IMG_0472This is the seventh post of the series “How to Select an Appropriate Secondary School”

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The biggest headache that most parents face is if the choice of secondary school will meet our child’s needs. A quick check on the net will surface websites that advise students to look at the the child’s interests, strengths and personalities.

However, after years of observation – I realise a child’s academic performance plays the one of the biggest influencing factor in a child’s success in Secondary School.

Students who believe they are in control of their academic grades will fare better in schools.

Thus in this article, I will be looking at three main things: motivation, self-confidence and strengthssimply because there is never a child who wants to go to school to fail.  

I will be disregarding the child’s interest (this topic was covered here) and other possible influencing social factors (here and here).

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Now, I will be looking at a few scenarios using 2 students with different results: One child does very well for PSLE and another who just barely made it.

Please note that this is just a rough guide and may not necessarily be the truth for your child.

One thing to note is I believe very strongly in Study Skills – Which utilises the different learning styles for learning where students obtain optimal learning for minimum effort.

The reason for this is because scientifically, the knowledge to utilise many different learning styles in study skills are the main differences between weak and strong learners.

This concept has been proven several times. Yet, schools do not devote time to teach these skills in schools as it take up too much time and branded companies are charging at least 4K and above to learn them.

Now let’s look at what happens when a child enters a branded school when he/she barely makes it:1

Never forget that there will also be intense competition in a school, especially branded ones.

Furthermore, when one is not equipped with appropriate study skills, they may have a lot of trouble understanding and absorbing material before the teachers move to the next topic.

However, things might be different if one is equipped with them:


What about if my child does very well? What happens if he/she is smart from the start? If your child is given extra work and subjects as compared to the Primary school, are they able to cope with it to meet your expectations you have already implanted in them?

Remember, no child wants to make their parents unhappy by failing on purpose unless….

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However, if your child is able to manage his/her time very well with many study skills under their belt, it is very likely your child may be able to thrive very well:

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What happens if you chooses to send your child an average school? Are you making a big mistake?

Well, it depends on your child’s aptitude. Even in a neighbourhood school, there is competition and at the end of the year, the teachers may or may not remind them they will be competing with a few thousand students who will be graduating around the same as them.

If your child struggles to understand material, they may still feel overwhelmed even though the pressure is lower:

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If your child is taught a few study skills beyond what they usually use, they may actually be able to advance beyond the pack.

Otherwise, it’s up to the perseverance and full emotional support of home and/or teachers to ensure that they will be willing to spend much effort to study:

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If you have other views, please feel free to share them with me.