Succeeding in Examinations

It is the time of the year in which many of our students are undertaking examinations as their final assessment for a subject. Our Year 12 and accelerating Year 11 students this week began their VCE Unit 3-4 examinations. We keep these boys in our prayers and thoughts as they embark on this final stage of schooling.

Year 9, 10 and 11 students are three weeks from sitting their examinations and have begun preparations to ensure success. The examinations are written so that one can demonstrate what they have learnt throughout the semester or year.

In studying for examinations, it is important to understand that one has to do more than just remember information. In responding to questions, a student needs to apply their knowledge and demonstrate mastery of the material learnt throughout the course. It is important to understand key concepts, that you can analyse or evaluate, and that you can apply this knowledge to new situations. When writing a student must consider his audience for whom he is writing for – in the case of examinations it is the examiner- what information are they looking for?

Early preparation will help ensure success.  Below are some strategies to support course revision.

  1. Understand what is required to learn – discuss with your teacher the course outline so you are clear on what will be examined so you can target your study.
  2. Collaborate with others – learning with others can be an advantage – meet up in the library or study centre to discuss concepts, questions and responses.
  3. Revise class notes every day – summarise key information from class every day to help retain information and improve understanding. Come home each day and write in a book the key concepts learnt for the lesson. Each day read the previous notes and add new information to form a great set of examination study notes. This will assist preparation and reduce stress.
  4. Develop weekly topic summaries to help with revision.
  5. Practice, practice, practice – work through sample questions (under exam conditions) from the text book, online resource or past examination papers. Complete questions and then seek feedback from peers and the teacher to gain understanding of progress.
  6. Remove distractions – focus on the revision questions and study notes rather than television, music or mobile phone.

The library is open after school with teaching staff available to support study habits and the understanding of content.

It is important to note that examinations are not the only indicator of success. Obviously, as a student one must strive for personal excellence and hopefully this is reflected in the achievement. In the case where one does not succeed as planned, consideration must be provided to why and what can be done in the future to further improve. Likewise, each boy has God given talents in a variety of areas of school life and must utilise these fully to succeed, be it academically or in other areas of College life.

Mr Mark Ashmore, Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching

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