Time Management for Selective and Scholarship Preparation

Time management is a vital skill when preparing for and during the Selective School exams. For kids to qualify for Selective schools or Scholarships, parents need to help their kids to prepare well by managing their daily activities.

A lot of time management issues manifest in form of disorganisation, confusion, and frustration of the student. It is therefore important for parents to understand the strategies that they can implement to overcome these challenges. These issues are real and can accumulate making the parent feel helpless, powerless and develop a defeatist attitude.

Some common myths and misconceptions that I would like to point out are that some students believe in luck. They believe that the grades are out of their control, and a measure of natural intelligence. This is not true. You are greatly responsible for your grades. A major determinant of your grades is obviously how much work you put into your preparation. It is therefore important to adequately prepare for the tests by managing your time well, both at home and at the coaching centres.The constituents of a good time management plan

There are six broad categories of a good time management plan. We will discuss how we can remove time drainers by focusing on priorities and goals using time management tools, determining your limits, and prioritising and optimising your environment.

1.Determine priorities and goals

There are two main exams; the Selective schools’ exams and the scholarship exams. These two are different in terms of what they assess. Scholarship exams primarily focus on English and writing while Selective school exams focus on the marks allocated. There is an anticipation that TSA will be challenging and the focus will be on English rather than math, which has been the major focus in the old exams. This means that reading comprehension will be much more difficult than in the previous exams.

To prepare well for these tests, students are required to determine their priorities, strengths, and weaknesses. Parents should have a clear image of their children’s strengths and weaknesses by observing scores in the trial tests to put more effort into the areas where they have struggles. They have a great role in determining what will be helpful for their children to yield great results by prospectively planning their children’s preparation schedule. Because the preparation time for the Selective Schools exams is usually short, parents have to take responsibility for their children’s coaching classes.

2.Remove any time drainers or distractions

The time drainers and distractors are mostly internet programs. You can use the POMODORO technique to address this challenge by organising your time on a task. You can use apps like forests to manage your child’s time. To block distractive programs, use website blocking programs. These programs will help you stay focused by putting a time limit on destructive websites. This is good for productivity. Remember also not to overwhelm the kids with too much study. Make sure you set ample time for them to relax. Never compromise your child’s sleep to save more time for study. Sleep is very important as it determines memory consolidation especially on the week leading to the exam.

3.Time blocking and use time management tools

Time blocking is the act of dedicating an amount of time to do a particular task. If your kid easily gets distracted while studying, you can use effective applications like forests to help them remain focused. When you allocate time for a particular task, make sure it is neither too long nor too short. If students are allocated 30 minutes in a writing task for ample, it is important to set the time limit a little lower while practicing to help them manage their time well during the actual exam. This limits anxieties and worries during the exam. One of the ways to manage your kid’s time is to use a self-made single sheet time table organiser like a Google Calendar. For those kids who love leisure activities, you can make them write up a to-do list and set an amount of time to do each task. If you manage your kid’s time well, they will get some time to relax. Remember to stick to one method to avoid confusion.

4. Know your limits and prioritise ruthlessly

You need to focus on what your kid can do in a day. Let them not think about the past exams. The focus is on planning and prioritising for the best outcome.
Remember, perfectionism hinders progress. Some kids may love math and only
focus on math while leaving other important things like improving English,
compromising other sections. Students should focus more on their weak points. The
kids should not multitask, but rather focus on handling one task at a time. 

5. Prioritizing tasks

There are two strategies, the Eisenhower matrix strategy, where after the children have decided on what to do, they can schedule tasks depending on the hardness of the tasks. In the second method, the kids need to prioritize a task by putting a star next to the most important task. By the end of the day, make sure they finish the tasks.

6. Optimise your environment.

A good study environment should be quiet, clean, and well organised. There should be access to a time manager and planning tools like google sheets. Nowadays, children have good access to technology, making them the first thinkers. Allow them to use technology to access important information and conduct vital research.

7. Mistake’s book

This is a book where children record mistakes from past trial questions. By recording the mistakes, they can follow up and reflect on how to prevent the mistakes from recurring.

When you are planning, make sure you focus on the outcomes and the results. Plot your course prospectively to ensure that your kid achieves the best possible outcome. Taking the right direction and strategy saves time. Remember every child is unique and so you should think carefully about which tips are best suited to your child.

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