As summer comes to an end, many students are preparing to embark onto their final years at school, with important exams coming up. However, whilst exams may not be taken for at least another seven months, the real preparation for them begins right now. This prep can be a rather daunting task for both parent and child alike, but with the right strategies in place, the journey can instantly become a lot smoother and more productive. Whether it is your child’s first time experiencing these academic tests, or their fifth time, here are some top tips on helping your child prepare for their school exams effectively, as advised by one of the best A level schools in London.
Establish a structured study routine
To begin, it is important to understand that one of the most crucial aspects of exam preparation, is maintaining a structured study routine. Help your child create a study schedule, that allocates enough time for each subject, breaks, and of course, relaxation. A routine not only helps them to manage time effectively, but also reduces any last-minute cramming and exam related stress. Along with this, encourage your child to set specific goals for each study session. Breakdown the study material into manageable chunks and show them how to allocate enough time to review, practice, and go over any of their doubts. Having a clear study plan can provide a sense of direction and prevents the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to begin with studies.
Take on active learning techniques
Once there is a solid study routine in place, the next thing to focus on is the learning techniques your child uses when revising for school exams. Whilst the initial goal is to memorise as much information as possible, encourage your child to move beyond just reading and attempting to memorise. Active learning techniques ensure the brain is more engaged and enhanced for attention and understanding. Some of these techniques include:
- Summarising: Ask your child to choose a section of work that they are struggling with and summarise it into their own words. Whilst this task may seem odd to complete at first, it will in fact ensure that they grasp the main concepts and in turn, remove any unnecessary details.
- Flashcards and mind maps: This is a great technique often practiced in class as well. Help your child use flashcards to create concise summaries of key points, formulas and numerous concepts. Mind maps are also great, especially for visual learners as it can help them identify the connections between different topics.
Encourage healthy study habits
While exam preparation definitely has a lot to do with the amount of time your child reserves to study, it is also important to be aware of their physical and mental wellbeing too, as they both play a significant role in this entire process. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and staying physically active. Encourage them to take short breaks during study sessions, as this can help to avoid burnout. Along with this, be sure to teach them stress management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. Overworking and stress can definitely take a toll on performance, so finding the right balance between study and relaxation is key.
Helping your child prepare for their school exams starts rather early on. Ensure you have the above incorporated in your child’s routine, as this will determine that your child is on the right path to success. Good luck!