Getting the Top Grades: TipsWhen it comes to achieving the top grades, there are certain things students can do to give themselves the best chances. Here we explore some tips and tricks for things which might give your child some indicators, or at least a little last minute direction prior to their exams. Some students benefit from reading through examiners mark schemes or examiner’s notes. Whilst these can be hefty and intense documents, aimed at teachers, higher ability students might be able to benefit from seeing what the examiners report- and wade through the language (with a highlighter, is a good idea.) Teachers will have lifted the wording from these documents to break down for their students in the class and will have explained grade boundaries in student-friendly ways, but to achieve the top grades, some students find it useful to finely read this material themselves to find out exactly what examiners want. Practice is also crucial. Students who achieve top grades are those that have practised well. Like anything, doing something many times should mean improvement and a better chance of success. When it comes to exams, students that have practised properly will not only hope to have found their answers looking more impressive, but also that their sense of timing is down to a tee! Confidence in your child’s knowledge will also be key to their success for attaining high grades. The more secure your teen’s knowledge is in a subject, the higher their confidence will be and this, in turn, can often make a student feel calmer and focussed as they enter the exam hall. We all like the feeling of ‘knowing what we’re doing,’ and exams are no different. With this in mind, teens who fully break down a question- and link back to it in their answer- are far more likely to reach the top marks. Teachers often encourage students to highlight or underline key words in a question to secure focus and encourage a critical understanding of what they are being asked to do. This is a beneficial tactic for any student to take on board, but for those working towards higher grades, this can be a crucial factor in precisely meeting what an individual question is asking your teen to do. Weaving the question into written answers (particularly for essay subjects,) will help your teen to showcase a mature and critical response: something which examiners will look for to award high marks. It can be tough getting the top grades- and it might be said that it is only getting tougher! However, with a mature sense of mind, a critical approach and a security of knowledge, your child can hopefully find themselves heading towards the top! And, as a last word of reassurance, as long as your teen has practised, practised, practised, then you know that they have given it their best shot. If you feel they need a final revision push, you might want to take a look at our Grade Booster class running the weekend before key National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams.
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