I’ll spare you the drag: “Work hard, practice more, eat right, and exercise.”
You already know that, right?
In this article, we will talk about hard scientific facts and research that tells us how to handle medical aspirants who are not the ‘rising stars’ of the family.
We need to remember one thing as a parent, as a teacher, as an educator, or as a relative or friend who loves to intimidate the next kid on the block with the doom and gloom he or she is soon going to face:
NEET aspirants (or JEE aspirants) are just teenagers.
By the time students clear Class 10 board exams, they are around 15 to 16 years old. The two years of medical preparation might be crucial to their prospects but they may not be ready to grasp it yet.
Here is the scientific evidence that your NEET aspirant is not acting out but has some genuine reasons behind the way he or she is behaving:
Catherine Insel at Harvard University conducted a study on 13-20-year-olds where students could earn 20 cents for a correct response, and lose 10 cents for an incorrect answer. The research time included a few high-stakes rounds where respondents could win a dollar or lose 50 cents.
It was observed that the older participants performed better than the younger ones. It indicated that the ability to adjust performance according to the stakes at pay comes with age. The development of corticostriatal network (the region of the brain that allows you to connect reward with your behavior control) keeps on developing until the age of 25.
Once a teenager understands – ‘What’s in it for me?’, he or she will certainly feel more motivated to accomplish the goal. If your child is not interested in becoming a doctor, no amount of nagging and pushing can lead him or her to study and make the sacrifices that NEET preparation asks for. If he or she longs to wear the doctor’s white coat and have a stethoscope nearby, you won’t have to tell him or her to study again and again.
Career counseling can help your child find his or her real passion.
For hard-to-deal teenagers, you need to adopt harsher tactics. If your child does not yet understand why studying or doing homework is important, you may have to tell him or her:
“This is what you’ll have to finish today to be allowed to do what you want to do.”
The rewards can be the privilege of using the TV or the computer or the car or the smartphone which we buy and pay for.
It is a valuable life lesson for them too. Until the time our teenagers are mature enough to value the importance of working hard and doing the practice, they need to know that they have to work to get necessary privileges too.
A 2010 study by Sheryl Smith at the State University of New York made a fantastic revelation. Apart from raging hormones and mounting peer pressure, the teenagers also deal with the fact that their ability to learn new things diminishes. The study suggested that teenagers find it harder to learn a second language or the route to a new location or detect errors in cognitive tests – than children. The research team noted that while the infant mice learned to dodge a danger zone after a mild electric shock, the pubertal mice failed to learn it even after several rounds of electric shock.
Taking a leaf out of Sheryl’s book, it might be necessary to treat your NEET aspirant like a kid with learning difficulties. Today, a number of apps offer free NEET coaching lectures and practice sessions (like Byju’s or AskIITians) which are linked to the gamification of the learning program.
Gamification of learning is nothing but using the game-based techniques to engage the students. The mobile apps appreciate students to be consistent with their study program and give them badges or points to watch the lectures and solve the tests correctly. These points can be used to customize a character in an educational game or win extra classes or scholarships.
Group study is a great idea to incorporate these techniques offline too. Leaderboards or performance-linked badges work great for teenagers too.
Mnemonics (or hooks that help you remember concepts) are also a great way to learn a concept easily. Here are some great mnemonics to learn the Periodic Table.
A 2013 study by Mary Carskadon at Brown University shows that an adolescent needs nine hours of sleep to be fully alert and perform well academically. There is a study which proves that forcing your NEET aspirant out of bed early in the morning is bound to make them grumpy, moody, stressed, and angry. It also impairs their blood-glucose regulations and leads to early signs of diabetes. The levels of ghrelin increase which makes them hungry while the levels of leptin drop which deprives them of feeling full.
It means that a 7 am alarm call for a 55-year-old feels like a 5 am wake-up call for a teenager. So, it is important for you to allow your NEET aspirant to sleep some more (for an hour or two). On the other hand, it may also be imperative for you to curtail their access to smartphones, PCs, TVs, and gaming devices that keep them awake late at night.
If your kid is well-rested, it will be easier for him or her to perform better in school or in the medical coaching he or she has joined.
I hope these tips help you to improve your kids’ performance in academics and help them score more in NEET.
Nishant’s Author Bio
|Nishant Sinha is the co-founder of emedicalprep.com, an Online Medical Coaching platform for Medical Entrance Exams like NEET (earlier known as AIPMT), AIIMS and other school entrance exams aiming for a career in the Medical sector. He is passionate about making Doctors and Medical aspirants meet their goal (NEET or AIIMS). The mission was clear to give breakthrough education to the students in the field of online Medical Exam Preparations and make them pass with flying colours in exams such as NEET, AIIMS or other medical entrance exams.
For this dream of his, he left his lucrative career in one of the American Management Consulting firms named Kurt Salmon Associates. He can rightly be called an optimistic entrepreneur and passionate educationist. You can check his LinkedIn profile to know more about him.