Mindset – mindset is everything in achieving success at GCSE and A-level ….
The importance of mindset in the achievement of anything in life cannot be overemphasised as ‘thought’ is where every success starts before manifesting itself into practical reality. GCSEs and A-level are very important, as not only are they the most important real test in life for the vast majority of teenagers, they are also the yardstick that society will use to measure their success for the rest of their life.
Students in Year 11 – final year of GCSE /IGCSE
For GCSE students, irrespective of their current position, provided the child has the motivation to succeed and the right level of support, a lot of ground can still be covered in the next four or so months before the start of the exams. I mean something that can still make a difference to the exam grades the child obtains in the summer examinations. We are talking of improving on their grade, which is still a distinct possibility, even at this stage
Students in the final year of A-level – A2
For those young people who are taking their A-levels this summer, it is more of a challenge to improve on the grade on which they are currently performing, but it’s not impossible. The A-level is a little more tasking as it has it has depth academically and there is quite a volume of material to master. The fact that it is now a linear course, with all the exams at the end, is also a factor. Having said this, the last thing to do at this stage is to give up, as a significant improvement can still be made in the remaining four and half months or so before the exams start.
There is no magic wand to exam success, but a magic wand is not needed anyway!
Exam success cannot be isolated from everyday activities and all the things the child does in their everyday life have an effect on their academic performance. It is mainly about how they invest their time on a daily and weekly basis. Activities such as eating, sleeping, travelling, playing and so on – all have a part to play. This is not to mention the endless amount of time that young people spend on their electronic devices, such as mobile phones – either playing games, messaging or doing other activities that have a detrimental effect on their progress.
Practical suggestions to establish the right mindset
In order to have the right mindset, it’s vital to have clarity in terms of what you want to achieve – the end result. It is helpful to have an idea how you will get there, but that is not as important having a sense of direction, and getting started is what matters. For a young person who is looking to obtain certain grades in a set of subjects, it is good to be clear about the grades they want or need in a particular subject and also to identify the path they will take to get those grades. In establishing the right mindset, I will suggest the following path for the teenager:
- Identify the subjects you need to do well in so that you can advance to the next stage
- Evaluate where you are currently as regard performances in each of the subjects – identifying your strengths and weaknesses
- Reflect on your past successes and try, where possible, to see how you can copy and transfer what helped you into the areas in which you need to improve
- Decide on the actions you will take, including the tools and people that will help you to achieve your objective
- Think about the behaviours and the habits you will adopt to allow you to reach your goals
- Get Started…
We, as parents, are only a catalyst – an important catalyst that is, in helping to shape the future of our children.
You can use the above points as a parent to help guide your son or daughter in establishing clarity about the direction they are going as the summer examinations approach. As I mentioned earlier, what is important to get started, and, as long as they persist, they will find a way to reach their goals.
Watch this space for the next blogpost, which is in ‘Action’. This tackles the issue of how they invest their time on a day to day basis.