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Common Issues Faced

Common Issues Faced

Beyond studying hard for exams and going for tuition classes, there are actually a host of other issues that account for students’ academic performance. Among the many issues faced, the top three issues that cause poor academic performance are motivation, time management and studying method. Have presented some of the issues below which is by no means exhaustive.

Motivation. Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal. Students can be motivated by a variety of reasons which include getting a good job which may land you a decent salary, interest in the subject, meeting the expectations of parents, doing well in the subject, etc. Conversely, students may lack the motivation to study because they see no purpose in studying for the subject, suffering from burn out, challenging family circumstances, unfriendly learning environment, etc. For one to do well, motivation plays a hugely important role and hence it is essential for students to identify their main source of motivation.

Time Management. Time management is a common issued faced by everyone and not just students. Often, students find it a struggle to manage their time due to the different areas they spend their time on which include going for tuition classes, spending many hours in their CCAs , having long days in school, connecting to their friends and family, devoting time on their personal hobbies, etc. To better manage time, students can work out a to do task list to plan their days intentionally, learn how to prioritize that is aligned to their goals and start saying No to certain things or give up certain things that may take up a substantial amount of their time. There are many things that we want to do but the reality is there is limited time.

Studying Method. Many parents assume that children know the right method to study properly. Actually, the surprising fact is that the reason why some students work very hard but don’t do well is because that they have used the wrong studying method. For example, some students study as if they are reading a book and hence, they aren’t able to recall the content and their minds draw a blank when sitting for exams. To study effectively, CURP P is a framework that frames how students can study effectively. CURP P (Curb Procrastination) stands for C-Concentrate, U-Understand, R-Remember, P-Practise and P-Procrastination. Calling the framework Curb Procrastination is to leverage on some of the principles of mnemonics- 1) association, 2) making it memorable and 3) abbreviation. The word curb is used because it has a similar sound to curp and the word “curp” does not exist in the first place. Within each component of the framework, there are related interventions. For the component of Remember, repetition and a number of different memory techniques can be used depending on the nature of the content to be remembered. Hence, hard work with the right studying method is a pre-requisite for good grades especially since most schools and tuition centres focus their time on helping students understand the content and doing the practice but may not focus on correcting or teaching the studying method used by students.

Stress. Stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. Stress results in one feeling nervous, angry or frustrated which in turn affects one’s performance during the exams. There are different ways to relieve stress depending on individual’s preference ranging from exercising, taking time out to having mindfulness practices.

Exam Anxiety. For students who suffer from exam anxiety which can be related to stress, they experience moments of intense panic or fear before and/or during exams. Some coping measures include learning relaxation techniques, preparing well for your exams and also dispelling negative thoughts into something constructive.

Approach to answering questions in exams. Exams can sometimes be quite difficult and some students panic when they get stuck in some of the more difficult questions and spend their time trying to solve them which result in them not being able to complete the paper or not getting the marks for the simpler questions in the exam. Hence, students need to develop a strategy of not over committing their time when faced with tough questions and have the discipline to skip these tough questions and move on to the rest. Anyway, one doesn’t need to answer all the questions correctly to get an A.

Parent-Child Relationship. The parent-child relationship plays a huge role and has an impact on student’s grades. A supportive parent-child relationship sees parents being supportive by providing concern and encouraging their children to try their best. Supportive parent-child relationship will see parents assuring their children that as long as they put in their best efforts, they will be proud of them even if the results didn’t match up to expectations. On the other hand, some parents subconsciously create an unhealthy parent-child relationship. Despite their good intentions of wanting to see their children excel in their results, they do not realise that they show unhealthy behaviours such as coercion, creating fear in their interactions with children and showing lots of anxiety result in adding to the tension to the parent-child relationship.