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Mr Tim Webb Weekly Update 19.01.18

  • British International School Hanoi Aid Memoire
  • Global Citizen 4
  • British International School Hanoi
  • British International School Hanoi

The link between BIS Hanoi’s core values and exam performance

There was a collective sigh of relief from our Year 11 and Year 13 BIS Hanoi students, as they completed the last of their written exam papers, this afternoon. The two week trial exam (or mock exam, as the British call them) in January is a demanding and stressful time for BIS Hanoi students, hence the name trial.

It provides an opportunity for students to test their knowledge and skills against a full exam paper in each of their subjects.  When the examiner announces, “you may begin…”, the student is alone with only their preparation, resourcefulness and resilience to lean upon for support.  It can be a daunting experience but one from which students can learn valuable lessons.

The Gap Analysis (Enquiry)

Students should not worry about the grade and instead should focus on the gaps in their knowledge and skills, that the exam paper has revealed.  The lessons, after the exams, when teachers go through each paper, are critical learning moments.  Students should attend these lessons with an open mind, keen to learn from their mistakes.

Evaluation of revision methods (Reflection)

Students should spend some time reflecting on their exam performance in relation to the amount of time they spent revising.  If little time was spent revising and results were poor, the solution is obvious.  However, if students spend a long time revising for each exam but did not get the results they expected, then they should review how they revise.  Perhaps, a conversation with a teacher or other students could help them identify some more effective revision methods.

Avoidance could result in disaster (Integrity)

If results were really bad, there is a temptation to look for excuses.  I wasn’t feeling well.  The paper was harder than usual.  All my friends did badly in these exams.  These excuses might make us feel better but they won’t deal with our poor performance in the future.  If we did not reach our target grade in the trial exams, we have to be honest and accept that we must make changes to improve our chances of performing well in the future.  

What to do if our exam results are unexpectedly bad?

Students must not avoid the truth of poor performance in their trial exams.  Gaining better results in the summer exams will only happen if:
1.    Students address the gaps in their knowledge 
2.    Plan an effective revision schedule using personalised revision methods  
3.    Use their time effectively between February and May to prepare for the real exams.

Perseverance defines a successful BIS Hanoi student

Perseverance is the key to success.  Ultimately, our exam results do not define us but the character we can show in preparing to give our best, when our best is required, is critical to helping form a resilient and mentally tough mindset.  This mindset will help us conquer any challenge that life throws at us.

Mr Tim Webb, Head of Secondary
 

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