as yoga, drawing, and meditation. The goal is to unwind and let their mind breathe.
Remember, teaching is a noble profession and you have a greater moral responsibility than just finishing your course. You can play a pivotal part in permanently uprooting the various anxieties and phobias that a student is likely to have due to exams. By helping your students in their exam preparation, you can help them to break their psychological barriers and go for achieving the fruits of success.
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