As with most things, students tend to sit on a spectrum.
The straight A+ students are at one end, and the first-prize-for-most-number-of-absences are generally at the other end.
This spectrum is generally directly proportionate to the number of study-hours invested throughout the semester and exam study break.
However, there are outliers – the teens who actually DO try hard, DO their homework, DO study for exams, but don’t manage to get the grades that reflect the work they have put in.
If this sounds like you or your teen — then this article is for you.
Studying hard and not getting the grades you deserve is a grave injustice, and something must be done!
The trouble spot
If you are (or if your teen is) actually putting in the study hours, but the hard work just isn’t showing in your transcript, then to put it bluntly, you’re doing something wrong.
Somewhere along the line in your study process, something is breaking down.
This is your trouble spot.
And before you go any further, you need to figure out where and what it is.
Reading but not understanding
For some students, their trouble spot arises early on in the study process. They sit down at the desk, pull out the books, but don’t make sure they understand what they’re studying.
Whether you’re reading, writing study notes, or making diagrams, it is ESSENTIAL that you are studying in such a way that ensures the information isn’t just going in, but is staying in.
If you’re just going through the motions when you study, then it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be able to retain any of that information.
Can you answer the question?
For other students, their trouble spot is further down the line of their study process.
Maybe they do make sure they actually understand what they revise, but when it comes to applying their knowledge to practice questions, they may as well be written in another language.
If this happens to you or your teen, then you are going to have to PRACTICE doing loads of practice questions.
I’m sorry there’s not a magic wand solution to this one, but practicing questions that mimic those that will be in the exam will be the key for you.
If this is you, do not feel bad. It’s one of the most common mistakes students make – studying their guts out but omitting to practice applying what they know to a real problem or question.
The more practice problems you look at, the better you will become at being able to recognise what questions/problems are wanting you to do. (For more on nailing this technique check out this article)
Your trouble spot might be somewhere in between these common trouble spots. All you need to do is ‘trace your steps’ along your study process line, and hopefully you will be able to see where things stop working as well as they should.
We can’t have all of these hard working students not getting the grades they deserve, so before you go or your teen goes any further, please take 10 minutes to think about where your study process is breaking down. Once you’ve found it, you can patch it, and move full steam ahead towards the fantastic grades you’re capable of.