4 Common Performance Setbacks in Exams

performance setbacks

On track or far off course? As a parent, can you help your child turn those academic performance setbacks into performance comebacks?

A poor academic report can mean many things from lack of understanding of concepts to inadequate preparation, anxiety and so much more.  Understanding your child and the specific performance setbacks will help you not only deal with the dreaded report, but also help your child overcome these hurdles for better results.

Getting exam results can be a stressful time, especially, if results are poor. This can also lead to tension between parents & their children. As we might be aware, the Gen Z’s find it much more challenging to reach out for help, and usually are able to more effectively hide or mask their true emotions. Watch this insightful YouTube video by Simon Sinek.

Major performance setbacks in exams

I have listed some major performance setbacks, which can be looked at to get a deeper understanding of what potentially is impacting academic performance negatively.

1. Lack of structure

The teenage mind can sometimes find it difficult to plan, strategize and implement processes to allow them to be effective in academic performance.  In some schools, goal setting, and scheduling is taught, however, only once off, which makes it challenging for students to implement.

From my experience now working with hundreds of students, Life Orientation, the subject where things like this is shared, is often perceived overall as something of little value.

Key actions that can help is to hold the child’s hand and help them effectively plan with weekly schedules, and academic goal setting, especially for exams, and in general.

If you are uncertain as to how to help, or it is challenging for your child to take instruction from you, then get the help of a tutor or coach. Something that I have found extremely useful related to process development is a podcast based on the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.

2. Managing students screen time & social media

Social media addiction is a very real thing, for both adults and teenagers. Teens, however are more prone, given their relationship with technology, and that their brains are still more in the developmental stages.

The effects can be extremely damaging, and long lasting, with issues such as depression, anxiety, and dopamine depletion syndrome.

If you know that your child lacks the mental & emotional maturity to manage screentime, read this article. As parents, we are capable (and somewhat responsible for) of improving student wellness & performance.

3. Ensuring adequate rest

Another key performance setback is related to quality and adequate amount of sleep, which ties into technology. We are all using our devices later, and longer, which studies show can severely affect sleep, thereby affecting mood, concentration, and physiological processes. Click here for more information.

To manage sleep better try:

  • a monitoring app – found to be very effective.
  • to ensure the blue screen filter is turned on, if they absolutely have to use their devices at night. Blue light at night is shown in clinical studies to impact the quality of sleep.

4. Browsing through past exam practice without considering exam conditions

This a very common performance setback, especially in Maths & Physics.. For better or worse, students are required to perform under pressure, and time constraints. Many students dread this, and it can cause a great degree of angst.

The solution to this is easy and effective: students must practice consistently using previous exam papers, under exam conditions.

More reasons why your child has performed poorly in exams

This is by no means a comprehensive list of performance setbacks, however, from my experience as a tutor for 10 years now, these are major derailers, which, when addressed can lead to greater performance, and more importantly, student wellness.

Easy as Pi equips students with the skills and tools to thrive in the school environment, from a mental, emotional, and academic perspective. Contact them today for:

  • Maths & Physics Tuition
  • Private Tuition
  • Exam Prep (dedicated grade classes)
  • Mental skills and coaching: teens mindfulness
  • Mental skills and coaching: red to blue coaching.

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Udersh Mahesh

Udersh Mahesh

Udersh S. Mahesh is an engineer, coach, lifestyle optimizer, yoga instructor, mindfulness facilitator and entrepreneur. He has 9 years of experience in guiding Matric students in effectively navigating their year. His vision is to contribute to creating a world of empowered individuals with a deep sense of purpose that is aligned to their highest values. He is the founder of Easy as Pi and Entheos Wellness, 2 sister organizations that focus on equipping people with tools to thrive.

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