Should National Curriculum teachers rethink the way they guide students?
Every student in the national program takes the ordeal of board exams, but college is a unique agony since we are supposed to prepare for the HSC exams and college admission tests simultaneously, in less than two year. Teachers are supposed to play the most important role in helping us pursue this exhausting dichotomous preparation, but they often fail to do so.
The HSC exams are a stepping stone to public university admission tests. Preparing for the HSC exams covers the basics, but preparing for admissions is an elaborate and tactical process. Students need to be engaged from the start.
In many colleges, teachers ignore teaching subjects that are unlikely to appear in board exams, even though they are highly relevant for admission tests, because they think that students are going to how to learn them during their admission phase. In this phase, however, you are buried under many relatively new subjects to study and it becomes difficult to pay attention to skipped lessons that are two years overdue.
Some middle school teachers emphasize crafting answers, even when they’re irrelevant, to accommodate the board’s skewed grading system. From writing 15 pages of essays, answering over-the-top creative questions, to deliberately describing mathematical processes that could have been solved in four lines, we’ve done it all. Encouraging this in the classroom leaves students wishing to study at public institutions ill-prepared for what they can expect from admissions tests.
Aside from the fairness of it all, entrance exams test a student’s ability to solve problems in the allotted time and their ability to perform well under pressure, not their ability to lengthen answers.
Truth be told, teachers often take little initiative in classrooms to point out good-to-know strategies or tips for admissions tests. Students are forced to turn to private lessons or coaching for guidance. Rather than focusing solely on the exam patterns on the board, teachers, after teaching the traditional methods, should teach effective and quick tactical approaches to answering questions. The board committee should also reassess its approved evaluation criteria.
Currently, teaching methods often rely too much on tests as teaching material. Proofs are meant to give students an idea of how the questions on the board work, but they are often unreliable due to inaccuracies in the published answers. Teachers and students are therefore scrambling to finish solving the tests in the last days before the HSC.
Once the HSC exams are completed, admissions test preparations require students to deconstruct the approach they have perfected over the past two years, to create and adopt completely new ones in the space of three to only four months.
If teachers provide suggestions during class on the balance of preparations and guide aspiring students from the start of college, keeping this dichotomy in mind, it would alleviate unnecessary pressure and difficulty for students.
Nuzha forgives people for mispronouncing her name and wallows in books and anxiety. Remind him to calm down at [email protected]