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Start preparing now for the exams

3 min read   •   
Danielle Barfoot

The final examinations are a few short weeks away. To ensure that your child can confidently demonstrate all that he has learned during the year, it is important to start preparing well in advance.

Here is what you can do to help encourage and support your child to study hard and perform at his best:

Plan ahead

Schools will soon start communicating final examination dates. Once you have the dates, sit down with your child to create a realistic study programme. (While older children should be encouraged to draw up their own schedule, younger ones will need some help.) Consider the volume of work, as well as which subjects your child may need to spend some extra time on to prepare adequately and thoroughly.

Tip: Don’t plan study sessions of more than 45 minutes at a time.

Start with revision early

Planning to study is easy, but actually doing it is hard, especially if the examinations will only take place in few weeks. However, the sooner your child starts to revise, the easier – and less stressful – it will be. Revising early will also help him identify any problems or work he finds difficult, which will enable him to ask his teachers for help.

Tip: Ask your child’s teacher or look online for past papers or revision worksheets.

Create a suitable learning space

Create a space dedicated to studying, but tailor it to your child’s learning style. While almost any environment can be comfortable and suitable for studying, the ideal is for children to study where there are minimal distractions. Also ensure that your child has all the tools he needs, e.g. stationery, paper, notebooks, etc.

Tip: A few new pens and a crisp notepad may inspire and motivate your child.

Manage stress

Stressing over studying is counterproductive, as a stressed child can’t concentrate or remember what he is studying. To help your child cope with exam stress, ensure that he eats a healthy, balanced diet and that he gets plenty of rest. Also encourage him to stay active – riding his bike or kicking a ball outside will improve his concentration and his sleep.

Tip: Shift the focus from studying by joining your child in a fun activity, or by treating him to something nice every now and then.

Offer support

When preparing for the exams, help your child to set realistic goals, then offer the necessary support and encouragement to help him achieve those goals.

Tip: If he knows that you are interested and supportive of his hard work, he may be motivated to put in a greater effort.