Over the last three months, we have introduced our poster series aimed at helping students to succeed in the classroom, studying, and finally, in their exams. You can view the posters and articles here:
The articles and posters give good advice about what you can do in the classroom and at home to prepare for your exams and ultimately to obtain your qualification. However, to follow the advice and suggestions will be very difficult if you lack motivation.
Motivation, very basically, is how much you want to do something. When you are motivated, the reason for doing a task is very clear to you and you know what you want to achieve at the end of it. You have decided that what you are doing is worthwhile. For example; you decide that you want to learn Spanish because your partner speaks Spanish and the family is coming to visit. You would like to be able to speak to them and impress them. In this case you may even have a very specific timeline to work towards, which makes setting goals and keeping motivated quite easy.
Compare the scenario above to your mother forcing you to go with to her Spanish class because she doesn’t want to go alone. Your mom keeps telling you how useful it is to learn a new language, but you think doing a DIY course would be a lot more useful. How motivated will you be in this case to do the homework, pay attention in class and prepare for the exam? My guess is, not very motivated or interested in what is going on.
When you commit to a long-term task like completing a qualification, it may be difficult to keep motivated all the time. You may do worse in an assignment or test than you anticipated or life might just get in the way. To prevent losing focus, remind yourself of your end goal. Are you studying to get a particular job at a particular company or in a particular country? Are you doing it because of the possible career and salary that will go with it? Are you doing it because you are interested in the subject matter? Find your reason and stick a piece of paper up on the wall to remind yourself continuously of why you are doing what you are doing and look at it regularly.
Stay positive and keep motivated!
Yolandi Farham, TVET Publisher, Oxford University Press Southern Africa