With final exams around the corner for many students, many parents are feeling the pinch of pre-exam nerves as well. Studying is a skill that takes discipline and practice, but there are a number of things that parents can do to help their children to conquer stress and feel adequately prepared for exams. Seartec has a few exam preparation tips: Set the scene Find a suitable place to set up a desk where your child can study in peace. It should have a desk and chair at a comfortable height, adequate light and relatively free from noises and distractions without being too isolated. While children may prefer studying on a bed or in front of the TV, a designated study area encourages focus and prevents disruptions, and creates a sense of organisation and routine.
Sharpen time management skills Last minute cramming creates anxiety and is an ineffective way to study. Encourage your child to revise consistently throughout the year, in order to identify problem areas for further study and extra tuition, and to promote long-term retention of information. In the run up to exams, work with your child to create a studying timetable. Break study sessions up into 25 – 40 minute periods of studying followed by a 5 – 10 minute break. Get input from your child as to what works best for them, and be flexible, as this will prevent them from feeling pressured and resentful.
Healthy body, healthy mind Don’t underestimate how important physical health and wellness is during the exam period. Ensure that your child gets plenty of sleep, eats a balanced diet and drinks a lot of water, as dehydration can lead to diminished concentration. Encouraging your child to exercise and setting aside time for rest and recreation are both also important to prevent feelings of burn out.
Practice makes perfect Encourage your child to study actively through past papers and sample questions as part of their exam preparation. Mathematics in particular is best studied by practicing examples to reinforce concepts. Younger children can benefit from games such as practicing multiplication tables, or use a calculator such as the Sharp EL-W535HT scientific calculator, which has a drill mode that provides sets of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division calculations and marks the answers. A good calculator is also a useful tool to help build confidence, practice new concepts and test mental calculations. Other practice tools include flash cards, while mnemonics, mind maps and diagrams can help your child view the information in a different way for better understanding.
Be positive and encouraging Exam time can make children feel scared of failure or nervous of disappointing their parents. Be supportive and don’t put undue pressure on your child – helping them to relax and enjoy the process of learning will often produce better results come exam time.
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