Combatting the Problems of Assessment

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13+ exam (Common Entrance) By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: 13+ exam (Common Entrance)
Last updated: 19/01/2018
Tags: assesment, confidence, exams, how tutoring can help, nurturing confidence

In school, as in life, how we feel about ourselves, our progress, and even our worth, is largely a question of what we're thinking. If we constantly think about negative things, most people feel down. If we think about positive things, we feel better. We know, this. After all, how many people search Google for photos of cute puppies and kittens when they feel low?

Our system of assessment in education means that almost every student focuses continually on things that are 'bad', 'wrong', or a whole host of other negative things. For example, if a child or teenager achieves 85% in a test and many of their peers achieve 95%, the former is often seen as a 'bad' mark. Yet the 85% that the first student gained is only given cursory notice. Only 100% is a 'perfect' mark.

In some subjects however, particularly the arts, achieving 100% is impossible as the mark is highly subjective. The result of repeated 'low marks', even for an intelligent student, is a slow erosion of self-confidence and self-esteem. This often has the result of lowering marks even further, and a vicious cycle commences.

Most teachers will try to combat this, but they have a limited amount of influence, with classes of 30 students, against the tide of judgement coming from outside the classroom: peers, family, family friends, the government, and various other media.

An antidote is required and, thankfully, is simple and easy to administer, either by a tutor, or a family member that the student trusts and can work with. A student's attention can be continuously brought to bear on the areas where they are succeeding. No matter how small, there is always something. As the student focuses on them, more and more areas will appear. A refocusing process occurs, where an awareness is kept of areas that need work, but the student now acknowledges areas that are going well.

With the right approach, any student can do well in any subject and, more importantly, have confidence in themselves, their intelligence, and their abilities.

Olivia FVE A-level Chemistry Tutor (Sutton)

About The Author

I studied Chemistry at the University of Oxford, graduating in 2016 with a 2.1. I play and teach violin and viola, and tutor Maths and all three Sciences. In tutoring, I help my students find answers themselves, helping both understanding and recall.

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