Master a mindset for success and ace your exams

4 min read   •   October 12, 2023
Elmien Ackerman

The final years of high school are packed with new experiences, challenges, and opportunities. How you view those challenges and opportunities can make or break your journey to success. Developing a mindset for success will help you shape the path towards your exciting future. We share some tips on how to do just that.

Fixed vs growth mindset

Psychologist Carol Dweck first introduced the concept of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is where individuals believe that their abilities, intelligence, and talents are static traits that cannot be changed. They often avoid challenges because they fear failure, which they view as a reflection of their inherent limitations. An example of a fixed mindset is a learner who believes they are not naturally good at Mathematics. They might avoid attempting more challenging problems because they assume they lack the inherent ability to succeed.

Individuals with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that their abilities can be developed and improved over time through effort, practice, learning, and perseverance. Challenges and setbacks are viewed as opportunities for growth and learning rather than indicators of fixed limitations. A learner with a growth mindset might take on a challenging science project even if they don’t have prior experience, knowing they can learn and improve as they work on it.

Top tip for parents: Instead of praising intelligence or talent, praise hard work and perseverance, which teaches resilience.

A mindset for success

It’s important to note that you can exhibit a mix of fixed and growth mindset tendencies in different areas of your life. The goal is to cultivate a growth mindset, which supports resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to invest time and effort into achieving your goals.

If you need help cultivating a growth mindset, our Mindset for Success programme is the perfect tool to help you. The course focuses on helping Grade 10 to 12 learners develop self-awareness and self-management to assist them on their learning journey and beyond. This online course contains practical, step-by-step guidance broken into teenager-friendly chunks with over 60 minutes of video.

SMART goals

Once you are ready to create your academic or life goals, you must create smart goals. Your goals need to be:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear and precise and answer the questions of “what,” “why,” and “how.”
  • Measurable: Your goals should include specific metrics that you can use to track your progress.
  • Achievable: Your goals should be realistic and attainable, as setting goals that are too ambitious can lead to frustration and failure.
  • Relevant: Your goals should be appropriate and aligned with your personal values.
  • Time-bound: Your goals should have a clearly defined timeframe or deadline.

Now that we know how to set smart goals, let’s look at an example. If that same learner with the fixed mindset about Mathematics takes a growth mindset approach to the subject, their smart goal might look something like this:

  • Specific: “I will improve my Mathematics marks by 10%.”
  • Measurable: “I will take a practice test each week and track my progress using score reports.”
  • Achievable: “I will dedicate at least two hours per day to focus on Mathematics, and I will seek help from a tutor if I encounter challenging concepts.”
  • Relevant: “Improving my marks is important because it will increase my chances of getting into my desired university.”
  • Time-bound: “I will achieve this goal within three months, in time for the final examination.”

Stay curious and make learning fun

To nurture a growth mindset, you need to make learning fun. Many Grade R to 12 learners have a blast playing educational computer games such as Cami Maths. The interactive educational software is fully aligned with the CAPS curriculum and makes understanding mathematical concepts a breeze.

Being curious is key to a growth mindset. Why not try something out of your comfort zone and dive into something new? Explore the world of computers and robotics with Resolute Robotics. You can program your moving robot with a few lines of code and a little patience.

Remember that with the right mindset, you’ll conquer your examinations and set the stage for a successful life ahead. Believe in yourself, stay motivated, and keep your eyes on the prize. You’ve got a bright future ahead!