How to fix a persistently low score

by | Aug 7, 2017 | Exams, Parents | 0 comments

The summer break is ticking along at pace now. Your 45 minute weekday revision programme is probably going well. But is there a nagging problem developing? A persistently low score in a particular subject that’s proving a real source of frustration. Here’s how to move past it…

First, stay positive with your child and reassure them that it is a mere trifle to be overcome.

Then take their exam paper away. The one with the depressed score. Take out the answers too and a pen and complete a short analysis of their corrections.


This is the simplest one to analyse. There will be types done well and types done badly. Just list the weaker types and address them together with patience in the next 45 minute revision slot you’ve planned. If codes are constantly coming up then make sure they have a sharp pencil, an alphabet (where needed) and are making clear notes as they calculate. If it is the vocabulary based types that are the problem then Rose McGowan’s 11+ Vocabulary is the way to go. Fortunately you can get it quickly on amazon prime. NVR and Spatial Reasoning just take regular practice. Pick out the weaker ones and do them slowly together if need be.


Here are the types of errors you should look for – tally them up:

  1. Easy-fixes. These are simple fact-spotting errors that your child won’t be scared of and will probably kick themselves over.
  2. Vocabulary (see the book link above)
  3. Inference. These are those feelings-based questions. Best approached by looking at an over-view of the text. What type of text is it? What is it for? How do the characters feel at different points and why. This should feed into your bedtime reading programme too. If you have a character-based chat about some good reading material most nights this month you will make a real difference.
  4. Parts of speech and types of imagery. Use the app we recommend for the former, and google and fix the latter.



Here are the types of errors you should look for here – tally them up:

  1. Silly mistakes. These are purely reading errors and simple calculation errors.
  2. Easy-fixes. These can easily be explained and the more revision/exam practice your child does, the fewer there will be.
  3. Tricky ones. These are simply very hard. There should only be a couple and if they miss them out and guess on the day it won’t matter if they’ve fixed points 1 and 2.
  4. New information. There usually is very little of this. If there is see point 3 – or fix it if you can together.


Once your child sees the breakdown of their errors, you can point out how the majority of them are easy to sort out. This should give revision a boost and your child a shot of confidence. Good luck!