An accurate metaphor for acquiring an education is climbing a mountain. As you go up the mountain the challenges become greater, the risks get higher and the demands on the mind, body and spirit are harder.
Now let’s take the metaphor a notch up by making the climb a race with other mountaineers. There is only enough space at the apex to accommodate a limited number of climbers. The first one who gets there has his choice of scene, acquires the best vantage point and has first pick of the resources.
The last one gets whatever is left over.
We truly live in a global economy and that is a good thing. It creates new opportunities and opens up uncharted markets. But at the same time, competition has increased. In a global economy, there is a direct relationship between opportunity and competition. As the number of opportunities increase, the level of competition goes higher.
For students who are preparing to go to university, the competition will get tougher in 10 years. By that time, economies particularly in South East Asia have been deep into Integration. The Euro Zone would be in the middle of recovery. There will be more opportunities but only the best will benefit.
Thus, their future starts now. They have to take each day as an opportunity in itself. Every test in front of them presents the opportunity to move ahead of the competition. And foremost are the preliminary exams. Here are five reasons why you should study hard in 2016 for your preliminary exams:
1. Prepares you for higher exams
The preliminary exams or prelims lay the ground work for higher exams, the finals in particular. You can view the prelims as a dry run. The conditions for the finals are similar although the scope is typically smaller. The prelims will give you a gauge on where you are in your preparation.
Perhaps the most important reason for taking the prelims seriously is that it prepares you mentally for the finals. The weight of the finals is greater and if your aggregate scores and marks are teetering off the edge, the finals may be your last resort to put you back on course.
2. Reduces pressure
When the stakes get higher the last thing you should want is more pressure. Cramming is not recommended for the prelims. You should prepare well in advance if you want good scores.
Added pressure takes away your focus. All you want to do is to keep moving forward even if you do not competently understand the subject matter. Cramming shifts your priority from quality study to quantity study. It will never benefit you.
On the other hand, if you are well prepared you become more confident. Confidence cascades to greater focus and attention to detail. You become less prone to careless mistakes and oversights which usually spell doom in Mathematics and Sciences.
3. Improves your chances to get into higher level
A good score in the prelims improves your chances to go up the educational ladder. But a great score ensures it.
When you are trying to get a great ATAR score, you should not leave anything to chance. The prelims are not quizzes, homework, projects or practice tests. This is the real deal. The weight on the prelims is greater and its implications far-reaching.
Imagine how you would feel if you got a low score in the prelims? Now imagine if you got a great score. A high score in the prelims puts one foot inside the door of the university. A low score sets you back behind the line.
4. Competition is harder
There is a poster in a New York subway that was made a popular mantra by athletes, students and businessmen.
“Somewhere in this world right now, your competition is training, working and preparing harder than you. And when you finally meet him, he will BEAT you.”
If that doesn’t put your mind into perspective what competition is all about, nothing else will.
Your Dad will tell you that in his time, they would go to the library to study. The encyclopedia was THE main reference. Research involved leg work. In today’s digitally enabled generation, everything can be accessed with the correct search query.
Yet some choose to abuse technology and use it for unproductive activity like video games and social media.
The best never rest. They will use technology AND go old school. They will go to the library and research. They will find the time to consult with their teachers. They will find trusted mentors.
And when you meet him, he will beat you.
5. Better opportunities at university
Remember that Australia has some of the world’s best universities. Getting into one of them is a sure way to guarantee your future.
Students need to put their lives into context. It is not merely a day-to-day existence. You are planting the seeds for your future. These seeds include education and its many components.
If you want a shot at creating a great future for yourself, study hard and prepare well for the prelims. Universities will look at your scores and marks and assess if you deserve to walk along their hallowed walls.
The prelims are important not only because it prepares you for the bigger exams. But because it sets the conditions for you to succeed in life.