Last week we sent our Year 12 students off to their study time before Unas (national) exams, which happen this week. Speaking with them I shared that, I don’t believe in “good luck”…
They’ve studied hard for many years, they’ve practiced multiplied times for this exam specifically and they’ve demonstrated that they can be successful students many times over, so why do they need luck? The answer is, they don’t!
Really, luck isn’t something that we should be encouraging our kids to rely on, or even think about, in the first place. It’s as though we’re telling them that their results are out of their control and up to fate, ouch! So when I spoke with our students the other day I reminded them of the things that they had in their control over the next few days before their exams, the things they could still do to help themselves.
First off, when I spoke with them it was Wednesday afternoon so they still had a little time left to practice, review and cram the last bits of knowledge into their heads. Hopefully by this point they have studied and practiced enough. They’ve been learning everything they need to know for a long time and with only a few days to go they should be building their confidence by reviewing the content and affirming their knowledge for themselves. They should know what they need to know by now…luck won’t help them!
Secondly, they can prepare their bodies for this upcoming week by being physically and mentally healthy. Getting enough sleep is essential for teenagers and not just the night before an exam. Our students should have healthy sleep routines that allow them the eight hours necessary for their brains to clear the toxins out each night and ready their brains for learning. If they’ve not yet developed these habits they can at least get a few solid nights of sleep leading up to the big day. A rested body and mind will provide them with the energy and ability to focus that no amount of luck can match.
The final step that our Year 12 students should focus on, instead of luck, is how they approach the actual exam itself. By preparing, studying and getting the ideal amount of rest, our students can set themselves up for success. On the day of the exam, however, nerves can really destroy even the most well-prepared student. I’ve shared with our Year 12 students, on multiple occasions now, that nerves are normal and healthy. However, when it comes to nerves we have to work to ensure that they don’t consume us. So, when our Year 12s enter their exam room today they need to find their seat, close their eyes, identify their nerves and acknowledge them. Once they’ve settled their mind and realized, “okay, I’m nervous and that’s normal,” then they can set those nerves aside and focus on the task at hand. No amount of luck will make nerves go away, but acknowledging them and setting them to the side will allow the preparation to take over and lead the way to success.
Our students are ready, they should be confident and eager to prove that their hard work and preparation has paid off. I left them the other day with these three tips and hopefully the confidence to excel this week, and…just in case they don’t buy what I’m selling…a wish of “good luck” 🙂