There’s one thing that every student should do after every exam paper they sit, essay they write or assignment they complete.
Now I warn you, it’s not glamorous, and sometimes it can actually be downright depressing.
But it’s something that the best students do and it’s something that I still see so many students NOT doing.
And that means they’re missing out on a huge practical and very specific learning opportunity that they can apply in their future assessments.
This one thing is reviewing and dissecting IN DETAIL the feedback (not just the grade) they get when it’s handed back and compare it to the marking guide.
So let me back track a little on everything I just said and break it all down.
Firstly, here’s why so many students don’t do it.
Reason Number one – they don’t see the point.
If they got a good result then they’re happy and they just wanna bask in the glory for a little while. They don’t see the need to go back with a fine toothed comb because they think ‘I did well, so I don’t need to’.
Of course the whole point in this case, is we want to identify WHY they did well, so they can replicate that in future.
Plus, we still want to identify any areas where there COULD still be improvement, because of course, what gets an A or a B in one year group, won’t still get that grade in the next.
Reason Number two – they got a disappointing or not so great result, and they just don’t wanna dwell on it.
I get it.
Why would we wanna spend even more time and effort on something we’ve already given quite a bit of that to, to then focus in on those things that are the reason we got that poor result?
It’s rubbing salt into the wound!
But of course, that’s exactly what we need to do.
It’s one of the key ways we can ensure we improve on it next time.
That’s what I meant by it can be a bit painful or depressing, but students have to focus on the positives of this exercise – of how, if they’d changed that, or left that out, or added in this instead then it would’ve achieved this criteria because…
Which leads us to…
Reason number 3 – they don’t know HOW to review and dissect their work.
Maybe they don’t REALLY understand what the teacher means in the feedback.
Or they know what it means, but don’t know how they’d act on it.
For example, I had a great email and video discussion with a parent and student recently where they’d had multiple teachers say things along the lines of – “she needs to expand her writing” and they were like: Okay – how do I do that?
And what does that really mean?
So I had to (and loved to!) explain exactly what that meant and precisely HOW it could be done.
Also in this third reason (they don’t know how to review and dissect strategically) is the situation where perhaps there is very little teacher feedback.
Or, just as frustrating – they’re not allowed to keep their work to be able to review it.
In these cases, your teen needs to be extra pro-active and ask the teacher to sit with them for 10 mins and review it with them.
So, yes – there are a lot of reasons that students are put off or struggle to do this.
But because it’s using specific questions and their own written answers, it’s not just trying to grapple with general ideas or advice, so it’s a fantastic way to stop making the same mistakes over again, and be able to level-up their future answers and responses in future.
If you’d like me to help your teen dissect an essay or assignment or exam question they’ve had returned, then feel free to send it through to me 🙂
If they’re in any of my memberships or trainings, then I’ll be able to work on it with them, and even if they’re not, then I might just be able to use it as a case study exemplar for others, and if so, would love to review it with them 🙂
Now, until next week, let’s make this a fantastic week!