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Congratulations to our Year 12 men for the outstanding manner in which they approached the QCS test last week. Often it can be difficult for students to stay motivated once this test is over, however they are now in their Term 3 exams and still have one term to go. Three quarters of the way through anything is tough; you are past half way, you are tired, the end is not quite in sight and you have to draw on every bit of will power and determination that you have to keep going.

This reminds me of how I felt at the 31 km mark of the Gold Coast marathon this year. I have no natural talent for running, and only really developed a love for it about five years ago. However, I set a goal and put everything in place to give myself the best possible chance of achieving that goal. I stuck to my training program, even when the alarm was waking me at 3.45 am so I could squeeze in a long run before work, in the cold, dark and sometimes rainy conditions. I did what I had to do to be ready for the event. I was a participant, not a competitor and I was ok with that. I was realistic about my target I stumbled across a quote: “The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt, you train so you can tolerate it”. How true that was! Particularly about three quarters of the way through. You dig deep and keep going, trusting that the preparation and structures put in place seven months earlier will get you through.

I see very little difference between that and where our boys are at now with their exams and study. Not everyone is competing for the top position, but everyone should still be participating and working towards their personal best, to reach their potential. If they have put the preparation in place through a rigorous study routine and a strong work ethic in class, then they are already in a strong position. Now it’s about reminding themselves what they want and how they are not quite there yet. We all have varying degrees of determination and grit and we all go through periods of losing our motivation. At the three quarter mark, it is timely to ask your son to remember what their goal was. As they are studying, remind them they can seek help from their teachers or peers if they are unsure of a particular concept they need to know, ensure they are eating healthy food and getting a good night’s sleep and are not distracted by technology and social media.

Having good study habits is critical to success and if only putting these structures in place a week out from a heavy assessment period, one might expect to be in a frantic position now. The earlier we start preparing, the greater ability we have to do our best and handle the challenging time of assessment. Like the training that occurs for a marathon, you do it so you can tolerate the pain during the race. I would encourage all our students in all year levels to be recalling what targets they set for this term or this semester and doing all they can to reach these targets. This could take the shape of another look at an assignment after the teacher has provided feedback on a draft, a slightly earlier start on Saturday so they can sneak in some Maths revision before a sporting fixture, part time job, family gathering, or recording a favourite TV show to watch on the holidays rather than watching it on the weekend before exams. The race is not over yet! As teachers and parents, it is our job to be on the side line with encouraging words to keep them going. Good luck to all our boys as they go into their final assessment pieces this term. The break and reward comes after this, not before!

Ms Elizabeth Gaber - Dean of Administration and Business Intelligence