A to Z of Scholarship Preparation - Feb '18

By Adam Muckle, MTA

TTA President, Tutor Adam Muckle shares some advice to motivate your students to study and succeed for scholarship examinations.

I have been tutoring children for scholarships for entrance to Independent Schools such as Eton and Westminster for over five years. Here's my A-Z of what it takes to be successful in these testing series of exams:

A is for ambition and attitude. You must be ready, willing and able to face the challenge of studying for a scholarship.

B is for brainstorming. There is a lot of essay writing to do in the exams, so get into the habit of mind-mapping, structuring your ideas.

C is for character. In a competitive atmosphere for a place at a school, prepare as if you want to win a race, to be first, to be the champion!

D is for diligence, discipline and determination.

E is for enthusiasm, engagement, encouragement and example. Try to enjoy the preparation process, savour the moments you are studying, try to stay upbeat through the whole process. It won't always be easy, so having a positive and exemplary attitude to study will do you credit.

F is for fulfilling your potential. Going for the scholarship is your opportunity to shine and perhaps you will surprise yourself as to just how much you can achieve!

G is for grit - passion and perseverance towards long term goals. Now is the time to show it.

H is for Hard work. You can't avoid it.

I is for Investment. You will look back on the experience of studying and discover all the things you have learnt well worth the time invested.

J is for Journey. The preparation for scholarship exams is a journey. There will be highs and lows, peaks and troughs. It's all character-building stuff.

K is for knocks. I have seen the scholarship journeys of many children preparing for these exams and how you respond to knocks of confidence along the way will determine your success.

L is for learning. There will be lots of it!

M is for motivation. Keep it up, and make sure there are people around you motivating you to keep focused and spur you on.

N is for notes. Take lots of them. Memo cards, spider diagrams, bullet points - they all help you learn.

O is for organisation. You will be at an age where you should be taking some sense of responsibility for own actions. You should know where your files, papers and pens are kept, not your parents or guardians to know for you.

P is for positivity, productivity, practice and preparation.

Q is for questions. Ask lots of open questions - Who, What, Where, Why, When, How - to develop your critical thinking ability.

R is for reading. Keep it up, it will fuel your writing. Pick some books to read from suggested reading lists and read what you both enjoy but is also challenging your reading level. Read newspapers and magazines, listen and watch the news. Stay informed.

S is for support. Whether from parents, teachers, tutors, nannies, wider family, they will all be behind you, rooting for you and your success.

T is for time management. You will learn more about allocating and prioritising time to work and play and ultimately in the exams themselves.

U is for unlocking your potential. You will learn more about yourself and become more aware of the world around you.

V is for vocabulary. You will want this to be as strong and varied as possible to use naturally when writing in an exam or in interview.

W is for writing. Whether it be discursive, persuasive, creative or other forms, you will learn to appreciate the forms of each and be able to write in those different styles, as necessary.

X is for extra. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little word 'extra'.

Y is for YOU. How much do you want to get the scholarship, to do your best? That's entirely up to you. Not your teachers or parents or anyone else.

Z is for Zzzzz.... Make sure you get a good amount of sleep.... and after all that hard work studying, you’re going to need a well-deserved rest!

Adam Muckle, MTA

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