Crash program, burnout, mental wellness, busy weekends, 19 working hours, packed schedule, breakfast and lunch same time. It is a sprint within a marathon.
Great schools make time, good schools manage time while other schools try to maximise time. Without undermining the importance of holidays, I am reminded of the many schools which have retained their candidates in school just to redeem and recover any lost time during the academic calendar year.
For the ones who were released to go home I wish to show them how to spend their holidays. The truth is, the way a candidate spends this holiday will greatly determine what they will get in January when results come out. The truth is that a good number of candidates carried very many books home from form one to form four, but the truth is they might not open any of those books by the time schools open.
Academic success loves organisation, consistency and preparation. Its a game of numbers and it begins from the mind. I do a lot of programs in a lot of schools all over the country. I understand that over the last three weeks many schools have been clearing form four syllabus. Like I always say, it is the duty of the teacher to cover the syllabus but it is the responsibility of the student to understand the syllabus. The only way to understand the syllabus is by studying, consulting and restudying. You can imagine the candidate has been studying form one topic one for the last four years. The same candidate only has two months to study the last topic in form four. Remember, the last topic in form four is much more complex than the first topic in form one.
A brilliant candidate will dedicate this 11 days just for form four work so as to have a clear understanding of the syllabus.
They have closed on Thursday 15th September and they will open on Tuesday 27th September. In between is 11 days. For these 11 days, a bright candidate should be busy, not just roaming around with crocks and crop tops from one village to another.
A bright candidate will count the days then make the days count. A bright candidate will not just manage time but make time. A bright candidate will focus on KCSE marks and not the KCPE marks.
The candidate will give each day its own subject to study form four work. For example, 16th~English, 17th~Chemistry, 18th~Kiswahili, 19th~Mathematics, 20th~History/Geography, 21st~Agr/Bs/Comp/Hs/A&D/Woodwork/Metal/Electricity/French/German/P&M/Aviation, 22nd~Physics/Biology, 23rd~Religion, 24th~Chemistry, 25th~Mathematics, 26th~Physics/Biology.
In that timetable, all the 8 subjects have come once each. Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics/Biology have been slotted an additional one day each for obvious reasons.
Per day, per subject, the candidate should dedicate one hour and 30 minutes to go through a topic. The first one hour and ten minutes should just be used for studying. The remaining 20 minutes should be used for doing Personal Assessment Test. For personal assessment test, the candidate should formulate questions targeting the main learning topic objectives then answer them without referring. This helps to sharpen memory and start the process of content retention.
Topical wise, in form four syllabus CRE has 10 topics, Mathematics has 10 topics, Biology has 4 topics, Chemistry has 7 topics, Physics has 11 topics, Business Studies has 7 topics, Geography has 11 topics, History has 9 topics, amongst others. This means on average each subject has around 8 topics.
This is where the 12 Hour Rule comes in. Priorities. If there are 8 topics to be studied and each takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, it means this candidate dedicates 12 hours every day for doing personal studies. Remember a day has 24 hours. The candidate will have a whopping 12 hours remaining to do the house chores, helping parents and clearing assignments given in school.
This is for the serious. The committed. The dedicated. The focused. The grade chasers. Not the excuse makers nor naysayers.
Candidates, be organised, work with numbers and make time. This is not the moment to wander from one relative to another. Stay at home. If the environment at home is not conducive to study, go to the nearest public library and study. Stop making excuses. Successful students do not make excuses, they make adjustments. Successful students do not change the goal, they set new targets.
Remember, you don’t reap what you sow. You reap more than what you sow. The more you sweat in the training, the less you bleed in the battle. Candidate, the way you spend this holiday will determine the outcome of January.
They have laughed at you, they have given you names, they call you number last, they have written you off, they have said you’ll not go to campus, they are scheming, planning and dreaming about your academic downfall. Remember, the best revenge is massive success. Those who laugh at you will become the first people to congratulate you for your good results in January. Work, succeed, make your parents proud. Success is your duty, obligation and responsibility.
Queen, wear that crown and let them bow. King, take that thrown and command your army.
Go to work. Prove them wrong. Achieve greatness.
By Sam VIDAMBU.