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Help! A Poor Result in the First Year 7 Mathematics Examination

Your child did their first Mathematics examination in high school and they do not do so well. Don't be too worried. This video gives 3 concepts to think about when this happens:

1. Inexperience

2. Reassurance

3. Use it as a Learning Activity.


Good morning! This is Jason Ursino from Learning Space and I'm driving to school.

Today, I'm going to be talking about something specific and that is when your son or daughter has their Year 7 exam and in their first Year 7 exam, they don’t do so well. This is quite common. I can talk particularly for Mathematics, that it’s very common that students who are capable and students who are very good at maths don't really show that in their first maths exam. So, today I'm going to be talking about the 3 things to think about when this happens.

The first thing is inexperience. When you do a maths exam, it's just not about knowing the content. There’s a lot of other exam techniques that students need to know and learn how to do along the way. Things like timing, reading questions properly, showing working correctly, these sorts of things are not very evident when a student does a maths test for the first time. So, especially that Term 1 test in Year 7, we see a lot of students that don't perform very well, not because they don't know their maths, but because of simply inexperience for the exam.

Second thing is the reassurance, this is all good news. From my experience there is not a strong correlation between kids with their first exam mark for Year 7 and what they end up getting in the HSC. I have seen students who got something like 30 something percent in their first test in Year 7 and end up doing very well in Maths throughout high school. I have even seen one student in particular who got something like 35% in their Task 1 for Year 7 and in their Yearly Exams in Year 7 got 85% so a huge difference not because their maths has dramatically improved but because they just become a little bit better with doing exams.

The third thing is to take the task more as a learning task or a learning activity rather than an assessment activity. What I mean about that is once a student has a go at the maths test and gets a feeling what it's like with the clock ticking in front of them, in absolute silence doing this exam, once they understand that, they can go home and reenact the whole situation. So what they can do is, they can pick up some past papers and at home they can do the same thing. Emulate the entire situation. Get a clock in front of them, don't be disturb for however long the test is, and sit down and do the test properly. Do that a few times. Get the practice. So not only do you have to practise the maths for the content you should also practise the exam technique.

And what you'll find, with those 3 things in mind, you will then find that your son or daughter will become better at exams and you'll see those results improve dramatically.

So those 3 things were; the first one was just the inexperience, keep the inexperience in mind. The second one is that reassurance because we’ve seen in the past that there is not a strong correlation between their mark in Year 7 and their HSC mark. And finally, take it as a learning activity. So they’re the 3 things. Now if you like my videos you can always find them at and have a good day. See you later.

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