General Certificate of Education A-Levels are national exams that students take in countries like the UK and Singapore. Until recently, reforms were made with the British GCSEs which worried students who are taking it in Singapore.
Changes to the British GCSEs and How it Affects Singapore A-Levels
The reform added a grade level, from eight to nine, to differentiate between students and reduce grade inflation. There are also more Mathematics and Science questions which are said to be significantly tougher than before. However, a spokesperson from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) said that Singaporean students applying for University in the UK will not be affected by the reform. The previous A-Level criteria will be used by universities to review their applications instead of the new one.
Still, many students from international schools in Singapore have upped the ante a bit in terms of study material and mock tests so that students are more than prepared. This has also made it even more imperative to teach students study techniques that will increase their chances of getting to top universities.
Being in the right mindset
Just like with any task, a person cannot force themselves to do it. It will be messy and nothing will be retained if they do not have the right motivation. We can teach students that it is to have trouble in a subject, and that we are there to help them get over it. In this way, we can help them keep a positive mindset and assist them in improving their skills and abilities.
Additionally, let us not compare them with other students. Let us show them that their study at their own pace because everyone’s learning curve is different.
Help them find their ideal study place
As unique as their learning curves are, so are their ideal study environments. Some students prefer quieter places like a study hall or the library. While others prefer the buzz of talking people, which means a cafe or the park. We can also allow them to listen to their favorite music if that helps.
Create a study schedule they can follow
We can teach them that studying their notes and lessons everyday means they do not have to cram come exam day. For this, we can help them create a study schedule that they can easily stick to. Let us tell our students that the study schedule must be followed, so if it does not work, it might mean changing up the schedule to their most productive time.
Teach them the value of writing down notes
Laptops or phones for note taking are definitely practical since most kids work faster when it is typewritten. However, writing cements memory and can help kids store long term information more. We can tell them the benefits of writing down notes, creating their own shorthand techniques, and organizing their notes in a way that makes sense to them.
Play a game with them
Another way to cement information is to turn studying into play time. It may seem a little childish at first considering we are talking about students who will be taking their A-levels. But remember that a positive mindset is important in retaining information. Playing a game, whether it is a memory game or something unique that you have designed will help them recollect lessons discussed months before and allow them to convert it to long term memory.
Students are constantly under extreme pressure, more so now than before. Although reforms to the A-levels are only applicable to British students, we want our kids to be able to cope and hopefully be better by preparing them for tougher exams.