Riviera Tutors’ tip – Two secrets for study success

1 – Never label yourself

For a pupil to decide they are ‘not academic’ or ‘just can’t do Maths’, for example, is one of the greatest mistakes they can make, for at least two reasons.  Firstly, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – saying you’re bad at something is a sure way to become bad at something.  Secondly, it’s not true.  Riviera Tutors firmly believes that the majority of students possess the intellect to succeed at most subjects.  The secret lies in communication.  Some pupils may need something explained to them more slowly, or perhaps in more detail, than is possible in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean it’s beyond them – simply that they require a different, more personalized approach.  Time and time again we meet students who, for years, have convinced themselves of their own lack of ability, only to find their assumptions totally misplaced.  Instilling a positive mindset alongside a degree of academic self-belief early on in a student’s career is the most effective (and cheapest) path to future success.

On the other hand, there are students who pick things up very quickly in the classroom, which can lead to a misplaced sense of their own brilliance – a fertile breeding ground for sloppiness and laziness.  History is littered with characters that flourished early at school, only to find they lacked the rigor and discipline to sustain their success.  You won’t have heard of them.  In such cases as these, it is the job of a good teacher to rein in the ego and remind the student that success in exams at all levels is more to do with methodical preparation than anything else.  Belief that one’s brightness is alone is enough to attain the highest grade is a hindrance, and can be a significant one.

It is the job of the teacher, therefore, to counteract the natural leanings of a student, where those leanings need to be counteracted, and in doing so help them find their own voice, talents and balance.

2 – Be organised.

Case Study – IGCSEs.

The years between 14-16 are often difficult for the developing student.  Time to break free, stretch boundaries and discover the world.  Unfortunately, the world decrees that it’s also the time that you take your first major public exams.  We’ll take the IGCSEs as our guinea pig.  The major problem we find with students is that they often feel simply overwhelmed by the volume of material they have to revise. Combine this with areas of weak understanding, and it’s easy to become disheartened.

The trick is to be organised.

Once you start your final year in September you should be thinking about the exams in May of the next year.  Treat the January mocks like the real thing; this will give you a strong foundation that will make the following months more relaxed and enjoyable – you can spend the time polishing your skills, rather than frantically trying to assimilate the basics.

Work extremely hard over Christmas.  Really push yourself.  Divide up each subject into sensible chapters (your text book should already do this for you), and create a timetable that incorporates all of them, giving extra time and weight to weaker areas.

Success in each subject is largely a matter methodical revision, whether the subject is plant cell walls or the Wall Street Crash – it’s just factual information dressed up differently.  On top of this, each subject has a particular exam technique that should be second nature come exam time.  It’s the job of a good teacher to make sure you know this.

Riviera Tutors offers practical advice on how to get the best from studying.

1 – Never label yourself

For a pupil to decide they are ‘not academic’ or ‘just can’t do Maths’, for example, is one of the greatest mistakes they can make, for at least two reasons. Firstly, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – saying you’re bad at something is a sure way to become bad at something.  Secondly, it’s not true.  Riviera Tutors firmly believes that the majority of students possess the intellect to succeed at most subjects. The secret lies in communication. Some pupils may need something explained to them more slowly, or perhaps in more detail, than is possible in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean it’s beyond them – simply that they require a different, more personalized approach. Time and time again we meet students who, for years, have convinced themselves of their own lack of ability, only to find their assumptions totally misplaced.  Instilling a positive mindset alongside a degree of academic self-belief early on in a student’s career is the most effective (and cheapest) path to future success.

On the other hand, there are students who pick things up very quickly in the classroom, which can lead to a misplaced sense of their own brilliance – a fertile breeding ground for sloppiness and laziness. History is littered with characters that flourished early at school, only to find they lacked the rigor and discipline to sustain their success. You won’t have heard of them. In such cases as these, it is the job of a good teacher to rein in the ego and remind the student that success in exams at all levels is more to do with methodical preparation than anything else. Belief that one’s brightness is alone is enough to attain the highest grade is a hindrance, and can be a significant one.

It is the job of the teacher, therefore, to counteract the natural leanings of a student, where those leanings need to be counteracted, and in doing so help them find their own voice, talents and balance.riviera-tutors-tips-study-successRiviera Tutors helps students of all ages unlock their potential

2 – Be organised

Case Study – IGCSEs

The years between 14-16 are often difficult for the developing student. Time to break free, stretch boundaries and discover the world. Unfortunately, the world decrees that it’s also the time that you take your first major public exams. We’ll take the IGCSEs as our guinea pig. The major problem we find with students is that they often feel simply overwhelmed by the volume of material they have to revise. Combine this with areas of weak understanding, and it’s easy to become disheartened.

The trick is to be organised.

Once you start your final year in September you should be thinking about the exams in May of the next year. Treat the January mocks like the real thing; this will give you a strong foundation that will make the following months more relaxed and enjoyable – you can spend the time polishing your skills, rather than frantically trying to assimilate the basics.

Work extremely hard over Christmas. Really push yourself. Divide up each subject into sensible chapters (your text book should already do this for you), and create a timetable that incorporates all of them, giving extra time and weight to weaker areas.

Success in each subject is largely a matter methodical revision, whether the subject is plant cell walls or the Wall Street Crash – it’s just factual information dressed up differently. On top of this, each subject has a particular exam technique that should be second nature come exam time.  It’s the job of a good teacher to make sure you know this.

For further help with any aspect of getting the best from studying, contact Riviera Tutors at www.riviera-tutors.com

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