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How to increase your confidence in studies

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

Confidence is the belief instilled in us when we have faith in the things we do, and sometimes it takes a little push for us to get that courage to perform better. Like what Mark Twain once said,” A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” Being confident means that you will have to trust yourself, trust your instincts in the decisions you make, ensuring that the path you take is the right one.

Hello fellow students of Math Lobby! Today, we will be discussing about the ways to increase your confidence in your studies, regardless when it is during examinations, doing assignments or revisions. Let’s begin!

1. Never let mistakes get you down

The number one step to being confident in your studies is to not be afraid to make mistakes. Many students are always so fixated in getting the right answers, they have subconsciously forgotten the importance of making mistakes. No, I am not saying that you should aim to get questions wrong (Please do not ever do that), but you should be certain when giving your answers. If you are sure that you have done your workings correctly and yielded an answer from it, just write it down. If you are correct, then ride that momentum and stay confident! But what if you are wrong? Do you just give up?

No! Make use of that chance to learn from your mistakes, take notes and highlight the portion which you have missed out, and ensure that you never make the same mistake again. That is exactly how you learn when studying. Never let a wrong answer demotivate you, just like how you should never let a piece of certificate determine your intelligence and your future. Learn to be less self-conscious and embrace the failures in your life.

2. Do not rely on the answers given as a form of reassurance

When teachers do not have time to go through certain questions during lesson time, they will tend to pass down both the questions and answers for you to bring home so that you are able to complete the questions and check if you are right. One extremely important thing to note is that you should NEVER rely on the answers to reassure you when completing those questions.

What I mean by this is when you are attempting questions and have answers right by your side, this will tempt you to keep checking the answers to ensure that you are correct whenever you complete just one question. This causes you to develop a reliance on always having answers by your side as a way of comfort, which is really bad because this will never be the case when you are in an examination!

Such a habit will lead to you being unconfident during examinations, doubts and panic will surface since there is no answers to maintain your morale, uncertainty flood your mind and you will be far more distracted in trying to determine if your answers are correct instead of concentrating on the actual paper itself.

3. Do not let examination results demotivate you

Just like how you should not let making mistakes get in the way of your confidence, never let examination results fuel your insecurities when approaching questions, a topic or subject. So many students get affected by their examination results that they forgot the main point of examination is to gauge your level of understanding of a subject, and not your intelligence in general. Therefore, you should instead view examination results as your progress in learning and how you can improve from there onwards. We all know questions set by examiners can be beyond what we know, so why not take the chance to explore and expand on your knowledge base with it, instead of crying over spilt milk?

4. Avoid discussions when you are about to take your examinations or when you finish your examinations

Students tend to love chattering before and after their examinations, either to compare answers to see who is right or relieve their pent-up anxiety from the nervousness. Right before taking an examination, avoid talking to your friends about the examination you are about to sit for.

This is because it helps to omit the risk of you getting all flustered when you realized that you might have missed out certain components when studying, or you have been studying a concept wrong the whole time. This will in turn affect your performance and confidence level even right before you started it, the chances of you blanking out during the examination will increase as well.

After you exit the examination hall, do not talk to your friends about the questions in the paper as well, but start focusing on the next paper you will be doing since the paper is already over and any form of discussion might cause you to be unnecessarily worried and unable to concentrate for the revision of the next paper.

Hence, general rule of thumb is to avoid communication before and after examinations and clear your mind by taking a breather alone for at least five to ten minutes, then head home and prepare for your next paper. This will help in maintaining your confidence level and momentum throughout the examination period.

Being confident when facing a difficult question is not easy, hence we must learn to deal with the level of intensity through practicing questions and increasing our exposure to different ways questions can come in our education journey. In the long run, it will definitely benefit your approach when encountering challenges, holding your ground firm and brace that storm.

With that being said, we have come to the end of this discussion, so let’s recap and give a brief summary on what we have went through so far:

1. Never let mistakes get you down Do not be afraid of making mistakes, learn to embrace it through practice and exposure.

2. Do not rely on the answers given as a form of reassurance Place your answer sheet aside and not right beside you when you are doing your assignments to improve your confidence in tackling questions.

3. Do not let examination results demotivate you Examination results do not determine your level of intelligence, but only an indicator of your current standards, so do not be put down by it.

4. Avoid discussions when you are about to take your examinations or when you finish your examinations

Throughout the examination period, the only things you should be focusing on are the questions in the examination, and the battle with your own mentality. Keep yourself cool and calm in every situation, and not let external noise affect your mood and cause panic.

We hope that through this discussion, you have learnt how to be more confident in your studies. If you have any difficulty on a topic in O/N-Level Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, feel free to approach Math Lobby as it is a delightful pleasure to help our students excel. As always: Study hard, stay motivated and we wish all students a successful and enjoyable journey with Math Lobby!

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