Supporting your child with exams

Exams are fast approaching across many year levels starting with Year 12’s.  This year more than ever, as a result of the pandemic, students are probably feeling a little more anxious than usual even though exams often create this feeling amongst many students anyway.  In supporting your child with exams it’s important to continue communicating with your child, acknowledging how they feeling and keep encourage them to just do the best they can.

The key for students is to ensure they are prepared and know the relevant content as this can make a massive difference when they walk into an exam.

Organising Students - image of students sitting exams

Right now it is important to remind your child that getting started with revision for exams, and then spending the necessary time preparing, is taking them closer to where they need to be.

To assist them in the coming weeks with their preparation my key tips are:

  • Ensure they know the details – it is important to understand when the exams are (they may not know the timetable as yet which is actually okay) the format of the exam and also what content is being covered ie all year or just this semester?  If they don’t know the answers to these questions they need to find out.
  • Put together an exam plan – this should include what they plan to focus on each day and what they are going to do for that subject ie practice exam, practice questions, revision, make note summaries, produce flashcards etc. Remember it is a plan and plans can change but it will give them more structure and focus than not having anything.
  • Have a focus on studying actively – students need to be doing more than just reading over their notes which is a very passive study technique.  Whilst there is a place for this they need to be doing more.
  • Make sure they test themselves – it is important to very early on ascertain what they do and don’t know and then they should be spending approximately 80-90% of their time on what they don’t know rather than what they do.  Students have a tendency to spend most of their time going over what they already know as it makes them feel good, it’s easier and less challenging. Unfortunately when they do this they usually then run out of time to spend on what they don’t know and that is what is going to help them to get better results at the end of the day.
  • Organising Students - Image of Multiple choice exam paperThink about their approach to answering exams – are they going to go from start to finish or are they planning to answer all they know first and then work through the rest.  It is also important going into an exam to have an idea of time and how long they should spend on questions so they don’t get caught up on a question for too long and miss out on completing others.
  • When an exam ends – encourage them to not spend too long analysing or spending time on how they think they went as it is over and they cannot do anything a this time.  The key is to move on as quickly as they can no matter how it went and focus on their next exam ahead.
  • Encourage them to continue to look after themselves – it is important to find a balance in their time between exam preparation and down time for their overall mental wellbeing.  Encourage them to eat well, get enough sleep, keep exercising, spend time with friends and doing activities they enjoy.

All the very best to you and your children for their upcoming exams!

PS to get a copy of a free tip sheet on how to create and exam study plan click here.

If you want to learn more about how I can support your child and equip them with the tools, skills and strategies they need to succeed at both school and in life get in touch – 0409 967 166 or [email protected]