Saturday, February 16, 2019

Exams: The Cool, Calm and Confident Way

Exams: The Cool, Calm and Confident Way

Cool, calm and confident is not often words fitting to a student preparing to sit exams. And those that do fit this description... well, we sometimes worry that they’re just ‘playing it’ that way!

However, we all want teens to have a positive experience in the lead-up to examinations. This doesn’t mean there won’t be stress; this doesn’t mean there were be pressure. But it does mean that we want teens to feel as comfortable as they can each time they enter that exam hall!

The way to achieve cool, calm and confident exam candidates is to be well prepared! Students who revise effectively and sustainably will see results. Part of exam confidence comes from feeling secure in knowledge and strategy (like anything we, as adults, feel confident in, right?)


One way to boost your child’s confidence significantly is to sign them up to one of our revision courses. Our courses cover key revision subjects for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher. With us, your teen has the chance to revise in small, focussed groups, guided by fantastic subject specialists.

We offer an ‘Easter School,’ which is prime time (on the calendar) for accelerating revision! The Easter Holidays are a crucial time for intense revision before the exams get underway, so we provide classes across a variety of subjects. Teens who attend this type of course gain a real boost in confidence, knowing that they have studied in a setting that is purposeful, relevant and perfectly timed! It’ll do wonders for a positive mind-set.



Optimism will also go a long way. Encouragement from you, as a parent and a guardian, will be massive…regardless of whether your teen seems to appreciate it or not! Knowing that they have your full backing will have a positive impact on a teen- and should hopefully help them feel calmer and more reassured during their challenging exam year!

Our courses focus students’ attention on revision, they also give them a structure to follow, while practising exam style questions. Easter revision courses have a significant positive impact on performance.


And whilst teens are normally quite renowned for ‘playing it cool,’ the lead up to exam season can cause some teens to experience differing levels of anxiety or fear. This can be hard to witness as a parent or guardian, and it’s going to be a time where resilience is much needed for your youngster! Your teen will benefit from utilising support and resources readily available to them, such as our revision courses; teachers; support staff or the wealth of materials online.

In addition to this, if you have genuine concerns about any highly anxious behaviour from your child, seek support as soon as you can. There are plenty of services out there who would be able to help- and you might be able to identify and solve issues before they inflict on your child’s examination days.

Hopefully, however, your child will be of the many who- despite nerves and wanting to do their very best- will feel a sense of sureness walking into their exam hall!

Revision courses more popular than ever with limited spaces - check availability now

Click here to find out more about our Glasgow Easter School 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine’s Gift: Confessions of the Pain, Joy, and Love of Teaching

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today’s show is different. I share some stories of insults, struggles, mistakes, and joys of teaching. The hope is that you’ll be encouraged, not feel alone, and remember why we do this profession. These are my stories digging back many years in some cases of the things that have changed my view and made me a better teacher – even when they were hard. Teaching, your job is so important. I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day! (Note: This episode is a little longer than usual but it just didn’t feel right to cut it in half.)

For over 30 years, Advancement Courses has been a leader in professional development, providing expertly-crafted, classroom-applicable courses to thousands of teachers across the country. They offer over 200 graduate-level courses in 19 different subject areas covering both foundational topics and emerging trends in K-12 education. Their flexible, self-paced courses are available for graduate credit through CAEP and regionally accredited university partners or for continuing education units that meet your state requirements. Right now, my listeners can save 20% off each course with code COOL20 at Advancement Courses.

Listen to the Show

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. Regardless, I only recommend products that I would recommend anyway. There is no additional cost to you, however, if you do not wish to support this blog in such a way or want to support your local bookstore, I recommend that you do so. 

The post Valentine’s Gift: Confessions of the Pain, Joy, and Love of Teaching appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Mind Set just before an Exam

Mind Set just before an Exam

Before great sporting events, athletes tell of things that motivate and prepare them for the challenging event ahead. Mentally, sportspeople have scenes, routines or images in their head to spur them on- and the same thought process can be useful for a teenager taking an exam!

Queuing up outside an exam hall can be uncomfortable. There’s the hum of tension, as well as teenagers trying to play it cool when they might be truthfully anxious inside. Some students like to use the opportunity for some very last minute cramming, whilst others try to chat with their friends to take their mind off of things!

But is there a ‘right’ thing to think about before an exam? What might be a good thing to think about before an exam?

Your child might want to remind themselves of their previous preparation- whether that was in the classroom, at our revision courses or during revision at home. How well prepared your teen is for a topic tends to dictate their levels of confidence. Therefore, it can be encouraging to think of some of the topics coming up in the exam ahead- and dwell on the aspects they feel most secure in.

With preliminary exams later this month, it’s the perfect chance to put your child’s knowledge to the test. If your teen finds themselves ‘wobbling’ or ‘panicking’ prior to walking into the exam hall, signing up to our revision courses might be the boost of extra confidence and revision that they need, to know that they’ll feel more confident come the summer exams!

Your teen could also remember their ‘best.’ Perhaps there was a paper they did really well in during a practise? Perhaps they’ve previously taken an exam and done well? It can be good for your teen to think of some of their top achievements (it doesn’t even have to be school related!) and enter the exam hall feeling ready to smash yet another great accomplishment.

Talking of which, it’s good for your teen to consider exams as ‘a challenge’ - rather than a threat! If your child is of a competitive nature, they could try and motivate themselves before the exam by thinking how much they want to beat any previous turns at this exam- and succeed!

Perhaps your child might even feel able to conjure up positive images or stories in their minds. As they’re waiting to take their seat, perhaps your teen could visualise the ‘finishing line’ of the exam: they could visualise doing well in the exam, answering the questions, finishing the paper.... opening up an envelope to great results. However far your teen wants to take it, a positive visualisation can really benefit their mind-set and mood before entering the exam.

And finally, encourage your teen to focus on themselves in this snapshot moment of time. It doesn’t matter who they’re sitting next to, what their friends’ predicted grades are, what another person is best at... it’s all about your teen and what they’re capable of. By channelling their focus, your teen can hopefully begin their exam with a positive frame of mind and maximum motivation!

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