For better or for worse, the academic year is now three-quarters over and done with.
Only Term 4 remains: the term of final preparation, final exams and final judgement (when your results come in). It is the time of the school year when the pressure really ramps up on both you and your parents, regardless of whether you are in lower primary or upper secondary.
It is also the time of the year when a well-planned and well-executed study strategy can prove absolutely crucial. Here is your 5-step guide on how to survive Term 4 and get to the holidays in one piece:
The beginning of the year can feel like such a long time ago, but remember those goals you set for yourself or promised your parents you would try to hit?
Take a long look at them now: do you think you are on track? If not, how far are you away? If it helps you, talk over your academic goals with your parents or teachers. More importantly, ask yourself if you are willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals.
For example, you might already know, in the back of your head, that you should be spending less time playing video games or hanging out with your friends in Term 4 if you are to get enough rest and have enough time to prepare well for your final exams.
But you also don’t want to give up the fun things entirely. This is the balance you have to work out for yourself. You have to decide where your priorities lie and what is more important to you before coming up with a study plan for Term 4.
Very little new content is taught in Term 4. That is because the people who designed your curriculum, and your teachers, intend for you to spend the bulk of your time in the classroom in Term 4 becoming more familiar with what you have learnt in the past three terms.
This is what you do when you consolidate—you take something and add to it to make it stronger or more solid. Term 4 is when you make your grasp of the content for your various subjects stronger or more solid, so you are better prepared for your final examinations.
You should also be looking to consolidate outside of the classroom. Beyond homework and mock exam papers, spend some time going over your notes and past assignments, especially content that was taught a while ago in Term 1 or Term 2 and which might not be as fresh in your mind.
Term 4 is a crucial stretch when you should be actively focusing your attention and efforts on shoring up your weak spots.
The process of consolidating what you have learnt in the past three terms will also help you get a clearer picture of where your specific areas of weakness lie. These could consist of question types, concepts, exam skills, topics or even entire subjects.
And once you are aware of what you need help with, ask for help! That’s what your teachers at The Learning Lab are there for: to fine-tune your exam preparation in a structured and deliberate manner. They will be more than happy to go over certain tricky concepts with you in class or individually, so do not be afraid to come to them with your questions.
To make the best use of your time, you should also talk with both your parents and teachers to devise a sustainable revision plan for the coming weeks.
You do not want to end up at either end of the spectrum, leaving most of the work till too late when there is not enough time to sufficiently prepare yourself, or pushing yourself too hard at the beginning of the term such that you burn out by the time the final exams roll around.
By involving your parents and teachers, you are setting up around yourself a robust support system that will help you strike a balance and stay on track. Allocate some time each week solely for going over past content, and make sure you stick to this routine. You will find that putting in the consistent work greatly lightens your workload in the immediate lead-up to your final exams.
Finally, it’s also important to maintain some perspective as you head into the last stretch of the academic year. There is no point worrying overly about your final examinations—as the saying goes, you can only control what you can control. This applies for both you and your parents!
If you’ve been following the previous four steps, trust in the process and your own hard work that you are doing as much as you can and want to in order to come out the final exams gauntlet in one piece.
Remember to rest and chill out at regular intervals along the way, do the things you like to do and always bear in mind that your studies are important, but they are not everything.
Term 4 can often seem like the most daunting stretch of the year, rife with stressful and pressure situations. But your last stretch does not have to involve last-minute, frenzied revision done in a breathless panic. Good preparation puts you on the path to succeed through consistent work and a healthy balance.
At The Learning Lab, we believe in helping our students establish this balance for themselves, by pairing a rigorous methodology with the flexibility to focus on the needs of each student.
Click here to find out more about how you can get better equipped with the right tools and strategies to tackle Term 4.
Who was the best teacher you ever had? Which mentor immediately stands out as the one who has been most influential and inspirational in your life? This could have been a teacher from primary school, secondary school or junior college. It could be a tutor or even your dance instructor. Whoever it was, your teacher was someone who was an absolute master at helping you learn far more than you ever imagined possible.
Bring to mind a clear image of this remarkable teacher. Hear your teacher’s voice, concentrating on not only its unique cadence and tone but also something they have said that has stuck with you throughout all these years. Feel the inspiration that still lives within you as a result of your relationship with this teacher. Think about the personal qualities this person exuded that commanded your respect and reverence.
As you recall memories of this individual who was such a powerful role model in your life, it is likely that you can identify and list certain personal characteristics that were most memorable. As you review this list of qualities, it may surprise you to realise that very few of these notable attributes have to do with the content of what this teacher taught.
As some of the most influential role models for developing students, teachers are responsible for more than just academic enrichment. If you want to be a great educator, you must connect with your pupils and reach them on multiple levels, because the best teachers are committed to their students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom. By forging strong relationships, educators are able to affect virtually every aspect of their students’ lives, teaching them the important life lessons that will help them succeed beyond term papers and standardized tests.