Helping your child prepare for their school exams can feel very daunting. As a parent, you have probably been out of school for many years and school curriculums have probably changed. Your child is likely learning some things in school that you never learned and taking different types of exams that you did.
If you are feeling overwhelmed in trying to help your child prepare for their school exams, check out these top tips to make sure they are ready for any big exams in the future.
Run Through Test Prep Questions with Them
Finding basic test prep questions online is as easy as a quick Google search. Look up example questions for your child’s age group and quiz them. This will get them used to what kinds of questions might be on their exams.
One method of studying with test questions is to make flashcards with the question and answer on each side. Practice these with your child by first quizzing them on the answer and then giving them the answer and seeing if they can produce the question that correlates.
Once your child is familiar with these concepts, let them be the teacher and see if they can explain or “teach” the concepts to you. This final step will prove that they have mastered the questions.
Enroll Them in an Exam Prep Class
Depending on what time of exam your student is preparing for, there are many exam prep classes both in person or online. If you are unsure where to find one, take a look on the web or ask your child’s school if they have any resources or contacts who provide these types of classes.
You may find that their school provides its own test prep classes or works with a small local company that will rent out a community space to conduct the classes in the weeks leading up to the big exams.
If your student is taking a placement exam at the end of the year, there may be preparation classes that you can sign up for that are once or twice a week for several weeks.
Hire a Tutor
If the material that your child is bringing home to study seems way over your head, think about hiring a tutor once a week to help your student feel ready for their exams.
Many good tutors can be found online at decent prices. Most tutors work cash-in-hand, so you don’t have to worry about going through a company if you don’t want to.
Tutoring offers your child the opportunity to learn the exam material with an expert in a setting outside of school. It also takes the pressure off of you to try to tutor them yourself.
Find Practice Exam Papers Online
Because testing is such an important part of the educational system of the world today, many companies have emerged online that provide full practice exam papers that you can purchase and give to your student at home.
These exam papers cover a wide variety of subjects and are up-to-date on current educational material. Options range from copies of previous exam papers to mock exam papers that include topics that are likely to appear in your child’s school exams. This is a great way to gauge your child’s abilities and see where they need improvement before the real exam. It also allows the student to get experience taking the type of exam that they will take in school so they won’t be surprised by the formatting when the day comes.
Make Sure Your Child is Taking Study Breaks
When beginning the preparations for a big exam, create a schedule with your child that optimizes their learning. If your child is studying for an hour or two per day, schedule a break halfway through when your child can get up, stretch, have a sip of water, etc. This should only be a few minutes so as to not let their brain wander too much.
This little break will allow your child to take a few minutes and think about what they were studying before they jump back in and learn more new material.
Don’t Make Your Child Study in the Same Place Every Day
Studies have shown that different study environments help students absorb their study material better. Try to change things up by letting your child pick a new place in the house to study every day.
If your child is preparing for a big placement exam and they are studying a little bit every day, give them a few options around the house and let them decide where it feels most comfortable for studying that day.
Give Them Brain Food
While your student is preparing for a big exam, make sure that they are eating healthy snacks that will boost their health and mental stamina.
Some common brain food snacks are nuts, fresh vegetables, and lots of fruit. Many types of nuts provide lots of nutrients like omega-3, which can improve memory. Fresh vegetables like carrot sticks or cucumber slices can be served with hummus to give your child some protein while they study after school.
Giving your child something crunchy to snack on while studying will help them to focus and de-stress.
Ask Them What They Need
Preparing for big exams can be a very exhausting and stressful time in a student’s life. Make sure to take the time to ask your child what they need from you, whether it’s a snack or a hug, knowing that they have support in their endeavors makes a big difference.
As they study, check in on them to see if they are struggling and make sure to encourage them when they are feeling overloaded with study materials.
No one can ever be fully prepared for what will be on a big exam, but getting your child to a place where they feel confident in themself and their knowledge will go a long way. Whenever you begin to feel stressed about helping prepare your child for their school exams, refer to the tips above for additional support.
Remember that there are so many resources out there to help you and your child during exam preparation. When a student has the backing of a community of people from parents to teachers to tutors, they are sure to be prepared to ace their exams.
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