Study Skills For Exams and For Life

12th May 2022

As the first Semester examinations for Girton students draw near, the explicit teaching of study skills, especially for Year 7 students about to do their first examinations, will be taught to help students study effectively.

Acting Head of Girton Grammar School, Dr Emma O’Rielly, said that a vague goal of general study was ineffective and students need to “learn how to learn”.

“Examination time can be stressful for students, so if we teach them study skills, they tend to feel less overwhelmed by the task ahead of them.

“Our Year 7 students will be taught how to develop a specific weekly study plan. Just like their school timetable, the study plan will include planned breaks.

“When students understand the importance of revising and consolidating their understanding of information, they are generally more motivated to take control of their learning.

“Students will learn about the different learning styles so that they better understand what works for them. They will understand that one day after a lesson, if they do not consolidate their learning, they will have lost between 50% and 80% of what they learned in class,” Dr O’Rielly explained.

First Semester and end of year examinations are conducted at Girton for all students from Year 7 to Year 11. Examination data is used to track student progress between the Semesters and year on year. Coupled with annual general ability testing, student data can measure each student’s learning potential.

“It is essential that students have an opportunity to demonstrate all they have learned through assessment, which is also important for identifying any learning areas where additional support might be needed.

“When teaching study skills, students come to understand that feeling anxious about examinations is natural. They know research confirms that a moderate level of stress helps to energise, motivate, and keep us focused and alert, and build resilience.

“Ultimately, doing the work is the best step students can take to manage feelings of worry about assessments. This means being organised and asking for help well in advance of examination day.

“When our current Year 7 students enter Year 12, they will enjoy the benefit of many years of experience preparing for and sitting examinations, which is a skill set that they will carry through life in many different contexts,” Dr O’Rielly said.