Free Academic Counselling Program

Ms. Tracy Cardoz

Ms. Tracy Cardoz is a passionate and skilled educational leader, dedicated to providing quality education through progressive curriculum that creates favourable learning opportunities for different types of learners. She has a Masters Degree in Education & English and has been involved in diverse facets of school education for the last 15 years.

Passionate about improving learning outcomes, Ms Cardoz has been rendering her expertise to re-design teaching-learning processes to make them more learner-centric and purposeful to the learners by establishing contextual relevancy of the learning experience. She has been involved in training teachers in new-age teaching methodologies, understanding of child psychology, academic process improvements and designing educational programme for school systems.

Ms. Cardoz would answer any academic related query that parents may have on any facet of education involving their children in the K12 space.

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Parents My son is in Class 5, how do I improve his academic performance?
Geeta Anand, Bengaluru. | 4 days ago
Ms. Tracy Cardoz, 3 day ago

The most common measure of academic performance is the score or grade achieved by a student on the tests and examinations. While there is no denying that test scores are an indication of the academic performance of the student, tests may not be the only source of assessment. Progressive schools and most recently boards such as the CBSE have adopted an evaluation framework that supplement the examination scores with assessment of the students’ involvement in activities such as projects, group work, classroom participation, homework submission and other academic activities.

In order to improve academic performance it is important to provide opportunities to cultivate academic rigour and discipline in students. Academic rigour is developed through activities in which students are challenged to grow and perform at higher levels. Just as a sportsman builds his athletic rigour by consistent practice and pushing endurance level higher, students can build academic rigour by scheduled, consistent and disciplined study sessions. Involving students in the following activities that can be done at home, will have a positive impact on academic performance: 1. Get students to review and practice classwork. Writing answers, solving exercises and self-correcting these will help students to reflect on their work, identify and rectify errors.
2. As students get a grip of the concepts learnt, increase the difficult level of the exercises/ tasks. The idea is to not get students be complacent with their current achievement level.
3. Allow and encourage independent research work that is needed to work on projects. For group projects, allow the student to collaborate with others in the group. Do not do the project for the student.
4. Be available for the student to address any query or render expertise.
5. Communicate clearly the level of performance expected from the student.
6. Above all believe in the potential of the child to succeed and communicates this belief through positive reinforcement, motivation and support.

Parents How should I plan for my kid's higher education?
Ashok Thanawala, Mumbai. | 6 days ago
Ms. Tracy Cardoz, 5 days ago

Planning for child’s higher education is the one of the most challenging tasks for parents; and for the current generation of parents, this task is further complicated by the changing landscape of the employment market. In fact, 85 per cent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't even been invented yet, estimates a report published by Dell Technologies (this report was authored by the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world).

Charting a course for higher education is linked to the career goal that is envisaged; and this goal begins to take shape during the middle school years when interests in subject areas emerge. Psychometric assessments (tests that measure the personality, interests, aptitude and skills) can help students to make an informed decision about their future course of study. These tests are normally undertaken in grade 8/ 10, before students make a selection of the stream for further studies. Additionally specialised services of a career counsellor can be sought to plan the educational route to achieve career goals.

As parents it is very important to be attuned to signs of interest in certain careers that the children may display. For instance, when a young child expresses his/her desire to be an astronaut, use this opportunity to expose him/her to the field of astronomy, reading about the life story of a famous astronaut may also provide valuable insights on pathway to achieve the career goal.

Irrespective of the higher education plan that you decide for your child, there are some crucial 21st century skills such as Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, ICT skills and Media Literacy Skills that children will need to be equipped with to adapt and succeed in the future world of work.

Parents I am planning to shift my child from CBSE to ICSE, will this affect her grades?
Saniya Verma, Mumbai. | 10 days ago
Ms. Tracy Cardoz, 8 day ago

An understanding of the differences between the CBSE and ICSE Board will help in devising strategies for a seamless transition from one board to the other. The scope of the syllabus of ICSE is more detailed and requires the student to read and remember a wide range of content, while CBSE has a comparatively less expansive scope. CBSE is extremely focused on science and math, ICSE on the other hand is more balanced with equal focus on language, arts and science.

Take for instance, in ICSE, English is studied as two different subjects- English Language and Literature ( both these subjects are evaluated as separate papers with equal weightage in the board examinations), while in CBSE, the subject English is studied as a single paper which largely focuses on language study. Similarly, in ICSE, History and Geography are two separate papers with equivalent marks, but in CBSE, these subjects a form a part of the one paper- Social Science.

A student transitioning from a CBSE board to an ICSE board will need to invest time to review the content of the additional syllabi. It would be helpful to browse through the syllabi, identity content that is new for the student and get him/her read through the additional content to bridge the gap. This will help the student to cope with the new syllabus and maintain consistency in academic performance.

In order to maintain consistency in grades achieved in a new board, it is important to understand the assessment pattern followed by the school. Solving previous years’ question paper will help the student get familiarised with the structure and types of questions. This practice will also help in highlighting areas that the student may require assistance in before appearing for the examinations.

Parents My son in Class 7th (CBSE Board) is weak in Mathematics, how do I help him improve?
Manjula Gauda, Bengaluru. | 14 days ago
Ms. Tracy Cardoz, 12 days ago

Class 7 to 10 form a part of the transition years, as in these classes students learn many mathematical concepts that form the base of a more specialised study of the subject at the senior secondary level (grades 11 & 12). Many new concepts such as , Cube and Cube Roots, Algebraic Expressions, Congruence of Triangles and Feel of probability in Data Handling are introduced in Class 7 and it is important that the student acquires an in-depth understanding of these concepts.

Weakness in math is often attributed to lack of understanding of concepts or misconceptions. This can be remediated by concretising the concept, i.e. explain abstract concepts through concrete examples and establishing the practical application of concepts in the real world.

Practice leads to perfection and this adage is specifically true in the case of mathematics. Daily practice of a range of sums of different levels of difficulty will help in improving performance in math. It is a common tendency for students to directly jump to the exercise section in the textbook during a practise session; reviewing the explanation of concepts and going through solved examples to revise the step-by step process of arriving at a solution of the problem, before working out the exercises will help consolidate one’s understanding of the concepts. It is also important that the students be challenged to try new problems that need them to apply their understanding of the concepts.

Parents What are the benefits of the IB/CIE boards over Indian boards?
Swastika Javeri, Pune. | 16 days ago
Ms. Tracy Cardoz, 15 day ago

The number of schools offering International Baccalaureate programme (IB) and qualifications from the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), has increased ten-folds in the last decade. These international programmes score over the Indian Boards in terms of worldwide acceptance of these qualifications, range of subjects offered, flexibility in the choice of subjects/ programmes and an evaluation system that discourages rote learning and provides the opportunity to create more valid assessments of skills achieved.

Choosing a school with an international curriculum that is offered at many locations around the world, would mean that your child can continue with the same curriculum when you move to another part of the world. The IB Diploma and CAIE qualifications are accepted by universities across countries worldwide, including major universities in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. In the more recent years these qualifications are also recognised by all leading Indian universities and institutions of higher education, making it possible to continue higher studies in India itself.

While these international programmes provide a range of subjects and subject choices, by far what seems to work in their favour, is the interdisciplinary nature of subjects they offer. Subjects like Creativity Action Service (CAS), Extended Essay (EE) and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) in the IB curriculum and Global Perspective, Research and the like in the CAIE curriculum help students to develop complex skills such as critical reflection, interconnections between disciplines and a global mindset. These skills go a long way in equipping students to be successful in a world that is dynamically changing.