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Deep Thinking

Deep Thinking

Recently, I watched an inspiring online talk by physics genius, Jacob Barnett. He struck a chord with me when talking about education and his message was a simple one; study less and think more. At first, I was a little stunned at his blatancy in advocating students to effectively ‘stop learning’ but, post-contemplation, I realised that he was right on a number of levels.

He was right in that privatised exam boards, soft-marking, tough-marking and a host of other blunders have forced exams to become, for many, a somewhat dull, mindless rite of passage rather than an opportunity to show-off what you know and substantiate your education.

Learn, learn, and learn is what seems to fill lessons and come exam season, it’s more of the same stuff. Robotically we plod on and load our minds with information, be it a quadratic formula or a French monologue. The problem is we do very little with this knowledge. We simply regurgitate such information stylistically in ‘our own words’ and this seems to be a pretty effective method in exams, right? Enter Jacob with the curveball; what do you do when the unexpected happens, when you are faced with a really hard question? Increasing student outcries, Facebook campaigns and twitter protests trend this time of year with hundreds of students expressing their outrage at paper errors, tricky problems and downright ‘unfair’ exam questions. Currently, a challenging 2015 Maths GCSE Edexcel question is the talk of twitter.

Thus, a learning-only strategy may work most of the time, but we inhibit ourselves in a number of ways. Firstly, we become unaccustomed to problem-solving. This means we are not used to dealing with questions that really force us to think. Secondly, we forget how to apply ourselves. Barnett points out that when it comes to real worldwide issues, it is not learning but thinking which drives progress and creative innovation. It is this kind of skill which we should be honing. Learning is something we are born doing as exemplified in language and imitation, whereas thinking is driven by ‘higher’ executive functions in the brain.

Thinking is also highly beneficial in exam conditions for three reasons. It prepares you more effectively to answer those tricky curve-ball questions, aids revision and stimulates interest. Many studies on memory demonstrate that we tend to remember the information which is most salient to us. This means that thinking more deeply about topics makes you more likely to remember them. I have found this to be especially true with maths as it is much easier to recall formulas and solve complex problems when you really have contemplated about what you are learning. For more guidance visit our maths tutor page here. Thirdly, all this thinking means you are much more likely to be enthusiastic about your subject AND exam!

This advice may sound obvious, but analysis on the behaviour of a typical student demonstrates that we often forget or don’t make time to think more on the subjects we study. From personal experience, students are likely to learn information religiously. But learning is an innate process; it’s something we all do, even if merely through observation. Students often waste revision time learning on autopilot (it takes, on average, 20 minutes for the brain to default into this mode) rather than using time more effectively. Depending too heavily on learning can be a trap in exam prep., especially as tests are only becoming harder. This is not to say that learning is not important, but rather that we should consolidate its process; Learn, think and test. I believe that this mantra can pave the way to greater efficiency in revision, exam success and educational fulfilment.

In essence, deep thinking is key.

LETS STUDY FOR YOUR EXAM TOGETHER

 
Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
I ME
I ME
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint!I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors.I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors?High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications.Reality Check(See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
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