Raising Gulp Limits

In our last article introducing the concept of ‘gulp limits’, we stated our belief that students tend to feel comfortable within a certain mark range and tend to put in only enough effort and attention to stay there.  Obviously, it is a big advantage for students if they can bump up that comfort range to a higher level.  As it turns out, this is not particularly easy.  Students tend to define themselves as one type of student or another (e.g., “I’m a solid B student” or “In science I always get marks in the 80s”) and the thought of simply ‘raising the bar’ isn’t very believable.  After all, students have spent years getting results that inform their perception of who they are and seeing themselves in a certain light.  Just telling a student to increase their expectations doesn’t do very much.  Instead, they need to be shown and here’s one way that we’ve had success helping students increase their gulp limits.

Too often, students fail to carefully analyze the results they get in school.  When typical students get their test papers returned, for instance, they quickly scan for the grade, and shove the test to the bottom of their knapsacks.  Big error! Results provide all sorts of wonderful clues about how to improve in school, and using this feedback, students can be shown how to analyze tests and the pattern of strength and weaknesses.  At StudySpot, we’re able to point out some patterns that most students miss.  For example, in looking at a History essay and seeing a 74% grade, students might not notice that they received 2/5 on the bibliography or reference section.  If this paper is out of 30, getting an extra 3 on the bibliography represents a full 10% increase in their grade, instantly turning that 74% into an 84%.  That fact will surprise many students, especially those who don’t envision themselves as 84% students!  Get your child to look carefully at the last couple of math tests he or she has received and figure out just what the mark could have been if he or she reduced careless errors in half, didn’t skip out on homework last weekend, or asked the teacher to clear up that one concept that held them back.   The simple message is this: Students rarely realize just how close they are to dramatically better results.  Once they see this, it might not be such a stretch to see how to get an 88% on the next test instead of the 75% he or she usually gets.

Working with students and seeing them improve has clear rewards.  But nothing is as satisfying as seeing students begin to change the perception of who they are and what they can accomplish.


What people are saying about us

  • I would like to thank our coach and your organization for giving my son a great opportunity to improve. He is much more responsible now and understands the importance of working hard as well as how to work and organize himself.

    Chieko(mother of grade 10 student)
  • Thanks for your good work with our son – I believe we are starting to see some positive changes and improvements. He seems to have a positive attitude overall and he is getting at his work on his own initiative which is good to see.

    David(father of grade 12 student)
  • Our daughter feels much more confident and on top of her work and comments often about how strong her marks have become. She feels that her sessions with you have been a big reason for the turn around.

    Sharon(mother of grade 8 student)
  • Thank you very much for providing such a very helpful facility for my daughter. She has benefited so much from the program, not only for her present situation but I think for life. Your coaches were excellent and they gave her the motivation, guidance, self-confidence and self-esteem that she lacked.

    Sandora(mother of grade 12 student)
  • Our coach works hard with our son in helping him approach his academic studies with more maturity, effectiveness and independence. Our son has responded well to his mentors coaching and guidance.

    Barbara(mother of grade 11 student)