Exam tips for parents: Help your child do well in exams
Exam time brings with it sleepless nights, quick meals and that horrible feeling of knowing nothing after a marathon of hardcore studying. It is the most stressful time for students and parents. Parents play a pivotal role in shaping their child’s future. One of their endeavors is helping their child realise his or her potential.
While some parents are worried that their teen is putting in too much effort and spending sleepless nights preparing for exams, others fervently want their child to spend more time preparing for exams instead of wasting it on trivial activities. Thus, parents play an important role in creating the perfect study environment for their children.
For most students, examination is like a war that needs to be fought with sharp weapons of knowledge. As a parent, you can do little to change this mindset, however, you can take measures to make it easier for your child. This blog talks about how you can reduce your child’s stress and anxiety during exam time.
Provide support and help them manage time
If you support your child in their quest to score well in the examination, half the task is accomplished. To ensure that each day is balanced, help your child create a daily timetable so that they efficiently utilise their time. The thoughts of covering huge portions of content in each subject may pull the student into a downward spiral, causing stress and anxiety. In such a situation, parents play a very important role. They should help their child in devising a balanced timetable. There should be a balance between difficult and easy subjects to maintain the stability of mind. This also ensures that all subjects and concepts are thoroughly prepared.
The timetable should not only focus on exam preparation, but also rest and recreation. Secondly, it should allocate enough time for revision and practice as this will help in building confidence and give a clear picture of one’s preparation levels.
Your presence makes a difference
Emotional support has extremely positive effects on children. During exam time, students face an intense amount of anxiety and pressure. Your physical presence can make a huge difference to their mental wellbeing. Support your child constantly and be aware of their state of mind. However, do not overdo it. Give them appropriate space.
A few months back, I met a lady whose eighteen-year-old son Rohan is appearing for the board exams this year. She was spending more time with her son and made it a point to discuss his progress regularly.
Boost their productivity and motivation with rewards
Instead of promising your child one big reward, provide many small rewards to celebrate every small milestone that your child meets.
To make sure your child performs better, set up realistic targets and reward each accomplishment by allowing them to do their favourite activity/hobby for some time. For instance, after they complete a certain number of chapters or achieve competency in a certain area, allow them to play their favourite game.
Short-term goals like completing preparing for chapters, practising questions, mocks tests, etc., can help in achieving long-term goals such as scoring well in unit tests, sessionals, pre-boards and finals. Rewards can help your child stay motivated along the entire journey. It will also help them get rid of negative feelings and stay motivated to achieve their goals.
Plan, prioritise and discuss exam strategy
To make the exam preparation journey interactive, allow your child to set his/her exam strategy. This will empower the child to discover his/her strengths and weaknesses and give them the flexibility to formulate their exam strategy.
How to write answers, how to make them presentable, which questions/sections to attempt first, etc. are a few important areas that you can help your child with.
My nephew’s friend Raj, a class 8 student with brilliant aptitude, was never able to complete his Mathematics paper. His mother analysed his answer sheet and realized that he always attempted the questions in sequence. The first 12 questions carried 1 mark each and the last section of the paper had questions carrying 6 marks each. He spent more time attempting 1 mark questions and as a result, was unable to attempt the 6 mark questions. She guided him to spend more time on the questions that carry more marks and to attempt them first.
Health is wealth – Pay attention to nutrition and sleep
Paying attention to a healthy routine is essential to staying healthy and happy. During exams, eating and sleeping take a back seat. Parents should encourage the child to eat fruits and juices during breaks and stay away from junk food. They should also ensure that they sleep for 8 hours. Another key thing to keep stress at bay is to encourage children to go for a small walk or a stroll at least once a day. This ensures that they get some fresh air and help boost memory.
The day of the exam is crucial. It is therefore important to understand how that particular exam went. Parents should instill confidence in their child by giving them a much-needed pat on the back.