What is the popcorn effect? It is a high performance exam technique. It debunks the classic ‘mark a minute’ pressure that students can sometimes feel.
Don’t be disheartened! It may be Christmas and you have to revise while everyone else is having fun, but don’t give up on the possibility that you might actually get down to some quality work among all the distractions on offer. Getting started may not be the mountain you think it is!
“Never give up! Never surrender!”
Exam results can be challenging for everyone. It’s a massive day, with a big build up and usually full of highs and lows. It’s often a public experience getting your grades in front of other students and teachers and it can mean the confirmation of your hard-worked for dreams or deep disappointment when a few marks appear to separate you from the future that you had planned.
How often do we actually stand back and assess the way we are going about things and ask ourselves if this is the best way? This is particularly true of how we study. Many students tell us that they just haven’t been taught how to study. They have been taught what to study and shown how they will be graded on it – but not how to go about learning it in the best possible way.
Focusing on the process of studying rather than the results can improve our motivation, confidence and ultimately our grades.
In our performance coaching and training sessions with students the number one problem that they raise is the issue of procrastination. It is the first thing that comes up when we talk about the barriers to good performance. We find that procrastination is often triggered by one of these thoughts or beliefs:
- “It’s too much” – Leading to overwhelm and shut down.
- “I don’t know where to begin” – Leading to making another beautiful revision plan/ essay plan/ career plan etc.
- “I don’t need to start yet, there’s still plenty of time” – Leading to putting off the start time all together.
Or how students can boost their performance by doing less work.
Yes we really mean it, revision doesn’t always mean more and more hard work. Most of the students that come to us for coaching are in fact ‘overworking’. For some, the idea that it is possible to ‘over-work’ in the run up to exams makes no sense whatsoever. However, many students are doing just this and bringing down their overall exam performances as a result.
These are the revision and exam tips and techniques that students have given us. This is their advice and what has worked for them:
“Visualising myself in the exam and imagining myself doing well and handling anything that comes up. I did this again and again and it really helped when I got in there!”
“I didn’t listen to other students when they complained about how much work they were or weren’t doing. I knew that non of that really affected me.”
Feeling stressed changes our thinking. This is important to remember when we are trying to help students who are under pressure.
Parents can help by:
- Allowing your child space to talk.
- Actively practice not interrupting and not giving advice.
- Slow your own stress responses down.
- Help explore the way they are risk assessing.
- Be steady, open and responsive.
▪Seek to understand your child’s problems
▪Your understanding of their problems enables your child’s understanding of their problems.
▪By listening we create a ‘thinking environment’.
▪By listening you enable them to think for themselves.
▪By enabling them to think for themselves you build their confidence.
Learn from Sherlock Holmes how to manage social anxiety. His observational skills help us move from a self-referential to an objective view of the world. Continue reading