Regardless of grade level, exams are an integral part of the academic calendar. As parents, helping our children prepare for all of these assessments can be a challenge. These few strategies will help you optimize these study periods.
Make a schedule: Exam dates are usually given in advance. To help you not forget these dates, write them down in an agenda which is visible at all times. The use of a monthly calendar is helpful because it allows you to anticipate upcoming assessments each week and predict when multiple assessments will arrive at the same time.
Verify what lessons and concepts the test will cover: The concepts evaluated are normally mentioned by the teacher. These can be indicated in your child’s paper agenda or in a digital schedule. Sometimes a help sheet is provided by the teacher. For older students, the teacher may have mentioned in class the subjects or concepts that should be studied by students. So it is the students’ responsibility to take note of it. If this information is missing, you can ask your child to validate this with the teacher, asks a friend or send a message directly to the teacher yourself.
Plan on time: You need to start early preparing for exams early. For elementary school children, doing homework and studying every day helps prepare them for tests or exams. For students in high school, we can ask our child to review the course notes and revise the material seen in each class. This way, their retention of the material will be maximized.
Breaking down study tasks: We recommend that studying begins several days before the exams by separating the work task into small chunks. Keep the last day before the exam to have a final revision of the material. It’s better to have shorter study periods more often. For example, if your child has a test on 15 vocabulary words, divide the studying over 4 days. On the first 3 days, they will review 5 words and on the last day before the exam, they will have a final review and revise the most difficult words.
Studying: The exercises performed as part of course work and given in homework assignments serve to consolidate student’s learning. However, if these exercises are well done and understood, it is a good indicator that the student is in control and fully understands the subject. However, if not, use these exercises to practice and review the subject before the test. Often, exam questions are similar to the exercises worked in class or done during homework.
Seek help if needed: If you feel overwhelmed by the workload or by the management of this planning, feel free to check with the school for available helpful resources, such as homework help. Also, remedial teachers are professionals who can intervene and provide academic support. Ask for their help when needed.
Stay positive and encourage your child: School assessments can make both parents and children anxious. The pressure felt can be strong and may generate performance anxiety. Remember that uncontrolled stress can decrease performance. Try to stay positive and control your worries so you do not pass it on to your child. Praise your child for their good work and perseverance
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