Improving mindset to conquer exams: The smart decision successful pupils make

What are the most important elements for exam success? Practice? Repetition? Revision? A good memory? No doubt these are key skills when it comes to taking an exam, but did you know that a positive mindset is also essential for exam success?

The power of thought

The power of positive thinking is nothing new. You may have heard the famous saying often attributed to Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. Essentially, believing you can do something can make all the difference between success and failure – because once you make the decision to succeed, you change your language, mindset and confidence and failing is no longer an option.

And of course the opposite applies too. If we go into the exam room full of doubt and anxiety, we are far less likely to achieve a positive result. In fact, humans have an innate reaction to stress which is most commonly referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. So, when we enter a situation that we perceive as stressful, this subconscious response can take over and inhibit our ability to think or recall anything. If you’ve ever experienced a ‘mind blank’ during an exam you’ll know how that feels.

One study by a team of psychologists at Goldsmiths University in London*, found that in a group of seven- to ten-year-old children, those who achieved the best marks in school tended to rate their own abilities highly, even though they displayed differences in ability and intelligence. Their self-belief and positive mindset was helping them achieve higher marks in school than their peers.

Often, the main reason children struggle at school or don’t do as well as expected in exams is due to doubts, anxieties or blocks related to their own abilities. Understandably, these negative beliefs hold children back and may even prevent them from learning altogether. 

How to flip that mindset

If your child seems stuck in the ‘I can’t do this!’ rut, then encourage them to add the word ‘yet’ to the end of their sentence. Saying, ‘I can’t do this yet.’ Or ‘I don’t understand this yet’ leaves their brain open to the possibility that they will be able to do it at some point – rather than closing them down and keeping them in a ‘stuck’ place.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) comprises a number of strategies which can empower individuals to take control of their thoughts and mindset in a positive way, thus achieving more positive outcomes. Techniques from NLP are often used in business to help people build better relationships, develop leadership skills and overcome negative thinking.

The potential of NLP for enhancing children’s confidence, independent thinking and academic progress is astounding when used in a classroom environment. NLP provides the ‘missing link’ between what children are taught and what children actually learn.  Essentially, NLP teaches children how to learn and teachers how to teach more effectively. As a result, students gain more confidence in their ability to learn and so perform better! At Flying Start Tuition, we call this the ‘learn smarter’ approach.

Techniques such as ‘anchoring’, ‘grounding’ and the ‘learning state’ can be used to help children deal with stress and improve their mindset. Such tools have been shown to give students more confidence in their ability, which means they are happier to learn and thereby achieve better results. 

11+ Superpowers!

At Flying Start Tuition, we’ve been successfully preparing thousands of children how to ace exams like the Eleven Plus for over twelve years. During that time, we have embedded into our courses a programme of NLP tools and techniques that help our students to approach their exams with a ‘can do’ attitude. We call this their 11+ Superpowers toolkit.

Now, for the first time, many of these game-changing techniques are available for anyone to access via our series of five new 11+ Superpowers video workshops. During these workshops, students will learn a series of powerful strategies that will help them to build up their own 11+ Superpowers toolkit.

Featuring powerful NLP techniques, our 11+ Superpowers course will help students to combat self-doubt, conquer exam nerves and banish negative self-talk so that they feel focused, motivated and in the ultimate mindset to tackle their Eleven Plus with the most important skill of all: confidence!

Find out more about our 11+ Superpowers course here: https://flying-start-tuition.mykajabi.com/offers/4Tk4ydLK