Top Ten Tips for Exam Success for Parents

shutterstock_233603413 1) Quiz them Students may find it extremely helpful to be quizzed on the things they have learned so far. It’s a good way for them to gauge how well they are taking in information. Offer to ask a couple of questions from the topic they have just studied or have a discussion about it.

2) Stock the fridge This sounds trivial, but it’s so easy to get bogged down in junk food and fizzy drinks when you’re on a heavy study session. The last thing they want to think about is making something healthy. Try to stock the fridge with healthy snacks and bottled water.

3) Help them schedule their revision Some students will just plunge straight into their revision, but it really helps to structure study time. Help them to construct a feasible study schedule that incorporates everything they need to cover for the exam. Prioritise tricky subjects, and don’t forget study breaks

4) New stationery A fun way to encourage revision is to create a bit of variety. Buy some new notebooks, colourful post-it notes, highlighters, coloured pens and some A3 paper for large-scale mind maps! This will encourage them to try out different ways of learning until they find one that works for them.

5) Show empathy Students aren’t always in the best mood when they’re studying, and you’ll probably noticing good moods deteriorating as exam day approaches. It doesn’t help to nag or lay on the pressure – they’ll be putting plenty of pressure on themselves already. It’s best t0…

6) …Encourage breaks You might be expecting to have to lay on the pressure, but you might find that they’re putting enough pressure on themselves already. Remind them to take frequent breaks from studying. Otherwise they might find themselves poring over the same pages for hours, not taking anything in. It helps to take a step back to evaluate what’s been done and what’s still to be covered.

7) Give them space You’ll want to offer as much support and encouragement as possible, but sometimes the best thing you can do is back off and let them get on with it. You might think you’re helping by popping in and offering snacks/drinks/help, but chances are you’re just a distraction.  

8) Be supportive It’s really tricky to strike the right balance between pestering and offering support. It’s even trickier to offer encouragement without making them feel pressurised. The best thing is to play it by ear and try to gauge when they might need help. Listening is key – sometimes they’ll just want to vent.

9) Discourage late nights Try to keep your eye on the clock as it approaches the wee hours. Students will feel compelled to study late into the night, especially as exams creep closer, but this won’t do them any favours. A good night’s sleep, an early rise and a fresh mind is much better!

10) Put things in perspective Exams don’t last forever, and they don’t make or break the rest of your life. Students can lose sight of this and become entrenched in misery after a difficult day’s work. Remind them that life goes on after exams!


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