David Boddy

What To Do About Poor Mock Exam Results

David Boddy, Senior Consultant for in-home tutoring company, Tutor Doctor, offers insights to ease parent anxiety about education in the school and home

Q: My son’s GCSE Mock results are shocking. He spent hours studying, or so it seemed and now I am really worried he has left it too late. He is bright but distracted. Help please.

A: It is late, but not too late so long as something happens now. Key to his recovery will be his motivation and ability to concentrate. He can be helped with both.

You are not the first parent to be bewildered by how little positive came from hours in the study room. One of my sons put in the hours alright, only to miss all his predicted grades. In the heart to heart afterwards he admitted that he had spent the hours writing love poems to his girlfriend. What should I do? Blast him, or love him into a new spirit of endeavour? I told him: “Plenty wonderful books of love poems to show for it. So, tuck them away, get out your revision notes and now give them as much attention as you have been giving her.” It worked a treat.

Show you are on his side, help him clear the distractions and make sure his study and revision methods are first class. Work through a clear study timetable. Study in 90-minute sessions, with breaks between. Mornings and early evenings are best. Boys find it nearly impossible to study in the afternoons. Don’t scrimp on daily exercise and ensure he sleeps well, getting to bed around 10.30pm. Let his evening meal be light and nourishing. There’s time in the mornings too if he gets up before the exhausting dreams take over. Above all, never lose faith that he can do it, and make sure he knows it. The power of positive belief will pull him through.

The Easter holiday period offers a great chance to make significant progress, either with home tutoring or at one of the many booster-study programmes on offer.

Mocks are designed to ‘shock’; they seem to have provided the necessary wake-up call. If he can heed it, and get focussed now, he can still reach his potential.

Tutor Doctor is an in-home tutoring company serving Central & West London, providing support to families facing educational challenges. David Boddy holds regular free Webinars tackling study skills and revision techniques. Follow Tutor Doctor on Facebook to register for the next one.

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