My son had never joined any coaching classes nor had any home tutors. I encouraged my son to be self-reliant in his studies from the very beginning. He used to come to me for help only when the situation turned desperate for him, otherwise, he studied everything all by himself.
He had been very good in social studies, science and English but could never do very well in mathematics. It is strange, since usually students who are good in science are good in mathematics also.Whatever may be the reason, he was never comfortable with his maths. My initial response was to get angry with him and rebuke him for his poor performance in that subject but it made the matter worse. Finally, I decided to take it easy and advised him to work hard and come to me whenever he feel like clearing any doubts. He hardly came to me and continued to study all by himself.
When he reached the tenth standard I started getting a bit worried as he could score only fifty something out of hundred in the first two tests in maths. I encouraged him to work even harder. He did. Then came his third and last test before the finals. One fateful day, he returned from school totally downcast. His maths papers had been returned and he could score only 61 out of 100. I could sense his feeling of depression. The finals are only about three months away, time was running out. I knew, it was time for me to take charge of the situation.
The next day, I gave him a model question paper to solve in a simulated examination. He took the examination in right earnest. I checked the papers and his performance was in the expected line. I conducted few more examinations and found out his areas of weaknesses, sat down with him to sort out the related problems in those areas. He fully cooperated like an obedient boy. I continued to conduct examinations for him and he started showing improvements. After about fifteen tests, he scored 96. I knew, he had gained confidence.
The final board examinations started on schedule and the D-day arrived, the day for maths examination. He was very very nervous. I drove him to his examination center and could see him gulping frequently. We did not talk on the way. I had the confidence deep inside me that he would do well to score at least 80% in that subject. And he did.
A little personal attention to find out the weak areas and to help him improve in those areas did the trick.
I wish, all the schools did that for their students.