Does Hard Work Really Equal Good Grades?

Does Hard Work Really Equal Good Grades?

Does Hard Work Really Equal Good Grades?

by Keynote Editor

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Do you agree with the above quote?

To many, the notion that success is a result of hard work is conventional wisdom.

Our parents said it time and time again in our youth, and now, we say the same thing to our children: Study hard and you’ll do well in school, you’ll get a good job, and you’ll lead a good life. Experiences in our personal lives may have cemented this belief too.

To us, however, the success equation has another important factor.

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Say your child is struggling to do well in English composition. Because of this, their grades are stagnant at AL6 and below, and you’re afraid they might drop even further if they don’t soon improve.

You suggest that your child writes a new composition every day for the next two weeks before the next test to sharpen their skills, and they do so.


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Why? It’s because they have been tackling the problem wrongly from the start. Composition, unlike Math or Science, has no standard right-or-wrong formula to be practised.


Constant repetition doesn’t work here, because the student is limited by their own standard of language at that point in time.


It’s paramount that you think about where the hard work goes, because it might not guarantee good grades if you don’t.

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Here are 4 steps to work smart, to ensure your child’s determination bears fruit

1) Specify existing problems

Are there particular topics or sections that your child is stuck with, or they are struggling to grasp the subject entirely?


Is your child making too many grammatical errors in composition, or is your child’s storytelling not having an interesting enough opening, ending, or climax?


When your child receives their marked paper, they should take the opportunity to clarify with their teacher the specific places in which they can improve.


That’s the first step to actual improvement.


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2) Set specific goals

It’s important to have a target to move towards as it provides motivation for the child. We recommend using the S.M.A.R.T model for this exercise!

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If you need more guidance on setting goals for your child, click on the banner below for our step-by-step guide!

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3) Develop a strategy

Remember to take into account the issues that your child wishes to address above. If poor vocabulary is halting progress in your child’s composition grades, a good example would be this

To achieve a 70% mark for my English composition year-end exam, I can learn at least 2 new words/phrases every day and applying them in daily conversations and compositions.

There are different ways to tackle problems from various subjects, but these subjects can generally be classified into two types: Creative and Mechanistic.

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Earlier, we explained why repetition work will not help improve composition/essay writing. It will, however, help to improve mechanistic subjects like Math by sharpening their skills in Mathematical concepts.


It fosters the knowledge that if one applies a specific formula in a specific type of situation, one will get the correct answer.


For more creative subjects, the road to improvement might not be that straightforward. That’s when hiring an experienced tutor or mentor to guide your child might prove to be a worthy investment.


This will help the student improve their standard of language over time.

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4) Build a system

Now that your child has made a goal and understands the strategy that is required to see improvement in their studies. It is time to set up a study system. 


Specifically, a systematic way of achieving our goals with our strategy in mind. Here’s an example:


Goal: To attain more than 30 marks for English composition (continuous writing) in the year-end exam (for primary school)

Strategy: Since composition writing is a creative subject, I should consult my English tutor on how I can improve my language and content, and rewrite my compositions based on their feedback.

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With such a system in place, the composition grades of your children will inadvertently improve, if they follow through with it of course. If you hired a tutor for English, it is easier to develop the system around when and how often your child meets the tutor.


And, should your children not follow this system, you and the tutor should be there to motivate and encourage them.

Don’t fall into the trap of false improvement, where parents are satisfied with their children simply “studying” or “doing work”.


Just because they are sitting down and writing answers doesn’t mean that their grades will automatically improve.


When it comes to your children’s grades, encourage them to work smart by following the steps above.


Only when the problems are identified, objectives set and systems in place, will the hard work of your child be effective in improving their grades. So, yes – hard work does improve grades, but only when they work smart too.

Is your child still not improving after doing countless practices?

We understand your frustrations. Especially when you and your child cannot figure out the problem or their grades have been stagnant after months of practising.


Putting in continuous practice can only help your child to a certain extent. That’s why it’s important for your child to get feedback & targeted practice.


Our tutors can guide your child to achieve academic success by:

  • Knowing the right keywords to get full marks for open-ended questions
  • Mastering the MUST KNOW topics for exams.
  • Applying the right techniques to answer various question types.
  • Knowing how to write essays/compositions that teachers WANT.
  • Learning strategies to solve word problems.

To find out more about our classes or sign up for a FREE TRIAL CLASS, Whatsapp us by clicking the button below

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