Most students love the fast way to gain marks.
Done right, it’s the lowest hanging fruits for them. Their marks will soar like an eagle. Within a very short period of time.
(We have seen a kid who got 88.5, a big jump from 60+ within 2 months. One child even got 90 for the first time.
There are others, who used to fail Paper 1, scored almost full marks for it. Awesome!)
But ‘Lowest hanging fruits’ technique if done wrong – like most students during exam – and many marks are lost.
‘What makes this method so effective for these kids who had done them right?’
Here are some fast tips these students shared with me.
1. The 5-step proven process we taught them in our coaching lessons helped a lot. They are now able to tackle most of the questions in a very systematic way.
It now made those hard ones manageable.
2. Even if they get nervous during exams, they always know that they need to start off by highlighting keywords, This will eventually lead them to the answers.
3. The students believe that they will have time to check their exam papers. By writing the statements or key words neatly and clearly, they are able to spend no more than 1 minute per question to quickly check their answers and accurately spot their mistakes before submission.
One child said these tricks had helped her ‘save at least 10 to 15 marks’ because she followed what we taught her in our lessons.
4. They were always trying different (creative) ways to find new openings to the answer. They were always thinking of the next possible step.
The magic lies in here. These kids never give up. They just want to solve and tackle it by themselves no matter what.
‘Do your child show such positive behavior at home?’
If yes, Congratulations. With the right techniques, your child is going to do well eventually.
Once they are able to solve the hard questions without any help, their confidence will rise by a few times. The other ‘difficult’ questions became easier for them.
5. One child told us the extra homework she asked from us help her a big deal. It’s another 1 to 2 questions per day.
‘I prefer to do your homework. It’s more enjoyable.’
This also explains why she improved by 20+ marks in such a short time!
6. Most students shared the support from their parents is also one of the main reasons why they felt they had done well.
‘You’re responsible for your own result. No one else.’ Their parents always told them this. Sometimes, even daily.
(Good old teaching which my late grandmother always told me.)
Out of these 6 tips, you realised this ‘lowest hanging fruit’ method is one of the most effective methods to gain marks.
In fact, this is the formula to do well:
Increase in Self-confidence + Right attitude + Right techniques = BIG improvement
Solving the questions the right way at home becomes so automatic for these kids such that it’s the same for them in school too.
This explains why they also perform well in exams.
This week I will reveal more on the right techniques.
P.S. We have been receiving many enquiries on how you and your child can learn the right learning skills.
Here are the details for our holiday programme. Our students pick up good learning techniques here.
Definitely useful for children who are willing to work hard and are keen to learn.
1. For students who need maths coaching
2. Good for students who want science coaching
3. Parents workshop (last run on 31/5, Sunday)
I’ve decided to do up a post about this after many parents have consulted us about the use of top school exam papers since their children have 4 weeks of school holidays soon.
My answer to them is “Yes”, only if you are very clear of these 2 things:
– Your purpose (Your Why)
– Your child’s Maths standard.
Caution: Not knowing your ‘Why’ may result in drop in performance or some children disliking math even more.
So use them with extreme care.
(Part 2 of our 7-part “Exam Smart Skills” series)
There are 5 common ‘Whys’ parents buy top school papers. See if any of this matches yours. 😉
1. I want my child to be exposed to more (difficult) questions.
2. I have a great plan to help my child speed up.
3. I want my child to have a feel of being able to complete Paper 1 and 2. And if he can’t, I can find out why.
4. Because my friends said it’s good. So I bought them too.
5. I’m a busy parent. So it’s easy for me to keep my child occupied while I’m at work. (Just 3 sets a day can keep him busy the whole day)
If you’re a parent who belongs to group #1, 2 or 3, Congratulations.
You really understand your child’s needs and you have a better study plan. 😀
Next, how should one go about maximizing the use of top school exam papers?
(*In fact, as you are reading this, you realised our study tips can be applied to both Maths and Science.)
* * *
#1. ‘I want my child to be exposed to more (difficult) questions.’
If you know your child’s standard, you can choose questions related to specific topics, concepts of certain difficulty level. You need not start from the 1st question of Paper 1 and end off with the last question of Paper 2 like everybody else.
For example, your child may be weak in division of fractions or you would like your child to work on Angles questions. All you need is to choose related questions. It could be from the same paper or from multiple sets of papers from different schools.
Do start off with easier questions such as those in MCQ section. Then you can pick other questions of various difficulty level – ranging from short answer questions to long questions. This is to help build your child’s confidence.
* * *
#2. ‘I have a great plan to help my child speed up’
If your aim is to train your child to speed up, you will need to time him while he is working through the problems sums. The best way is to sit with him during the entire process so that you can observe him and how he manages the questions.
Take note of these 2 aspects:
a. The type of questions he is good at solving. How long did he take? Under a minute?
b. His response when he faces a difficult problem. What did he do? Did he panic or feel disheartened? How long did he take before he moves on to next question?
As an encouraging adult, we should praise the child for the fact that he is determined to solve those harder questions. By telling the child that he is “slow” or “always not being to solve such simple questions” is not helpful and can hurt his self esteem.
Let your child know that on average, one mark is equivalent to spending one minute to secure this one mark. For instance, a child is given only 1 minute to solve a 1-mark question. Likewise for a 4-mark long answers questions, remind your child to spend at most 4 to 5 minutes to solve it.
If he’s still stuck at the 5th minute, all he could spare is another 2-3 minutes. After which, he must move on to the next question.
By following this guideline, your child will be more time conscious and his speed will eventually increase.
* * *
#3. ‘I want my child to have a feel of being able to complete Paper 1 and 2. And if he can’t, I can find out why.’
If your aim is to for your child to go through the motion of exam-taking by sitting for mock papers, do space out the practice schedule. Attempting to complete 1 set of SA and CA papers per day for 7 days straight is definitely an overkill.
A healthy arrangement is to have one to two rest days in between. Or you can get your child to try out Paper 1 on day 1 and Paper 2 on day 3.
To sum up, it’s common that most parents would prefer their children to at least try solving questions from top school exam papers. However, not knowing that the questions are too difficult for their children can make them lose confidence and even fear Maths.
Knowing your ‘Why’ before using top school papers is very important. I can’t stress it enough.
Don’t use them simply because other said it’s good or it’s a good way to fill your child’s time.
Use them wisely.
In Part 3, I will reveal more study tips on how to use other tools wisely.
It’s the fastest way you can help your child to secure marks.
We call this the ‘Lowest hanging fruits’ method.
P.S. For more workshop details, here are the pages.
1. For students who need maths coaching
2. Good for students who want science coaching
Here is Making Maths Look So Effortless [Part 1 of 7]
We did ask a few students who improved by at least 10-20 marks within 2-3 months.
(Another mom just whatapps us. Her girl scored 46 out of 60 for paper 2.
A BIG jump in grades since she first came.)
‘What make it seem so effortless?’
Here are some fast tips I have gathered.
(Part 1 of our 7-part “Exam Smart Skills” series)
1. The 11 concepts we taught them helped a lot. They are now able to see the problems sums as easy concepts rather than “difficult” questions.
2. The thought processes and system we taught them helped develop good learning habits. Most children shared that they had no proper “system” of solving the problem sums before joining our lessons.
Now with the KCNSU 5-step process, they are able to solve problem sums and direct questions in a very orderly way.
If you wonder what kind of thought process these students use, check out our “101 must-know direct questions” guide book
3. They work hard constantly. Though we gave them only 1 question a day as homework, these children did more than what we gave them. Such positive learning behavior is a tell-tale sign that their grades are going to eventually skyrocket.
4. The parents play a BIG part. They are always very supportive and encouraging. They trust their children are going to benefit from our programme.
They make their children accountable for their own success. These are the good old traditional values of our grandparents. (“Work hard for yourself; No one else to blame.”)
5. They check their work. Always. This is one of the key factors which determine how well they do in school. They always check their work, be it school work, our work or their answers in exams.
‘The more you check, the more you score.’
Those, who took our teachings seriously, did well in school too.
6. They always ask questions when in doubt. In our Asian culture, asking questions may give other people a perception that they are not that smart. So we realised not many children ask questions even in schools.
A boy told us, ‘I like asking questions here. I don’t feel that I’m slow.’
For those children who eventually ask questions in our class, they are beginning to learn more. As a result, their eyes and minds open up. It also shows their self-esteem is going up. 🙂
Out of these 6 tips, you realised ‘effortlessness’ come from daily consistent action with good learning habits.
This week I will reveal more.
P.S. Here is the workshop details that many parents have been asking for.
For students who need maths coaching
Good for those who want science coaching
Our students pick up good learning habits here.
Definitely useful for children who are keen to learn and are willing to work hard.