Thousands of high school learners across the country are currently writing their final exams in what has been yet another immensely challenging academic year.
With sporadic school closures owing to the pandemic, children have had limited time inside the classroom.
There’s no doubt that this presents huge challenges for our country’s learners as they begin to write their exams.
At Optimi Classroom, we have been focused on helping schools across the country in their catchup efforts by advocating for the likes of diagnostic testing to help determine gaps in learners’ knowledge, investment in extra classes, intensifying parent involvement, and the use of extra supplementary educational material
Over time and with an intensified effort, we can get our children back on track. In the short term, we can further help our children with their upcoming exams by providing them following exam tips and advice:
Rereading Is Just Not Enough
When it comes to preparing for exams, simply rereading material can be a superficial process. What is more effective is that learners should take the time to understand what they are reading, and even be prepared to ask themselves questions about their learning content.
A study conducted by Washington University’s Henry Roediger in 2010 compared test results of students who reread material with those of another group that wrote questions out and canvassed answered about the material. The study found that those who answered the questions performed better than those who just reread the material.
Another good study strategy for learners to employ is testing themselves. Learners can get a friend or family member to quiz them on their knowledge. Creating flashcards with questions on one side and answers on the other is a great way to do this. And they should be encouraged to make these quizzes as challenging as possible.
Mistakes Can Get You Ahead
When learners test themselves, they shouldn’t stress too much if they get answers wrong or even spend too much time on their answers. It’s important to take a step back, look at where answering has gone wrong and then focus on rectifying those weak areas. This is what learning is all about.
Mixing It Up
With self-testing, it’s also advised to mix up the learning approach. In this regard, a study technique that is growing in popularity is a process called interleaving. This involves mixing or interleaving multiple subjects or topics in order to improve learning. For example, during a study session, a learner could devote some time to Mathematics and then interleave their studying session with Physical Science. Cycling through these different but interlinked topics in this way ensures that learners retrieve information and make new connections, thereby bolstering retention.
Finally, another good study technique is to ask questions about how or why things are a certain way. This can help spark elaboration, and thereby encourage a learner’s brain to create new relations and connections. This, in turn, has been proven to make it easier to learn and remember things. These types of deeper questions also help with better memory.
These are just five tips that can help learners get ahead during this stressful and exciting time. From Optimi Classroom, we wish every school and learner the best of luck and hope that they progress to the next stage of their education journey in the best possible way.
By Aunyana Moloisane, MD of Optimi Classroom